It was a strong evening for the Kiwis in the BP Supercars All Star ESeries while wildcard Brodie Kostecki performed well on his series debut.
Van Gisbergen took the pole for the first race, with Brodie Kotescki a surprise addition to the front row.
Van Gisbergen led away early as several cars caught trouble early on. An incident in The Chase between McLaughlin, Power, and Andre Heimgartner saw the former handed a penalty, eventually relegating him to seventh.
Kostecki pitted early to attempt to undercut on Van Gisbergen. However, the Kiwi still managed to emerge in the lead.
For the remainder of the race, the order would remain largely stagnant – with Van Gisbergen taking the victory, with Kostecki and de Pasquale completing the podium.
The reverse-grid format was utilized for the second race of the evening which meant Fabian Coulthard and Jake Kostecki occupied on the front row.
The majority of the field negotiated the first corner cleanly, except for Alex Davison, who rolled several times and forced him into the lane.
Race 1 winner Van Gisbergen attempted to scythe his way through the field, but ultimately came unstuck at Skyline, incurring much damage. Jack Smith too had struck trouble at Forests Elbow.
Once the dust settled on the first lap calamities, it was Coulthard leading from Jake Kostecki and Heimgartner.
Drivers began to complete their pitstops, with Coulthard retaining the race lead by the end of the sequence.
Garry Jacobson and Jamie Whincup came to blows on the approach to The Chase, with Jack LeBrocq and Anton de Pasquale unlucky to get caught up in the incident.
McLaughlin ran longer than most and would eventually finish in fourth after a fine drive from the rear.
On the final lap, Baird adjudicated Van Gisbergen to have caused avoidable contact with Brodie Kostecki. Van Gisbergen relinquished the position over Skyline.
He would eventually recapture that position after the Kotescki’s tangled at the final corner.
Coulthard won the second race of the evening, with Cameron Waters and Will Davison completing the podium.
The third race of the evening was a double points feature with two compulsory pitstops.
Coulthard started from the pole after winning the previous race, sharing the front row with Waters.
David Reynolds spun coming out of Griffins Bend but was able to avoid a major pileup.
Van Gisbergen, Brodie Kostecki, and Power were among the first drivers to complete their first compulsory pitstops while the DJR Team Penske pairing of Coulthard and McLaughlin led the field.
Contact between Waters and Will Davison at Forests Elbow saw the latter stranded in the middle of the track. He was collected by Power, causing extensive damage to the Verizon Mustang.
After the first sequence of pitstops were completed, it was McLaughlin leading from Van Gisbergen and Brodie Kostecki.
For Power, things would not get much better after tight battle between Mostert and de Pasquale ultimately resulted in tears at Hell Corner.
With five laps remaining, Coulthard and Van Gisbergen were the first of the leaders to complete their second and final pitstop.
McLaughlin completed his pitstop a lap later and emerged ahead of Van Gisbergen who was now in hot pursuit.
After passing Van Gisbergen, Brodie Kostecki put the pressure on McLaughlin with two laps remaining.
McLaughlin defended aggressively as Kostecki looked for a way past, while Van Gisbergen was the watching brief in third.
After an enthralling final lap, contact between Kostecki and McLaughlin saw the Yuasa-sponsored Commodore surge past to take victory.
However, Baird decided to issue Kostecki a post-race penalty for the contact, promoting McLaughlin to the top step of the podium.
McLaughlin extends his lead in the standings as the championship heads to North America next week.
Standings after Round 3
|1||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||759|
|2||Cameron Waters||Tickford Racing||673|
|3||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering||659|
|4||Andre Heimgartner||Kelly Racing||575|
|5||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske||526|
|6||Chaz Mostert||Walkinshaw Andretti United||513|
|7||Will Davison||Tickford Racing||497|
|8||Anton de Pasquale||Erebus Motorsport||464|
|9||Jack Le Brocq||Tickford Racing||432|
|10||Garry Jacobson||Matt Stone Racing||431|
|11||Zane Goddard||Matt Stone Racing||421|
|12||Bryce Fullwood||Walkinshaw Andretti United||418|
|13||Nick Percat||Brad Jones Racing||403|
|14||Lee Holdsworth||Tickford Racing||378|
|15||Jake Kostecki||Matt Stone Racing||371|
|16||Mark Winterbottom||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||355|
|17||Todd Hazelwood||Brad Jones Racing||349|
|18||Scott Pye||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||316|
|19||Macauley Jones||Tim Blanchard Racing||296|
|20||Alex Davison||Team Sydney||293|
|21||Rick Kelly||Kelly Racing||276|
|22||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||252|
|23||Brodie Kostecki||Eggleston Motorsport||249|
|24||Max Verstappen||Triple Eight Race Engineering||233|
|25||David Reynolds||Erebus Motorsport||221|
|26||Jack Smith||Brad Jones Racing||216|
|27||Chris Pither||Team Sydney||215|
|28||Will Brown||Erebus Motorsport||186|
|29||Thomas Randle||Brad Jones Racing||185|
|30||Will Power||DJR Team Penske||168|
|31||Simona de Silvestro||Kelly Racing||90|