Next Lowndes thanks Ipswich fans
CHAMPIONSHIP leader Scott McLaughlin continued his love affair with Queensland Raceway in a Kiwi 1-2 ahead of the people's favourite in Saturday's race at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.
McLaughlin maintained a handy points buffer with the victory ahead of Shane van Gisbergen. His seventh win of the season was built on his ninth ARMOR ALL Pole Position.
But he couldn't shake van Gisbergen to the line in what was a critical period of the Championship heading into the unknown of the first Supercars night race in two decades.
That's coming up at Sydney Motorsport Park.
"That was awesome, thanks to everyone here," said McLaughlin who is rapidly approaching Craig Lowndes as the sport's most popular figure.
"(Having) the number 17 (of Dick Johnson) in Queensland is very cool.
"It was a bloody good stop by my guys. They gave me an awesome car all day so I am just happy to reward them.''
McLaughlin praised second placegetter van Gisbergen.
"I saw him in third I thought 'this guy is on fire','' McLaughlin said after his latest win in his Ford Falcon.
"Fantastic job from him."
The retiring Lowndes held on for another Ipswich podium in his second last race at the track. Lowndes fended off Jamie Whincup on the finish line.
"We just had enough," Lowndes said. "Jamie had the side slipstream (on the last corner) and it was like hitting a brick wall. We crossed just in front.
" We got out of (turns) three and five and I am 'yes, yes, yes, come on'. It was really close on the line."
Before Saturday's race 19 of the series, Fabian Coulthard was elevated to the front row of the grid following a penalty for Chaz Mostert for impeding van Gisbergen. Mostert was found guilty of careless driving.
Mostert was penalised three grid spots which moved him to fifth on the grid.
The penalty elevated Coul-thard beside his Shell V-Power team-mate on the front row.
Mostert finished sixth, just ahead of David Reynolds, James Courtney and the top Nissan of Michael Caruso.
The second race of the weekend series is on this afternoon at Queensland Raceway.