Scott McLaughlin of Volvo Racing Garry Rogers Motorsports has won race 6 of the V8 Supercars Championship at Phillip Island from pole position. McLaughlin finished a second over second-placed Jamie Whincup. Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard brought the #12 Piritek Ford Falcon FGX to the final step of the podium.
Hot on their heels, Red Bull Racing Australia’s Shane van Gisbergen fought for a hotly contested fourth place after a heated exchange with Mark Winterbottom throughout the race. The 2015 champion took fifth, and Craig Lowndes sixth. Behind him was Volvo Racing GRM recruit James Moffat in seventh.
The new-for-2016 120km Saturday race allowed for a variety of tire strategy on the high-speed, high-degradation Phillip Island circuit. Managing pit strategy and race pace was critical for victory, with several tire blowouts throughout the race.
Notable victims were Scott Pye on lap 24 of 27 who was contending for a top-ten spot, and Chaz Mostert, who was running a comfortable third up to the final lap.
While most teams elected to pit cars relatively early, Brad Jones Racing held off pitting the #8 and #14 cars until past the halfway mark of the race to better utilize tire grip of the Dunlop hard tire. Both BJR cars ran from beyond the top ten to eighth for Tim Slade and tenth for Jason Bright respectively. Garth Tander of the Holden Racing Team separated the two.
McLaughlin’s win is his and his Volvo squad’s first since Phillip Island in 2014, and comes at a decisive moment where his contract runs out at the end of the year.