McLaughlin gets ninth win of Supercars season
FORD'S Scott McLaughlin has claimed his ninth win of the Supercars season but not without a hint of controversy.
The DJR Team Penske star lead home Tickford Racing's Chaz Mostert in a Ford Mustang one-two at Winton Motor Raceway on Saturday.
But it was a first-lap incident with teammate Fabian Coulthard that dominated the pit lane talk throughout the 120km race.
Championship leader McLaughlin was attempting to pass Coulthard on the outside heading into turn five when the pair made contact and both went off the track.
While McLaughlin was able to rejoin the race in third position, Coulthard came back on track in the middle of the field and was then hit with a 15-second penalty for his role in the incident.
Coulthard was fuming when he pitted in the 15th lap to serve his penalty, querying why McLaughlin had been allowed to rejoin the race so high up the field.
Despite Coulthard's protests, McLaughlin was not issued with a penalty.
"We let the guys race fairly and squarely," team principal Ryan Story told Fox Sports.
"We came off second best there ... look it'll be an interesting debrief tonight."
Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards said his team had instructed Mostert to not be concerned about McLaughlin in expectation of a penalty that never came.
"A short cut is a short cut," Edwards said.
There was further drama after the DJR Team Penske duo's clash when Penrite Racing's David Reynolds forced James Courtney wide to snatch the lead.
Reynolds was given a five-second penalty for his misdemeanour allowing McLaughlin to emerge from the round of pit stops with the race lead.
While the New Zealander made the most of his clear air to further extend his championship lead to 232 points, Reynolds held off Courtney in the closing laps to claim third place.
Coulthard finished 15th, with Shane Van Gisbergen's fifth place reducing the margin between second and third on the championship standings to 129 points heading into Sunday's 200km race.