10 Jul 2017

McLaughlin out front in Supercars

9:44 am on 10 July 2017

The New Zealand driver Scott McLaughlin has gone to the top of the Australian Supercars championship after the weekend races in Townsville.

Scott McLaughlin for DJR Team Penske

Scott McLaughlin for DJR Team Penske Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With a win and runner up finish, the 24-year-old McLaughlin holds a narrow six-point advantage over Australian driver Jamie Whincup.

It was not such good news for McLaughlin's team mate and fellow New Zealander Fabian Coulthard, who had a weekend to forget, dropping to third in the championship after finishing 11th and 25th.

Six-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has equalled Craig Lowndes all-time winning record with a drought-breaking victory in Sunday's 200km race in Townsville.

McLauchlin battled cool suit issues during the race and, while taking the flag just 1.6s adrift, never truly threatened Whincup for the remaining laps.

"I lost my cool suit so that was tough, but well done to Jamie," said McLaughlin.

"He was consistent and it was only a matter of time. It was a champion drive and we had nothing for him."

2014 V8 Supercar Series champion Jamie Whincup.

Jamie Whincup Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Whincup's first win for the season was the 105th of his career, bringing him level with Triple Eight Racing teammate Lowndes for the most victories in the category's history.

Whincup's win is just the second this year by an Australian driver, with the New Zealand trio of McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard and van Gisbergen taking out 12 of the first 14 races.

"When you have done a lot of winning and you don't, and you're not the quickest, it's quite painful," Whincup said.

"We're fighting hard to get back there."