Reigning champion McLaughlin failed to score in the third race of the weekend, after sensationally crashing out on the warmup lap when he was hit from behind by fellow Ford Mustang driver Cam Waters.

On a weekend where the new Mustang Supercars were almost in a class of their own, Chaz Mostert claimed the win in race three to complete a perfect start to the season for Ford.

McLaughlin left Albert Park having won all five Supercars races he has started so far in 2019.

“I don’t count we started yesterday’s race,” McLaughlin said after winning the Sunday race, “so let’s go five from five.

“You can’t dwell on it, you’ve got to focus and get on with things. There’s a lot worse things to happen in the world and we’ll push on, this is just a blip on our radar.

“This is for everyone in New Zealand.”

Mostert accumulated the most amount of points across the weekend to claim the Larry Perkins Trophy, a perpetual award at the Albert Park Supercars round.

Despite his dominance – five wins from six races – McLaughlin left Albert Park clinging to a slender championship lead on 500 points, just 31 clear of Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore driver Jamie Whincup. The Holden driver’s best results so far are limited to a pair of second-place finishes.

The apparent scoring anomaly highlights a Supercars pointscoring system designed to reward consistency, as well as maximising the chances of the title not being decided until the final round.

But the other great equalising factor in Supercars – parity of performance for the cars – also came under the spotlight in Melbourne. Evidence is mounting that the new Mustang Supercar enjoys a distinct performance advantage over its Holden and Nissan opposition: the Ford is unbeaten so far this year, the model finishing first and second in every race at Albert Park.