Scott McLaughlin extended his lead at the top of the Supercars Championship standings after winning Race 1 of the Beaurepaires Supercars Melbourne 400 on Friday.
The reigning champion won the first two races of the 2019 season in Adelaide earlier this month and made it three from three this year with another impressive showing.
McLaughlin, who started from pole, edged Shell V-Power Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard to win by 0.687 seconds.
Monster Energy Racing’s Cameron Waters finished third as Milwaukee Racing’s Will Davison had to settle for fourth, meaning his podium drought extended to 68 races.
One of the stories of the race was provided by Chaz Mostert, who easily set the fastest lap of 1:55.728.
Mostert, who started 22nd, charged up the field to record an excellent fifth-placed finish, an effort that meant the top five places were filled by Ford Mustang drivers.
McLaughlin held his lead through Turn 1 despite pressure from Coulthard as the race settled in qualifying order.
Mostert started making moves in the early stages and despite smoke appearing from the right-front of his car at one point, he set a sizzling lap time that suggested he was destined for a top-10 finish.
Red Bull Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen was driving particularly well, too, and he was the last driver to stop as he pushed hard for a placing.
But disaster struck on Lap 22 as a mechanical failure proved costly for Van Gisbergen, then fourth, and it resulted in a frustrating retirement from the race.
Coulthard closed the gap to McLaughlin in the dying stages, too, but the latter’s win was rarely in doubt.