VOLVO Polestar Racing wonder kid Scott McLaughlin claimed a dramatic double victory in the V8 Supercars Championship at the penultimate race weekend at Phillip Island, jumping him from eighth to fifth in the championship.
“I feel pretty ecstatic! It was an awesome fight with Lowndes in the first race and an awesome end to the final race,” said McLaughlin.
The 21-year-old headed the field in a lights to flag victory in the first race, and was under hard pressure from Red Bull Racing Australia drivers Craig Lowndes and newly-crowned champion Jamie Whincup throughout the entire race.
But the real drama came in the final 45 lap race, when McLaughlin jumped pole sitter Whincup to take the lead into the first corner from second place on the grid. The Volvo driver then lost one spot to Holden driver Garth Tander during the pit stops as McLaughlin took what proved to be a vital amount of extra fuel compared to Tander.
McLaughlin reeled Tander in during the final 10 laps and was right on the rear bumper of the Holden driver in the final couple of laps, and just as it looked like McLaughlin had to settle for second place, Tander ran out of fuel in the very last corner of the last lap, enabling McLaughlin to blast past to take his fifth victory of the year with a 0.4521 second margin.
“I feel for Garth [Tander] and in some ways it was a bit lucky,” said McLaughlin. “But my car was great the whole time and I knew that I had enough tyre life to attack him. It was very difficult because of the dirty air, you get a lot of understeer coming onto the straight. But I am stoked to get two wins, climb to fifth in the championship and to claim my ninth pole of the year.”
Team mate Robert Dahlgren had a fighting weekend with 19th as best qualifying result and 22nd as best race result.
“It was a tough weekend for me, we just didn’t get it right. We had a problem yesterday that continued today. We will take more time after this weekend to analyse it and hopefully come out stronger in Sydney,” said Dahlgren.
McLaughlin’s fifth victory (and ninth pole position) of 2014 means he climbs to fifth in the drivers’ championship, confirming the strong form of the Volvo S60 Polestar V8SC in its debut V8 Supercars Championship season.
“We are very glad to have our best weekend of 2014 and a performance curve pointing straight up in the final run of races ahead of the 2015 season,” said Christian Dahl, CEO of Polestar.
“Scott and the entire team put in an amazing effort this weekend and it is of course extra nice to have that dramatic end to the final race for us and all the fans.”