The Ford Performance Mustang Supercar has claimed victory in both races of Round 8 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin, driving the #17 Ford Performance Mustang, took two Armor All Pole Positions and won both races at the EasyBet Darwin Triple Crown.
All Six Ford Performance Mustangs qualified in the Top Ten for both races, the first time this has been achieved in 2019, with Tickford Racing’s four cars highly competitive to join the Shell V-Power Mustangs in battling at the head of the field.
In winning Saturday’s Race 15, achieving Armor All Pole Position in Sunday’s Top Ten Shootout before claiming victory in Race 16, Mustang driver McLaughlin is the first driver in Supercars history to win the Darwin ‘Triple Crown’.
McLaughlin’s Saturday Armor All Pole Position was the 600th pole position for Shell V-Power Racing’s parent company, Team Penske, with McLaughlin adding an additional and 601st in a Shell V-Power front-row lock out with team-mate Fabian Coulthard for Sunday’s race.
“It was a great weekend for the Ford Performance Mustang Supercar,” said Kay Hart, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, who was trackside at Hidden Valley. “What an amazing achievement by Scott and the Shell V-Power Racing. Not only did Scott drive his Mustang to Penske’s 600th pole, but to be the first to win the ‘Triple Crown’ caps a brilliant weekend. Tickford Racing did an outstanding job in having all four cars make the Top Ten both qualifying sessions, and in Sunday’s race too. What a memorable event for the Ford teams.”
“To come to Darwin and to be the first to ever achieve the Triple Crown, and have it the first year of the Mustang, I couldn’t say more for the whole team,” said Tim Cindric, President, Penske Performance Inc. “Scott was just in the zone all weekend long; the fact that no-one has done this in the Triple Crown’s 13-year existence is a remarkable achievement for the whole team and for Ford.”
In addition to claiming both pole positions and race wins, all six Ford Performance Mustang Supercars featuring in the Top Ten throughout the weekend. Tickford Racing’s strong showing saw Will Davison in the #23 Milwaukee Racing Tickford Mustang in a season-best third grid position for Saturday’s race. Cameron Waters, in the #6 Monster Energy Tickford Mustang, qualified fifth to head a trio of Tickford Mustangs, with Chaz Mostert sixth in the Supercheap Auto Tickford Mustang and Lee Holdsworth’s Bottle-O Racing Tickford Mustang lining up seventh.
While Davison was hampered by a pit-lane penalty, the remaining Tickford cars all improved on the strong qualifying with Mostert taking the second step on the podium, Waters coming home fourth and Holdsworth sixth.
Sunday saw even greater results, with all six Mustangs qualifying for the Top Ten Shootout. Sunday afternoon’s race saw Tickford Racing successfully capitalising on its pace at the previous round at Winton, Victoria, where it had posted all four of its cars in the Top Ten for the first time in 2019.
“It was a solid weekend,” said Tickford Racing Team Principal, Tim Edwards. “Any time in this championship you can get all of your four cars in qualifying inside the Top Ten is a strong result. Apart from Will [Davison] missing out on the top ten yesterday with the small penalty he had on Saturday – he finished just outside – it would have been a Mustang clean sweep with all six in the top ten in both races. To do that in a championship this tight, that’s no mean feat.”
Following the completion of the Darwin round, Mustang drivers head the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with all six in the top ten, headed by McLaughlin on 1946 points, Coulthard in second on 1627 and Chaz Mostert in fourth position on 1400 points.
Round Eight of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will be held between 5-7 July with the Watpac Townsville 400 in Northern Queensland.