Technical problems and penalties stopped Valvoline Racing GRM/Volvo Polestar Racing drivers Scott McLaughlin and Robert Dahlgren during the Winton 400 V8 Supercars weekend. 16th as best result for McLaughlin in the third race does not tell the whole tale as the 20-year-old put the Volvo S60 on its and his first ever V8 Supercars pole position, as well as leading two of the three races.
”I have mixed emotions after the weekend. Qualifying for the final race was great with my first pole ever, I will never forget that. I had a good start in the race and lead for a while, the car was really strong,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin showed strong form all weekend, qualifying second for the second race and leading it from the start. A battery problem forced McLaughlin to pit from the lead, dropping him three laps behind the leaders.
Sunday started strongly where the Kiwi claimed his and Volvo’s first ever V8 Supercars pole position and he headed the field from the start of the race. As McLaughlin made his first pit stop, the stewards issued him a penalty for speeding in the pit lane which dropped him from fighting for a podium finish with race winner Mark Winterbottom to 16th position in the end.
”I came into the pit lane and apparently I sped. I didn’t speed across the timing loop, apparently it was by the radar gun. I can honestly say that I didn’t speed or try to speed. It was just unfortunate for the boys in the team,” said McLaughlin.
Team mate Robert Dahlgren had a troublesome race weekend as well where he failed to make the start of the first race due to a broken transmission. The Swede finished 24th in the second and third race, also receiving a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane in the final race.
”I wasn’t happy with my performance in qualifying, but we were fairly fast in the races this weekend. I tried to manage my tyres in the third race as I learned the hard way in the second race that they can go away pretty quick. I was penalised for speeding in the pit lane which cost me a lot. But I take the positives with me from this weekend and I really look forward to race in Scott’s home country in three weeks time,” said Dahlgren.
Despite the troublesome weekend for Volvo Polestar Racing, McLaughlin is still in the top ten of the championship and looks forward to his home race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand.
”We still ended up 10th in the championship after a tough race weekend. Moving on to Pukekohe, it is going to be awesome to to the home fans. I think our car is going to be good there, we are definitely going to be able to challenge for wins and pole again,” said McLaughlin.
V8 Supercars continues in three weeks time with the ITM 500 Auckland weekend on April 24-27.
”Result-wise this weekend was disappointing for us. But we need to remember that we are still in the very early parts of our V8 Supercars program. Scott has shown all weekend that we have one of the fastest cars in the field with a pole position, a fastest lap in the final race and challenging for the win in two of the races. The team is doing a good job and it is all about keeping our heads down and continue working hard,” said Christian Dahl, owner of Polestar.