Jamie Whincup kicked off his campaign in fine style, taking the opening race win of the season at the Clipsal 500.
Whincup lost the lead to fellow front-row starter Craig Lowndes off the line, but was able to undercut his team-mate in the pitstop cycle.
Lowndes went 10 laps later than Whincup and, after a slight delay on his right-rear tyre change, rejoined almost four seconds in behind Whincup.
The gap closed to as little as 0.6s before Lowndes slid wide at Turn 4 with five laps remaining, ensuring Whincup the race win.
“Lowndesey was coming on strong and I didn’t know how I was going to go holding him out,” said Whincup afterward.
“He was going hard and will be a big threat in the next one.”
Shane van Gisbergen finished third, unable to hold onto Lowndes after the stops despite taking four new tyres to his rivals’ two tyre change.
Mark Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly completed the top six, while Scott McLaughlin was seventh on Volvo’s debut.
The race was mostly trouble free for its duration despite several minor incidents.
Ford Performance Racing duo Chaz Mostert and David Reynolds both saw their races come unstuck on the opening lap.
Nick Percat and Dale Wood were the last two classified finishers after both clouting Michael Caruso’s Nissan mid-race.
Caruso soldiered on to finish 18th, two places behind team-mate James Moffat who was forced to serve a pitlane speeding penalty.
It was also a tough race for the fourth Nissan Altima of Todd Kelly, which ran as high as seventh in the closing stages before falling to 16th as he struggled with a steering problem.
Click here for race highlights
See below for full Race 1 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||39||53:57.5158|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:00.2930|
|3||Team Tekno VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:05.3584|
|4||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||39||54:11.4219|
|5||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:16.7525|
|6||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||39||54:21.5366|
|7||Valvoline Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||39||54:21.9777|
|8||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:22.2645|
|9||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:28.6882|
|10||Wilson Security Racing||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG||39||54:30.3200|
|11||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:30.9458|
|12||Repair ManagementRacing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:33.5104|
|13||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||39||54:33.9643|
|14||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Ford Falcon FG||39||54:37.2445|
|15||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||39||54:38.0140|
|16||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||39||54:41.2213|
|17||Erebus Motorsport V8||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||39||54:42.2120|
|18||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||39||54:56.5980|
|19||Team JELD-WEN||Jack Perkins||Ford Falcon FG||39||54:56.9029|
|20||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||38||54:07.8420|
|21||Valvoline Racing GRM||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo S60||38||54:12.7232|
|22||Walkinshaw Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||35||55:01.5615|
|23||Team Advam/GB||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||32||55:11.7337|
|DNF||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||21||48:03.6999|
|DNF||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||12||48:18.5027|
Scott McLaughlin and debutant Volvo stole the limelight from winner Craig Lowndes Red Bull racing Australia in Race 2 at the Clipsal 500.
Starting on the front row for the first time, the 20-year-old McLaughlin could not hold out Jamie Whincup’s Red Bull early in the race but regained the place after a slow pitstop for his rival.
A Safety Car for debris after just 15 of 39 laps ensured an early end to the pit cycle and a flat-out sprint to the flag.
After the restart, Whincup made short work of Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max to claw onto the tail of McLaughlin, but proved unable to do anything about the rapid Volvo until the final lap.
Taking the place around the outside of Turn 9, Whincup then made an error at the final corner that allowed McLaughlin through once more, much to the delight of the vocal crowd.
Almost five seconds up the road, Lowndes had cruised to victory, squaring the ledger with his team-mate at one-all after two races.
Winterbottom held on for fourth ahead of Fabian Coulthard, Chaz Mostert and Garth Tander.
There was heartbreak for Dick Johnson Racing and Scott Pye, with the Adelaide-raised driver punted out of fifth by Shane van Gisbergen mid-race.
Van Gisbergen received a drive-through penalty for his misjudgement and later endured a second incident, this time a scrape with Tim Slade, on his way to 16th.
Also in the wars were James Courtney and Lee Holdsworth, who saw top 10 runs evaporate when a touch peeled the left-front door off the Holden and punctured a tyre on the Mercedes.
Will Davison meanwhile gave Erebus some reward with 10th, taking the flag in the middle of the Michael Caruso-led Nissan Altima quartet.
Click here for race 2 highlights
See below for the full Race 2 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:12.9270|
|2||Valvoline Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||39||56:17.6597|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:18.4779|
|4||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||39||56:27.7221|
|5||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:27.9472|
|6||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||39||56:28.2508|
|7||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:28.5985|
|8||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||39||56:37.4829|
|9||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||39||56:38.2005|
|10||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||39||56:38.4460|
|11||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||39||56:39.3095|
|12||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||39||56:41.2775|
|13||Repair Management Aust Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:41.6359|
|14||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:42.5538|
|15||Walkinshaw Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:47.6000|
|16||Team Tekno VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:47.9469|
|17||Erebus Motorsport V8||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||39||56:48.7076|
|18||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:50.4807|
|19||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||39||56:50.9894|
|20||Wilson Security Racing||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG||39||56:52.8021|
|21||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||39||56:58.7978|
|22||Team JELD-WEN||Jack Perkins||Ford Falcon FG||39||56:59.8576|
|23||Valvoline Racing GRM||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo S60||39||57:01.7143|
|24||Team Advam/GB||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||39||57:32.1651|
|DNF||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Ford Falcon FG||37||53:59.9732|
Scott McLaughlin brought raw emotion back into V8 Supercars after steering Volvo Polestar Racing into an epic second place in the second twilight sprint race in Adelaide.
McLaughlin prevailed in a hard fought battle against Jamie Whincup on the final lap, reclaiming the position on the run to the chequered flag.
The enormity of McLaughlin’s effort to supply Volvo with a podium at its first competitive V8 Supercars event caused the 20-year-old to swear on live national television and bubble over with emotion later in the press conference.
Even though McLaughlin dropped an f-bomb in his post-race interview, he was roundly applauded from the packed crowd for his herculean performance.
“I don’t know what happened there. I just plucked it in first, gave it some jandal and f___ yeah,” McLaughlin beamed when asked about the final corner after stepping from his car.
He later reflected: “I swore on live TV. I’ll never, ever do that again!
“Seriously, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and the battle with Jamie was sensational.
“I stuffed up there. I was an idiot. I didn’t check my left mirror and he was on my left side.
“We had good, hard racing.”
As race winner Craig Lowndes and his Red Bull team-mate Whincup took turns at explaining their races during the press conference, McLaughlin was overcome with emotion, tearing up as he realised the gravity of his effort.
McLaughlin has brought a much needed cool edge to the Volvo brand after a stunning afternoon during its first foray into V8 Supercars.
“I’m a Volvo driver. I’m seriously so stoked and appreciate the support from all of our fans and we sold out of all our merchandise,” he said.
“I’m happy to stand next to these two blokes (Lowndes and Whincup) who are legends of the sport.”
“The fans and the reaction I got … I don’t think you’ve ever seen someone jump out of the car and fist pump the air in second before,” he said.
“It has just been a massive milestone for Volvo, Polestar, GRM. The amount of work those boys have done in the off season and they missed a lot of their Christmas.
“And in some cases I’ve done a little bit of work on the cars too with my fabrication (apprenticeship) so it’s very rewarding for myself and the whole team.”
The Volvo project with face another stern test on Sunday with a 250km race rounding out the weekend.