McLaughlin, Le Brocq split Phillip Island Eseries wins
Esports | April 8th, 2020
Scott McLaughlin and Jack Le Brocq shared the first two BP Supercars All Stars Eseries wins on the Phillip Island circuit.
McLaughlin was dominant in the opening race of the season, leading home DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard by a healthy 3.3s.
The reigning Supercars champion was helped by having both toughest rivals, Anton De Pasquale and Shane van Gisbergen, lose ground on the opening lap.
De Pasquale, who started from pole, looked to rub doors with van Gisbergen on the run to Honda, the experienced sim racers dropping back to eighth and 12th respectively.
McLaughlin’s life was made even easier when teammate Coulthard slipped into second at the end of the first lap, the Shell Ford pair able to cruise to a one-two.
Cam Waters ended up third having moved by Andre Heimgartner mid-way through the nine-lapper, as the Kelly Racing driver made it an all-Mustang top four.
Jake Kostecki was the best-placed Holden in fifth, van Gisbergen easing past Nick Percat for sixth, while De Pasquale recovered to eighth, behind Percat.
There were some spectacular crashes in the opening, Rick Kelly sent into orbit down the front straight after clashing with David Reynolds.
Mark Winterbottom also had dramas down the long Phillip Island straight, the Team 18 driver sent into a spin on the opening lap.
The second race, a 16-lap reverse grid hit-out, boiled down to a thrilling battle between Anton De Pasquale and Jack Le Brocq.
The pair came from opposite ends of the field; Le Brocq started from the front row and led every single lap.
De Pasquale, meanwhile, started well down the order, using an early stop to get clean air to help work his way to the front.
With five laps to go De Pasquale had moved to within 2s of the leader, before steadily hunting him down over the closing laps.
However a last-gasp play for the win went wrong, De Pasquale nudging Le Brocq wide at the final corner to finish first on the road.
Driving standards observer Craig Baird wasn’t amused, however, swiftly slapping De Pasquale with a 30s penalty and handing Le Brocq the win.
Chaz Mostert finished second, having had a perfect view of that battle for the lead, followed by Walkinshaw teammate Bryce Fullwood.
The Supercars rookie didn’t have it easy, though, Fullwood forced to hold off a charging McLaughlin who had come from dead last.
Heimgartner and Zane Goddard were fifth and sixth, while van Gisbergen had to recover to from an early trip into the wall after clashing with Tickford pair Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison to finish seventh.