Scott McLaughlin finished 2nd on the podium in the second ever V8 Supercars race for Volvo Polestar Racing. And while the rcae had its fair share of cars brushing against each other, it was the last-lap battle with reigning champion Jamie Whincup that secured McLaughlin’s position in the 2nd race of the 2014 V8 Supercars premiere in Adelaide.
“What an amazing day for Volvo Polestar Racing and GRM. I can’t thank them and the fans enough. I never thought I’d get a trophy here but I did!” said McLaughlin.
Starting from 2nd place on the grid, he battled with Red Bull Racing’s Australia driver Whincup all along.The last lap may as well have been a photo finish moment with Whincup making a move 4 corners from the end. Both drivers ran side by side for three corners, with Whincup getting past going into the last corner, but it was McLaughlin who capitalised and moved ahead in the last run to the finish line.
“I slowed down too much, I should have blocked Whincup a bit better. But he got me and we went side-by-side and it was pretty good racing. I got him in the end and this is for sure one of my best races ever!” said McLaughlin.
Team mate Robert Dahlgren’s two first 125 kilometer races in Adelaide saw him finish in 21st position in race 1 and 23rd position in race 2. McLaughlin finished 7th in the 1st race, meaning 4th in the drivers championship as of now.
“I am of course not pleased with the results. But to expect to be in the top straight away would just be naive, especially on this track. I had about 15 laps in the dry with this car ahead of this weekend and I’ve driven many times that now. I have made a lot of progress and my aim is of course to climb in the result list,” said Dahlgren.
“Scott performed an amazing race and to get a podium finish in our very first race weekend is amazing. Just as the results in qualifying yesterday, this exceeds our expectations by far,” said Christian Dahl, owner of Polestar.
Scott McLaughlin entered the history books today as he scored the first V8 Supercars victory for Volvo Polestar Racing in the final race of the Formula 1 weekend in Melbourne.
”This is just unbelievable, something you never forget! The car was fantastic, an awesome day for everyone at GRM and Polestar,” said McLaughlin.
The Volvo Polestar Racing driver crossed the finishing line first after 12 laps to score Volvo’s first racing victory in Australia since 1999, one second ahead of Red Bull Racing driver Craig Lowndes.
”A fantastic effort by Scott and everyone in the team. This has been an amazing journey so far and it is for sure looking bright for the remainder of the season,” said Christian Dahl, owner of Polestar.
The 20-year-old Kiwi started from fourth on the grid and gained one position in the start of the race. He made his way past Shane Van Gisbergen, who won the first three races, and Fabian Coulthard two laps later and went into a lead he was never to lose.
”We made a few changes overnight and the guys gave me a great car. I could control the race all the way and I am just so stoked,” said McLaughlin.
Team mate Robert Dahlgren started the weekend strongly by qualifying just one position outside the top ten for the first race in eleventh position, five tenths from pole position. The Swede dropped positions in the four races to finish 18th as best with one retirement in the final race due to a damaged rim.
”I’ve had a tough weekend in terms of results. But I’ve had a very good weekend behind the scenes in terms of getting to know the car and moving it forward. I just can’t wait to get to the next race to materialize this,” said Dahlgren.
The Melbourne Formula 1 weekend resulted in four top five positions, two podium finishes, one fastest lap and a victory for McLaughlin in only the second ever race weekend for the new Volvo S60 Polestar V8SC, sending a message of strength for the coming races of the 2014 season.
”We got to keep pushing, but I definitely think we have got a championship challenger on our hands. I am very much ready for the next race,” said McLaughlin.
The championship continues in two weeks with Tyrepower Tasmania 400.
Race 1 Results – Top 5
1 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 10 laps
2 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +6.1803
3 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +7.1881
4 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +7.4849
5 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore +8.0388
18 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +23.4963
Race 2 Results – Top 5
1 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 12 laps
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.5519
3 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore +1.8593
4 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +2.6717
5 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +3.6196
19 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +23.0936
Race 3 Results – Top 5
1 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 12 laps
2 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore +0.500
3 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.972
4 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +5.310
5 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +5.985
19 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +19.442
Race 4 Results – Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 12 laps
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +1.0865
3 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +6.6923
4 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +6.5954
5 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore +7.3600
DNF Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60