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Motoring Top Stories

McLaughlin makes solid Supercars return

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2019 Ed Jackson

Scott McLaughlin © AAP Scott McLaughlin Supercars championship leader Scott McLaughlin has made a solid return to the track following his big wreck at the Gold Coast 600 last month.

McLaughlin clocked the third-fastest time in Friday's practice at the Sandown 500 in Melbourne, finishing behind Penrite Racing's David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale.

Reynolds clocked a new lap record at the 3.1km circuit with a one minute and 07.7779 second time.

De Pasquale was second-quickest in the half-hour session with a 1:07.8911 with McLaughlin third on the timesheets with a 1:07.9985.

The DJR Team Penske star was driving a brand-new Mustang after his high-speed crash on the streets of Surfers Paradise last month.

Despite that crash, McLaughlin comes into this weekend's event knowing he can wrap up back-to-back championships if results go his way.

His nearest rival, Red Bull Holden Racing Team's Shane Van Gisbergen has to make up 163 points over McLaughlin this weekend to keep the championship alive.

Van Gisbergen began his weekend with the sixth-fastest time of the session, which came in tricky changeable conditions as showers crossed over the track.

Seven-time champion Jamie Whincup was a victim of the conditions, slipping off the wet track and bogging his Holden in a sand-trap midway through the session, forcing a red flag.

Whincup was topping the timesheets before the incident but lost his fastest time for causing the red flag and ended the session ninth-fastest.

Ford's Chaz Mostert, who also wrote off his car at last month's Gold Coast event, posted the fourth-fastest lap of the session but ended it stuck in a sand-trap after he and Scott Pye both drifted off the track.

Earlier, in the first of two co-driver only practice runs, Van Gisbergen's partner Garth Tander went fastest ahead of Nissan pair Bryce Fullwood and Dale Wood.

Friday's action wraps up with another co-driver session before two short 60km races on Saturday and the main event, a 500km endurance race, on Sunday.

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