Scott McLaughlin edges over the line for victory

ROJE ADAIMY
Last updated 21:00 24/08/2014
Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard
SPOILS OF SUCCESS: Kiwis Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard celebrate finishing first and third respectively in the V8s at Sydney Motorsport park.

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Scott McLaughlin has claimed Volvo's first V8 Supercar victory at Sydney Motorsport Park in an eventful final race on Sunday.

The Kiwi young gun started from pole position for the second time this weekend and crossed the line just 0.36 seconds ahead of Nick Percat and Holden's Fabian Coulthard in third.

It marked Percat's first podium finish as a full-time driver in the category.

The win, McLaughlin's fourth of his career and second this season after Volvo's breakthrough victory in Perth back in May, nearly didn't happen.

The fast and free-flowing circuit wreaked havoc on his tyres in the dying stages, but the 21-year-old managed them well to guide his S60 home in front of Volvo Australia's top executives.

"It's a massive achievement for us to get a Sunday win, we'd been struggling," he said.

"We only got it by a little margin. I was pushing so hard at the end there, but that didn't stop me doing a mad burnout at the end. I was so happy."

It marked a remarkable comeback for McLaughlin, who failed to finish either of Saturday's two 100km sprints with mechanical issues - both of which he started on the front row grid.

He also set a new practice lap record on Friday.

Holden's defending champion Jamie Whincup retained his lead atop the overall standings, finishing fifth despite struggling to see out his windscreen for most of the race after it was covered in oil from James Courtney's Commodore.

The leak marked a disappointing end to the race for Courtney, who got the jump on his rivals at the start to take the early lead.

"It's a shame - it's probably one that got away," he said.

"My home race, out west, so sorry to all the fans."

David Reynolds and Scott Pye also had their afternoons cut short, an opening-lap bump sending both heavily into a concrete barrier and back into the pits early.

Leading Ford driver Mark Winterbottom was blamed for causing the incident and was immediately handed a drive-through penalty.

A damaged tyre and unscheduled trip to the pits later in the race ended his chances of a solid result, coming in a lowly 20th.

Fellow title contender Craig Lowndes started from last but recovered to finish in ninth.

McLaughlin's Volvo teammate Robert Dahlgren didn't line-up on the grid after it was heavily damaged on Saturday.

The championship next heads to Sandown for the start of the endurance series next month.

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- AAP

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