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McLaughlin claims Perth Supercars win

Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

US motorsport giant Roger Penske has overseen his Ford team's dominant one-two finish in the Perth Supercars round's opening race on Saturday.

With his famous team boss watching track-side, Scott McLaughlin lifted to claim line honours in the 120km opener, just 1.3 seconds ahead of DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard.

Holden's six-time series champion Jamie Whincup was third, more than seven seconds adrift of McLaughlin.

Penske - America's most successful motorsport racing team owner - is in Perth for his annual business trip to Australia and was seen delivering an inspirational speech in the team garage on Friday.

It seemed to have worked.

McLaughlin and Coulthard showed they were Penske material by trading lap records before locking up the grid's front row in qualifying on Saturday ahead of their race one heroics.

"I tell you it has been a long time coming for me to be trackside so for us to have a one-two finish is tremendous," billionaire businessman Penske said.

"Now we can show what kind of team we are."

McLaughlin joked that Penske should attend every round after inspiring his first win of the season.

"It would be nice but he has a busy schedule," McLaughlin laughed.

"But to do it one-two in front of Roger is pretty cool."

Series leader Coulthard qualified on pole but was jumped on the starting line by McLaughlin, prompting a stewards investigation.

McLaughlin was cleared of jumping the start and didn't look back, picking up where he left off after pitting midway through the 50-lap race.

Whincup admitted his Holden team had plenty of work to do to catch the Ford duo.

Whincup's teammate, defending series champion Shane van Gisbergen, was fourth but remarkably almost 13 seconds behind McLaughlin.

"We have had that advantage in the past," Whincup said.

"We will dig deep. I am looking forward to the challenge."

Van Gisbergen was fortunate just to make the starting grid after narrowly averting disaster in qualifying.

He had to take evasive action after hurtling over the hill at more than 250kph towards the 2.4km circuit's final corner only to find three slow moving Nissans blocking his way.

Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly and Simona de Silvestro were on the racing line, forcing van Gisbergen to veer off the track and across the final corner's sand trap.

Van Gisbergen recovered to qualify fourth fastest.

Officials are still investigating the incident.

"They should be disqualified from qualifying. It is that big of deal," van Gisbergen's Red Bull Racing team boss Mark Dutton said.

Holden's Nick Percat placed 22nd in the 26-strong field but set a new race lap record of 56.74 seconds, shaving 0.13 of a second off Whincup's 2011 mark.