The win made it a perfect weekend for the DJR Team Penske Falcon driver, with McLaughlin also having won the Saturday race.

Coming off the back of a pair of wins in the previous round at Phillip Island, the young New Zealander now enjoys a commanding lead on the Supercars Championship points table.

“I am stoked, I couldn’t believe it,” McLaughlin said. “These guys gave me an incredible car and the strategy was on point. We made it difficult for ourselves but we brought it back.

“I joked to DJ (team co-owner Dick Johnson) before we went out and said, ‘I reckon we could win this thing’ thinking maybe I could but I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

James Smith pic

Erebus Holden Commodore driver David Reynolds was a strong second, ahead of the Commodore of Craig Lowndes – whose drive was arguably even more impressive than McLaughlin’s, given that Lowndes had started last on the grid.

But on an abrasive track surface in Perth where tyre conservation is critical, Lowndes and his team was able to get the strategy right, and on the track Lowndes had the deft touch to make his way through the field without wearing out his tyres.

“All the guys on our side did a great job,” Lowndes said. “The car was really good. We had good battles throughout but I can’t thank the guys and the girls enough for giving me a car to do what I did.

“When you have got a car that works and operates in the window you want it’s much easier.”

Triple Eight Commodore drivers Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen went into the race with high hopes, having locked out the front row, but their races did not go to plan. Van Gisbergen lost time double-stacking behind his team-mate in the pits during their first stops, but ultimately neither had the pace to challenge and ended up sixth and seventh respectively.

With high top 10 results for both on the Saturday, the Perth round did not deliver the much needed points boost Whincup was hoping for.

McLaughlin now leads van Gisbergen by 158 points. Reynolds trails by a further 10, ahead of Lowndes and Whincup, who faces a substantial 258-point deficit to the points leader.