Kiwi McLaughlin robbed of V8 Supercars victory
New Zealand's Scott McLaughlin had the chance of recording his second V8 Supercars win of the season taken away from him today after a crash with Nissan's Michael Caruso.
McLaughlin was leading the second race of the day in Ipswich, in a move that saw the Australian handed a pitlane penalty.
It would have been a momentous occasion for the 21-year-old McLaughlin, who qualified in pole position for the race, but he ended up placing a miserable 19th.
The two races at the Queensland Raceway proved to be one that delighted fans of Red Bull Racing as Jamie Whincup won both of them and Craig Lowndes was twice runner up.
It meant that it was another dreadful day for championship leader Mark Winterbottom.
His Ford Performance Racing car has been dreadfully slow in qualifying over the last few rounds and he's had to battle through the field to pick up points.
While the day ended in disappointment from a New Zealand point of view, it started with plenty of hope.
There was an all Kiwi second row on the grid for the first race, with Fabian Coulthard and McLaughlin sitting behind the two Red Bull Racing cars.
McLaughlin won the battle on the first lap to grab third place and he put some pressure on Jamie Whincup over the opening few laps before the two Holdens pulled away.
The laps ticked by with little happening until they past the start/finish line for the 22nd time when Whincup made a move on Lowndes to take the lead and after a short struggle the current champion got past his team-mate.
From then on Whincup drove off to build a comfortable lead for himself over Lowndes.
McLaughlin finished in third place, while Coulthard was fourth and Shane van Gisbergen came home 10th.
For the second race McLaughlin had a huge battle with Caruso to the first corner but won out. Caruso had surprisingly got his Nissan onto the front row of the grid and he kept his quick pace through the race.
By lap 17 of the 33-lap race Caruso was challenging McLaughlin and for five laps the young Kiwi was having to drive with one eye in his rear view mirror, while his battling allowed the third placed Whincup to close in on the two leaders.
In the 22nd lap Caruso made his move on a tight right hand turn and clipped the back of McLaughlin's car, causing him to spin and ruin his chance of victory.
Caruso was given a pitlane penalty for his move, but that was no consolation to McLaughlin.
The washup of the incident handed the race to Whincup, who drove to the finish line unchallenged.
Van Gisbergen finished fourth and Coulthard was ninth. Speaking afterwards, said he was angry that the collision with Caruso cost him the race, but said there wouldn't be any hard feelings.
''I don't blame the bloke for having a go,'' McLaughlin said.
''It's just one of those things, I had to make the turn and turn in, it's just racing. I would have had a go if I was in second place as well.
''I'm pissed off, but at the end of the day everyone makes mistakes, I've got tomorrow.
''I'm good mates with Michael and it makes it a bit awkward, but we'll work it out, we're men, I've just turned into a man, I'm 21 now.