Scott McLaughlin won two out of the three race last evening to take an early lead in the BP Supercars All Star Eseries.
Anton de Pasquale took the pole for both races, narrowly beating out both Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin.
McLaughlin got the jump on de Pasquale on the run to turn one. From then on, chaos ensued. Several drivers caught strife in the first half of the lap, with Pasquale one of the drivers to tumble down the order.
By the end of the first lap, both DJR Team Penske cars were leading the way, from Andre Heimgartner, Cameron Waters, and Jake Kostecki.
Mark Winterbottom’s race came to a premature end after crashing heavily down the front straight. Rick Kelly encountered a similar issue, in an incident described by Neil Crompton as ‘helicoptering off the track’.
A tight battle developed for third place, as those in behind began to close up behind Waters. Van Gisbergen climbed back up to sixth after earlier troubles, passing Nick Percat on the second-to-last lap.
Up the front, McLaughlin went unchallenged, crossing the line for the first win of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries, celebrating with a drift after the race. Coulthard finished in second to make it a DJR Team Penske one-two, and Cameron Waters in third.
The second race utilized the reverse-grid format, which saw Kelly on the pole.
It was a largely clean start to the race, with Jack Le Brocq taking the lead. Kelly’s race became undone again after coming into contact with team-mate Lee Holdsworth.
A feisty battle that included Van Gisbergen and Coulthard ensued, with both drivers trying to climb through the back.
However, Van Gisbergen’s race was virtually ended following contact with Holdsworth and Will Davison. As a result, the rear-end of Van Gisbergen’s car was ripped off, destroying his aero and suspension.
The race settled down for a few laps as drivers completed their compulsory pitstops.
As the race drew to a close, Le Brocq led the way, with Pasquale chasing him down. McLaughlin made steady progress up the field, battling with the Walkinshaw Andretti United pair of Mostert and Fullwood.
On the final lap, the battle Pasquale had caught up to Le Brocq. Controversy ensued following contact at the final corner between the two, which saw Pasquale passing Le Brocq for the win.
However, Driver Standards Observer Craig Baird eventually deemed Pasquale to be at fault. He was handed a penalty, gifting the victory to Le Brocq.
McLaughlin started well, taking the lead heading into turn one. Further behind, Winterbottom had been turned into the wall, ricocheting in front of the field. But the chaos was not over.
Several drivers came to blows at the first chicane, before coming together again at the Curva Grande. Multiple (virtual) cars were destroyed in the mess, and as a result, the safety car was called out.
When the session resumed, Waters led the way from Winterbottom – despite both drivers having been involved in heavy accidents earlier in the race. Mostert and McLaughlin encountered early troubles after both drivers were turned around at the first chicane.
McLaughlin began to move through the pack, passing Le Brocq and Davison for third, and had six laps (the race going time-certain) to catch the leaders.
With four laps remaining, McLaughlin passed Waters for the lead, of which he would hold for the remainder of the race. Mostert meanwhile was moving through the pack and eventually passed Winterbottom for the final podium slot.
McLaughlin – with barely any fuel in the tank – took the victory, with Waters in second and Mostert in third.
The next round of the BP Supercars All Star Eseries takes place next Wednesday evening, with the drivers set to battle it out on the Silverstone and Barcelona Grand Prix circuits.