Scott McLaughlin has edged out Jamie Whincup to claim another Hidden Valley win as the battle between the championship heavyweights continued in Darwin.
In another Ford v Holden fight, McLaughlin again went toe-to-toe with his Red Bull rival after Whincup struck to end his qualifying streak.
Hitting back by roaring off the line to claim the race lead, the DJR Team Penske driver led from start to finish in a clean run to the line to extend his championship lead.
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Scott McLaughlin got back in the winning groove.Source:Getty Images
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Whincup’s strong season continued with the V8 immortal backing up last weekend’s win with a strong second.
Cameron Waters fended off a challenge from stable mate James Courtney to finish third.
Scott McLaughlin’s incredible run of qualifying wins came to an end when he was trumped by Jamie Whincup in the shoot-out.
In another indication of the gains made by the Commodore, Whincup backed up last week’s race win by beating McLaughlin in a one-lap blast.
McLaughlin has been the undisputed one-lap king but fell short off Whincup by 0.0633s to suffer a rare qualifying defeat
“We were genuinely in P13 earlier but we tuned the car up for the shootout,” Whincup said.
“She was much better and I’m very happy to get pole. The car was very good and I got the most out of it, and maybe we got gifted a tenth or so with the cloud cover.
“But I’ve been on the other end of that plenty of times, so you take it when it comes.”
McLaughlin clears out from the pack.Source:Getty Images
Whincup’s pole position celebration was short lived with McLaughlin blasting his way out of the blocks to claim the race lead.
Making Whincup pay for a slight bobble off the line, the Ford flyer safely made his way around the first corner before establishing a small but comfortable margin.
With Jack Le Broq suffering the first fail when he suffered race ending contact, McLaughlin reclaimed his margin over Whincup following his one and only stop.
In the fight for a podium, Anton de Pasquale opted to run long after the leaders made early stops.
On fresh rubber for a late race charge, the Erebus driver picked up places but was unable to force his way onto the podium.
Jamie Whincup continued his recent great form.Source:Getty Images
Almost lost to the sport after quitting his deal with Team Sydney, James Courtney is making the most of his second chance.
Stitching up a post-COVID deal to re-enter the series in a Tickford built Ford, the former champion almost made it back-to-back podiums when he followed Waters home to finish fourth.
Courtney has gone a long way to prove he is no spent force following a tough final year with his other former team Walkinshaw Racing.
Originally published asMcLaughlin loses pole streak but delivers when it matters
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