McLaughlin shines in Supercars E-series

Scott McLaughlin. Photo: Getty Images
Scott McLaughlin. Photo: Getty Images
The more things change, the more they stay the same in Supercars.

Despite the action switching to virtual racing with the Supercars on-track season postponed until at least June due to coronavirus, two-time defending series champion Scott McLaughlin still remains the man to beat.

Sitting in the comfort of his simulator at his Brisbane home, the Ford star won two of the three races in the opening round of the new 10-week Eseries which launched on Wednesday night.

The first two virtual races were set at the Phillip Island Supercars track before the series moved to Monza, which hosts the Italian Grand Prix.

McLaughlin claimed victory in the Eseries opener before Ford's Jack Le Brocq secured a controversial win in race two.

McLaughlin then emerged unscathed from some early carnage at Monza to nab victory No.2 and set the bar high for April 13's second round set at the Silverstone, UK and Barcelona's Catalunya tracks.

McLaughlin picked up where he left off in the Supercars series which he leads by 27 points after the on-track season was postponed due to the pandemic following the season opener in Adelaide.

He had warmed up for the Eseries by claiming a shock win in the IndyCar virtual series, the iRacing Challenge, last weekend.

"There were a few bust ups. It was full on. I think it [winning races] is about trying to get the lead early and get out of the crap," McLaughlin told Fox Sports.

"But I had so much fun. It is a cool thing to do while we are waiting for our real racing to begin."

In the nine lap opening race, McLaughlin finished more than three seconds ahead of teammate Fabian Coulthard with fellow Ford driver Cameron Waters third.

In race two's 19 lap reverse grid event, Holden's Anton de Pasquale crossed the line first before copping a 30 second penalty for his final corner contact on Le Brocq.

That elevated Le Brocq to first with Chaz Mostert second and Bryce Fullwood third.

De Pasquale had the dubious honour of becoming the first driver in the Eseries to cop a penalty.

The racing may be virtual but his frustration was real post-race.

"I think 30 seconds is a bit harsh for having a dip," he told Fox Sports.

"I tried to put on a good show for everyone and ended up being in the stewards' room."

In the 19-lap third race, McLaughlin finished more than a second ahead of Waters with Mostert third following a dramatic start.

Ex-Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom pinballed around the track in a massive crash ahead of the first turn while more than 10 cars were involved in a pile up before the opening lap was complete.

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