Supercars 2019: Kiwi Scott McLaughlin earns sixth win of season

Scott McLaughlin and DJR Team Penske have defied the odds to claim a one-two result at Symmons Plains, strengthening their grip on the Supercars title fight.   

The Mustang made it seven from seven, with McLaughlin taking his sixth win of a dominant start to his championship defence.   

In Tasmania, McLaughlin jumped surprise pole-sitter Mark Winterbottom off the line on Saturday afternoon and was never headed.    

Winterbottom steadied to finish fourth, denied a first podium in a Holden by a desperate Shane van Gisbergen who overtook him on the second-last lap.   

While Irwin Racing celebrated Winterbottom's surge, the day belonged to McLaughlin and second-placed finisher Fabian Coulthard.   

Their good fortune began in qualifying when chief title rival and Symmons Plains expert Jamie Whincup suffered a qualifying disaster.   

The 12-time winner in Tasmania locked up on the infamous hairpin turn and drew a red flag, forcing him to start from 15th on the grid.   

Whincup then suffered tyre damage while attempting to pass Chaz Mostert, sending him into the gravel trap again before limping home last.   

His absence allowed DJT Team Penske to run rampant at the top.   

McLaughlin's triumph was his first in Tasmania and made all the more impressive as he overcame two major hurdles. The first was parity restrictions brought in for this race designed to slow the Mustang down.   

The second was a virus the 25-year-old carried into the race meet.   

"I'll have a good sleep tonight, watch a bit of the footy and try and come back stronger," McLaughlin said, coughing.   

"There's been a lot of stuff thrown at us, but we're a strong group."   

Astonishingly, McLaughlin has won every race he's started this season.   

His only blemish was a DNF at the Australian Grand Prix, caused by a bizarre crash on a warm-up lap.   

His championship lead was extended to 135 points over Chaz Mostert, who finished 10th.

Coulthard is third in the race, sitting seven points behind Mostert, with Whincup dropping to fourth, a further nine points back.   

AAP

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