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McLaughlin sweeps Perth Supercars round

NZN 7/05/2017 Laine Clark

Can anyone stop Ford's Scott McLaughlin?

The jury is out after the flying Kiwi completed a clean sweep of the Perth Supercars round on Sunday.

Pole sitter McLaughlin sealed back-to-back wins at Barbagallo Raceway by claiming a dominant victory in Sunday's 200km race.

He finished almost five seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Ford's Chaz Mostert, on the tight 2.4km circuit.

Holden's six-time series champion Jamie Whincup was third for the second straight race this weekend.

"We got the broom out this weekend for a clean sweep," McLaughlin laughed.

"The car is unbelievable. We have to build on this now."

McLaughlin could do no wrong in Perth.

He backed up from leading a DJR Team Penske one-two finish in Saturday's 120km race to grab pole for the final 83-lap event in a new lap record.

He clocked 54.57 seconds - shaving 0.09 of a second off teammate and series leader Fabian Coulthard's record set barely 24 hours earlier.

It sealed the fourth straight pole by DJR - the first time they had achieved the feat since 1996.

The 23-year-old McLaughlin could not have timed his first wins of the year any better.

Team owner - US motorsport legend Roger Penske - watched track-side in Perth on his annual business trip to Australia.

"I was pretty nervous. It was my first race in front of the boss, but they believe in me," McLaughlin said.

"To do it in front of them and not find out via second hand text messages is pretty awesome."

But leading Holden team Red Bull Racing (RBR) would not have liked what they saw.

It seems RBR's fears that DJR Team Penske would leapfrog them as the Supercars outfit to beat have now been realised.

RBR have claimed six of the last seven drivers' championships through Whincup and defending series champion Shane van Gisbergen.

They now have a battle on their hands to extend their streak in 2017 thanks to McLaughlin's new found consistency.

"I am happy with another podium finish, we will take the points," Whincup said.

"But in the end we were not quick enough - we have to work on car speed."

Van Gisbergen finished sixth on Sunday, 15 seconds behind McLaughlin.

Coulthard was seventh after his second place finish behind McLaughlin on Saturday.

Coulthard still leads the series after four rounds with 802 points ahead of Van Gisbergen (783), Whincup (780), McLaughlin and Mostert (both 771).

Holden veteran Craig Lowndes remarkably finished eighth on Sunday despite asking to start at the back of the 26-strong grid due to engine dramas.

Lowndes holds a record 16 Perth wins - twice of nearest rival Mark Skaife.

The next round will be held at Winton from May 19.

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