Scott McLaughlin completed a copybook weekend at the Perth SuperSprint by dominating the 200km Race 8.
The Shell Ford driver made the most of his ARMOR ALL Pole Position and was not headed during the 83 lap race outside the pitstop cycles.
Fellow front-row starter Chaz Mostert kept McLaughlin honest, taking the flag 4.6s adrift in his Supercheap Auto Ford.
The race ran without a Safety Car period, ensuring a long day for the drivers in hot conditions.
“We got the broom out this weekend and took some points,” said McLaughlin of his clean sweep.
“It’s fantastic to get the #17 Ford in the number one spot for Dick (Johnson) and the team.
“I was pretty nervous about my first race in front of the big bosses (Roger Penske and Tim Cindric) but they believe in me and as a driver that’s all you can ask.”
Jamie Whincup finished third, thanks in part to a bold opening lap that saw him jump from sixth to fourth, out-muscling team-mate Shane van Gisbergen in the process.
Whincup ran fourth behind McLaughlin, Mostert and Mark Winterbottom before overtaking the Bottle-O Ford in the first pitstop and holding the advantage to the end.
Will Davison completed a solid weekend for Tekno Autosports in fifth, holding out van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard in the closing laps.
While the bulk of the field ran two-stop strategies, those to try three included Coulthard, Craig Lowndes and Cameron Waters.
Starting back in fifth, Coulthard lost two places in the first stint before going out of sequence with a stop on just the 13th lap.
Van Gisbergen’s strategy saw his second stop come a lap after Coulthard’s third and left the Red Bull driver to chase down a battling Davison and Coulthard at the end.
The reigning champion moved through on the Shell Ford on the penultimate lap, ensuring Coulthard’s championship lead sits at 19 points.
Craig Lowndes finished seventh despite starting last after his engine cut-out on the way to the grid and suffered an early spin thanks to a tangle with Alex Rullo at pit entry.
Three stops failed to deliver a similar gain for Waters, who started 13th and finished 12th.
James Courtney’s frustrating weekend meanwhile concluded with a 22nd placed finish after being forced to pit in the closing laps for more fuel.
McLaughlin leads Shell Ford domination in Race 7
6 May 2017
Scott McLaughlin scored his first Virgin Australia Supercars Championship race win for Shell V-Power Racing in front of team owner Roger Penske at Barbagallo.
In a dominant performance from the Shell Falcons, McLaughlin finally converted his early season speed into victory in the 120km Race 7 ahead of team-mate Fabian Coulthard.
McLaughlin had won the start from pole-sitter Coulthard, with the Shell Fords charging into the distance during the early laps of what was always going to be a tyre economy race.
The Falcons had a staggering seven seconds on third placed Shane van Gisbergen by lap 11 of 50, when the Kiwi elected to let team-mate Jamie Whincup through.
Coulthard shadowed McLaughlin through the early stages, but dropped 3.5s from the lead by the time he stopped on lap 22.
McLaughlin responded by pitting on the next lap and only narrowly remained ahead of his team-mate due to the strength of the undercut.
The team-mates marched on to the chequered flag, with McLaughlin ending up 1.3s ahead at the finish.
“It’s been a long time coming for me to be at a race track here and winning like this,” said Roger Penske.
“It’s a tremendous effort from our team. We’re showing the kind of team we are here and in the US.”
Whincup held third through the pitstop cycle and completed the podium, 7.5s adrift of the Shell Fords.
Van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom were fourth and fifth after both going longer than their key rivals in the first stint, trading tack position for the benefit of fresher rubber in the closing stages.
Chaz Mostert was the first front-runner to stop and proved unable to hold off van Gisbergen and Winterbottom late in the second stint, dropping to sixth.
Craig Lowndes got the better of Will Davison in an intense battle for seventh ahead of David Reynolds and Garth Tander.
James Courtney improved from 24th on the grid to 17th, leading home a tight battle with Michael Caruso, Scott Pye and Cameron Waters that saw the four cars separated by less than 0.2s.