Scott McLaughlin and co-driver Alex Premat were crowned the kings of the mountain for the first time at the 2019 Bathurst 1000 on Sunday. McLaughlin crossed the line 0.68 seconds ahead of Shane van Gisbergen.
This was the first Bathurst win for McLaughlin's DJR team since 1994. It had been a long time between wins for a very happy Dick Johnson who remarked, after the race, about the long 25 year wait.
McLaughlin was jubilant and even shed tears after he crossed the finishing line. “I can’t believe I bloody won the Bathurst 1000,” McLaughlin said. “I have dreamt about this. I put so much pressure on myself to make this a good one but I am so proud of this team.”
The safety car came out for the eighth and final time on lap 159 when Andrew Heimgartner went into the wall at Forest Elbow. Once Heimgartner's car was removed only one lap was left to race. McLaughlin managed to remain in the front position with his fellow New Zealander van Gisbergen right on his rear bumper.
McLaughlin and his team took the gamble of staying out with a low fuel load and it paid off. Jamie Whincup had held a 11.5 second lead but came in to refuel with 10 laps remaining. With the safety cars he didn't have the opportunity to fight back to the front. His race partner Craig Lowndes drove well throughout the day during his stints in the Red Bull 888 car.
The day wasn't without controversy with Fabian Coulthard accused of bad sportsmanship when he held up the grid behind the safety car allowing his fellow Shell V Power Racing teammate McLaughlin to get ahead and pit for fuel ahead of the rest of field. Coulthard's team claim that his car had a heating issue and needed to slow down to cool the engine. He was subsequently given a drive through penalty. Shane van Gisbergen was left fuming about this act of poor sportsmanship.
Chaz Mostert took out his teammate Cam Waters on lap 124 with both ending up in the gravel after Mostert hit Waters drivers side after a failed passing attempt. Both had been looking very promising to finish on the podium with Waters in third and Mostert in fourth at the time of the crash. This was the second year in a row that Mostert had wiped out Waters.
Mostert received a pit-lane penalty and finished the race in 16th. Waters finished 21st. Mostert broke the race lap record at the end of the race with a lap of 2 minutes 04.76 seconds.
With the win McLaughlin became the first driver since 2009 to win Bathurst from pole. He also extended his series lead to 622 points over his closest rival van Gisbergen.
- Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat (Ford)
- Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander (Holden)
- James Courtney/Jack Perkins (Holden)
- Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes (Holden)
- David Reynolds/Luke Youlden (Holden)
- Fabian Coulthard/Tony D’Alberto (Ford)
- Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards (Holden)
- Scott Pye/Warren Luff (Holden)
- Rick Kelly/Dale Wood (Nissan)
- Lee Holdsworth/Thomas Randle (Ford)
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