DJR Team Penske has continued its domination of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, claiming both race wins at the Pirtek Perth SuperNight.
Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin once again shared the spoils in Western Australia as the former took out the first race and the reigning champion claimed the second race in thrilling fashion.
In Friday night’s opening race, Coulthard started in second place but found himself in top spot before turn one after taking advantage of his teammate’s slow start.
Coulthard never relinquished the lead following the strong start and held on for his second victory in as many races, the first time he has achieved this feat since early 2017, while McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert rounded out the all-Mustang podium.
"It’s awesome to win in the dark, all the good stuff happens after dark, so I’m pumped,” Coulthard said.
"Scotty and I spoke about it before the start, 'I either need a blinder to get in front of you or you need a blinder and I’ll slot behind'.
"Thankfully it went my way, I got an awesome launch and was able to get the run into Turn 1."
In the second night race of the weekend, it was the former champ who got to enjoy the attention in one of the biggest events on the calendar after enjoying an intense battle with 2017 champion Jamie Whincup.
Less than one second separated the championship’s two most recent champions as McLaughlin once again had a slow start off the line allowing Whincup to take the early lead.
It took until the midway point for McLaughlin to regain his lead thanks to some good team strategy from the 25-year-old’s camp and by the time it got to 10 laps to go, there was a two second gap between the top two.
It stayed like that for the remainder of the race and Mostert was able to secure a consecutive third place finish, while Shane van Gisbergen placed fourth ahead of Coulthard.
With McLaughlin claiming his eighth win of the season, the victory also continues the Kiwi’s recent love affair with Barbagallo as he recorded his fifth victory at the track in three years.
“I’m stoked. First night win, I enjoyed it here in Perth, such an awesome spectacle,” McLaughlin said.
“Shell V-Power Racing gave us an awesome car; it was the best way to respond.
“I made another balls-up there [off the start], so I’ve got to look at it.
“I think the start was good, the light was just so much faster today, so I’ve got to work on myself.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship now has a few weeks to regroup before the next stop at Winton Motor Raceway on 25-26 May.