Volvo Polestar Racing's Best V8 Supercar Championship Weekend Yet
Volvo Polestar Racing driver Scott McLaughlin claimed his best V8 Supercars Championship weekend yet at Pukekohe, New Zealand.
"This weekend has been really good and I am very pleased we got two poles and two vital podium finishes with us," said McLaughlin.
The 20-year-old Kiwi improved his pace all weekend with eighth position in the first race and sixth in the second. The Volvo S60 driver then claimed pole position for both the third and fourth race, resulting in third position in the third race and a strong second in the fourth and final race of 69 laps.
"The car was good in the final race, but a bit too gripped up in the first stint, so I knew that we would lose a bit of time and, ultimately, I lost the lead to Mark Winterbottom," said McLaughlin.
The solid points haul from the four races has jumped McLaughlin from 10th to seventh position in the drivers' championship behind reigning champion Jamie Whincup in sixth position.
"We couldn't ask for a better weekend apart from winning," said McLaughlin. "We have found some really good things on the car and we are not far away from that first Volvo win. We are going to keep pushing on," said McLaughlin.
Team mate Robert Dahlgren had a tough weekend at Pukekohe, facing one of the trickiest race schedules of the calendar: four qualifying sessions and four races following just one 30 minute practice session in which to learn the track.
The Swede retired from one of the races due to technical problems and had 21st position as best result in the other three races.
"The field is really close - I was five tenths of a second from pole in qualifying for the last race," said Dahlgren.
"I was confident for the final race [as] we had made some changes to the car, but unfortunately I spun and lost a lot of time. I had a strong pace after that though, matching the top five in lap times. So while the results don't show it, I feel that we have made a big step forward and I am looking forward to Perth."
Christian Dahl, owner of Polestar, commented: "The team has done a solid job all weekend and we are pleased to see Scott climbing the championship table with two strong podium finishes. Result and performance wise I think we are right where we want to be this early in the championship and we have an interesting remainder of the season to come."
The V8 Supercars continues in three weeks' time with the Perth 400 at Barbagallo Raceway on May 16-18.
Race 1 Results - Top 5
1 Jason Bright Holden Commodore 33 laps
2 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +1.6796
3 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +4.8554
4 James Courtney Holden Commodore +5.5961
5 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG +6.1556
8 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +13.8858
22 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +37.4217
Race 2 Results - Top 5
1 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 35 laps
2 James Courtney Holden Commodore +1.9508
3 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon +5.2519
4 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +6.7886
5 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +9.3911
6 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +9.3911
DNF Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60
Race 3 Results - Top 5
1 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 35 laps
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.2896
3 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +7.4696
4 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +7.6686
5 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +10.0567
21 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +35.7751
Race 4 Results - Top 5
1 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 69 laps
2 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +6.9807
3 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon +16.8806
4 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +23.5120
5 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +25.2493
23 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +1 lap
Qualifying for Race 1 - Top 5
1 Jason Bright Holden Commodore 1:03.1962
2 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.0752
3 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +0.0780
4 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.0921
5 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG +0.1205
7 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.1486
23 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +0.7797
Qualifying for Race 2 - Top 5
1 James Courtney Holden Commodore 1:03.0638
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.0180
3 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.1287
4 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon +0.1849
5 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.2009
24 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +0.9228
Qualifying for Race 3 - Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:03.0438
2 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.0562
3 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.1086
4 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +0.1567
5 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +0.1680
20 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +0.6678
Qualifying for Race 4 - Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:02.9914
2 Tim Slade Holden Commodore +0.0580
3 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +0.0672
4 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.1083
5 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon +0.1234
21 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +0.5555
ITM 500 Auckland - V8 Supercars
Circuit: Pukekohe Park Raceway
Lap record (V8SC): 0:56.0781, Greg Murphy 2005
Championship positions - Top 10 (13/38 races)
1 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 941 points
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore 834 (-107)
3 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore 824 (-117)
4 James Courtney Holden Commodore 781 (-160)
5 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 777 (-164)
6 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 775 (-166)
7 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 651 (-290)
8 David Reynolds Ford Falcon 592 (-349)
9 Jason Bright Holden Commodore 592 (-349)
10 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 572 (-369)
25 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 237 (-704)