McLaughlin wins Phillip Island Supercars

Oliver Caffrey
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SUPERCARS PHILLIP ISLAND 500

Scott McLaughlin has won the first 250km race on Phillip Island in the Supercars championship

Scott McLaughlin has put his 2017 demons behind him, securing a stunning victory in the first Supercars race on Phillip Island.

The Shell V-Power star continued his epic rivalry with Red Bull Holden's Jamie Whincup, with the pair going head to head in Saturday's 250km race.

Nissan's Rick Kelly rounded out the podium with an impressive overall drive after starting from sixth on the grid.

It was McLaughlin's fifth career win at the Victorian venue, taking him to equal fourth on the overall list alongside Whincup and Garth Tander.

Despite starting from pole, the New Zealand ace trailed for most of the 57-lap affair after Whincup's brave call on the opening turn.

The seven-time champion flew past McLaughlin on the outside to set a hot pace and victory looked to be his for most of the race.

McLaughlin trailed Whincup into both of their pit stops, with the former having the better of the exits.

But the young driver upstaged the legend with 17 laps to go on turn two and never relinquished his lead despite Whincup's best efforts.

It was sweet redemption for McLaughlin, who had pole position for both 2017 races, only for Shell V-Power teammate Fabian Coulthard and Chaz Mostert to come out on top when tyre troubles plagued him.

But Coulthard was in trouble this time around, with his Falcon sent the back of the grid for a technical breach despite qualifying second fastest.

Craig Lowndes and Whincup's Red Bull Holden teammate Shane van Gisbergen rounded out the top five.