Kiwi driver Scott McLaughlin finishes second at Sandown to extend Supercars lead

  • 18/09/2017
McLaughlin now has a 12-point buffer at the top of the standings.
McLaughlin now has a 12-point buffer at the top of the standings. Photo credit: Getty

He didn't win but Scott McLaughlin heads to Bathurst happy and confident after growing his lead over Jamie Whincup in the Supercars championship at the Sandown 500.

New Zealand driver McLaughlin, paired with Alex Premat through the Enduro series, couldn't get close enough to race winners Cam Waters and Richie Stanaway on Sunday.

But the DJR Team Penske man sprayed champagne from the second step on the podium, and for the Kiwi, that was good enough.

"It was our main goal this weekend to come out and try to beat our championship contenders," he said.

"The best thing for us was to finish second and ahead of everyone else.

"It's almost a win for me. We've come away from this weekend with a nice warmup for Bathurst and hopefully we come back stronger for the 1000."

McLaughlin entered the endurance races with a 12-point buffer over next-best Jamie Whincup, competing in the endurance races with Paul Dumbrell.

Whincup's tyre puncture dropped the six-time champ 84 points adrift.

McLaughlin's Penske Falcon teammate Fabian Coulthard is third, a further 77 points back.

There's a new man in fourth, with Chaz Mostert's podium lifting him above reigning champion Shane Van Gisbergen of New Zealand.

Mostert has strung together seven straight top-five finishes - answering the consistency questions that have dogged his career.