2 Nov 2018

McLaughlin crash in Pukekohe practice

4:55 pm on 2 November 2018

Championship leader Scott McLaughlin has put his Falcon into the wall in practice, walking away unhurt but unsure ahead of the penultimate meet of the Supercars season at Pukekohe Park.

NZ Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin crashes during afternoon practice.

NZ Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin crashes during afternoon practice. Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2017

The 25-year-old looked shaken after an uncharacteristic error at his home circuit on Friday.

After topping the timing charts in the morning's practice session, the DJR Team Penske man was fastest again during the early stages of their afternoon tune-up.

But McLaughlin looked for too much at turn two at the regional New Zealand circuit, losing control and locking up before spearing into the wall.

"I just overstepped the mark. Completely my fault," he said.

McLaughlin reported to the medical centre but was quickly released, even though damage to his Falcon made it impossible to return for the rest of practice.

"It was a pretty big hit ... it felt big but I can't do much about it now," he said.

"I've got to own it and get over it. I'm pretty disappointed in myself.

"I've given (my pit team) a whole heap of work they didn't need so I give myself a kick up the arse."

Despite the crumpled hood and damage to the car's exterior, McLaughlin's team is expected to have car No.17 ready for qualifying and racing on Saturday.

The Pukekohe circuit, about 50km south of Auckland, is notoriously tough for drivers and in windy conditions on Friday, several drivers struggled to stay on the tarmac.

As the session resumed, McLaughlin took up a broom in the garage while his championship rival Shane van Gisbergen took a trip over the grass.

The top four drivers in the series - McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, Whincup and Lowndes - occupied the top four positions in the order for the first practice session.

McLaughlin leads van Gisbergen by 14 points with the two races in New Zealand and two races in Newcastle remaining in the series.

The meet is virtually a two-man showdown given Whincup, in third place, is 419 points behind second-placed van Gisbergen.

James Courtney, further down the order, was another to struggle with conditions and car set-up.

"Each time we changed it we went backwards," Courtney said of his set-up changes.

"It's a crazy place this place."