McLaughlin gutted to lose Sydney Supercars

Oliver Caffrey
Driver Scott McLaughlin is gutted to have let his lead in the Sydney Supercars slip

Another safety car calamity has put a dent in Scott McLaughlin's hopes of securing a maiden Supercars title.

Just as happened at Winton, the Ford flyer struggled from a restart and conceded a lead and lose a race that appeared his at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday night.

The safety car allowed Red Bull Holden rival Shane van Gisbergen to capitalise, entering all-out aggressive mode to fly past McLaughlin and claim a thrilling and historic race under lights.

McLaughlin, who started in pole, dropped further behind as van Gisbergen's teammate Jamie Whincup to overtook him with three laps to go and ended up in third.

With the 300km stanza at Eastern Creek worth double points, van Gisbergen's fifth win of the season cut the gap on McLaughlin in the standings to only 89 points.

With six rounds to go, van Gisbergen is hitting top-form to create pressure on his fellow New Zealander at the top and put doubt in McLaughlin's mind after the heartbreak of losing the championship in the final race last year.

McLaughlin said he was "very gutted" to be denied an eighth win of the season.

"I'm proud of the team and the strategy they played," McLaughlin said.

"I guess we probably just got caught out a bit there with the safety car.

"I tried my best and I wasn't gong to die trying in holding Shane and Jamie back but hopefully it was a good show for the fans."

"I wanted to win the first night race and I was trying my hardest."

The series reverts to a normal weekend of two races for the debut appearance at the Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia on August 24-26.

SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

1. Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power) 2579 pts

2. Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden) 2490

3. Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Holden) 2146

4. Craig Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes) 2061

5. David Reynolds (Erebus) 2030