McLaughlin rides luck to Supercars record


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He’s set a new benchmark for success in Supercars but Scott McLaughlin has used up plenty of luck to get there at Pukekohe Park in New Zealand.

The Kiwi driver’s win on Sunday at the 2.91km Auckland track was his 17th of a remarkable 2019 – setting a new mark for the most victories in a season by a Supercars driver.

The tally eclipses Craig Lowndes’ total of 16 race wins from his 1996 championship year.

McLaughlin’s lucky day began early when he lost control of his Mustang heading onto the main straight during a flying lap in the morning’s qualifying session.

His car slid sideways at speed along wet grass in front of the grandstand, obliterating a foam advertising sign but missing any concrete walls before the DJR Team Penske star stopped the vehicle once he was able to get back on the racetrack.

McLaughlin labelled his escape “more arse than class” before becoming the beneficiary of a chaotic safety car period during the race which led to him emerging as the lead car.

Once in front, McLaughlin was never headed and, despite the slightly fortunate nature of his victory, he was rapt to claim the record in front of a hometown crowd.

“Sometimes, you’re on the bad end of it and, sometimes, you’re on the good end of it,” McLaughlin said.

“Luckily, we pitted when the safety car came out … it sucks for the category, I don’t want to win like that but, at the end of the day, sometimes you get luck and sometimes you don’t.”

McLaughlin said he’d forgotten about Lowndes’ record until he was greeted by the veteran at the podium.

“I was wondering why Lowndes was at the podium at the end there and then I figured it out,” he said.

“Very proud – obviously, going into the weekend, I would have loved to have a win here at least, regardless of whether there’s a record on the line or not.

“To do it here in my 100th round, just a special circumstance.”

MOST SUPERCARS RACE WINS IN A SEASON:

* 17 – Scott McLaughlin (2019)

* 16 – Craig Lowndes (1996)

* 15 – Mark Skaife (2002), Garth Tander (2007), Jamie Whincup (2008)

* 14 – Lowndes (1998), Whincup (2014)

* 12 – Skaife (1999), Whincup (2012)

* 11 – Marcos Ambrose (2004), Whincup (2009), Whincup (2013).

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