Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Scott McLaughlin has taken out the opening race in the Perth round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Picture: Mark Horsburgh/Edge Photographics/AAP
Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Scott McLaughlin has taken out the opening race in the Perth round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Picture: Mark Horsburgh/Edge Photographics/AAP Mark Horsburgh

Victory in Perth extends McLaughlin's championship lead

SCOTT McLaughlin has produced another memorable drive to secure a third consecutive Supercars victory and extend his lead in the championship.

The Shell V-Power ace had pole for the first race of the Perth Supersprint on Saturday and the Ford driver was never seriously threatened during the 50-lap affair.

It backed up a pair of victories at the Phillip Island 500 two weeks ago, meaning he has won four of the 11 races so far this season.

McLaughlin's 20th career win came as the majority of his rivals for the championship struggled at Barbagallo Raceway.

Tickford Racing's Mark Winterbottom ensured Ford took the first two spots with a top drive - his first podium for the season.

Shane van Gisbergen restored some parity for Holden, forcing his way into third and up into second in the overall standings.

Brad Jones Racing's Tim Slade dropped to fourth in his Holden and young gun Cameron Waters finished sixth after starting in second on the grid.

But was another disastrous outing for seven-time champion Jamie Whincup.

The Red Bull Holden veteran received a five-second penalty after nudging Chaz Mostert on lap 33, causing the Ford driver to spin out when he was pushing for a podium finish.

Whincup had also made up significant ground after beginning the race in 14th position on the grid - his worst qualifying performance in three years.

The penalty dropped the 35-year-old to 11th, furthing denting his championship ambitions.

Erebus Motorsport's David Reynolds had a forgettable race, finishing way back in 17th after heading to Western Australia only 60 points behind McLaughlin in the championship.

- AAP


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