Supercars excite in first half of The Bend double header | PHOTOS

The first of two weekends of racing at The Bend Motorsport Park has been run and won, with a big, socially-distanced crowd enjoying two days of motorsport.

Average conditions on Saturday did not deter thousands of racing fans from setting up at vantage points around the circuit, and they were rewarded with beautifully warm - albeit slightly gusty - weather on Sunday and none of the rain that had been predicted.

While most were in attendance for the Supercars, many enjoyed watching the support categories of Combined Sedans and Tin Tops, or wandering through the displays and demonstrations set up at the park.

Overall it was a weekend of success for Shell V-Power Racing, with Fabian Coulthard winning the first of three races after starting fifth and teammate Scott McLaughlin winning the third race.

McLaughlin took the lead early in the race one, but when Red Bull HRT's Jamie Whincup slipped in on the inside, his brakes locked up, causing side-on contact which took them both off the track.

Whincup's teammate Shane van Gisbergen took on the fight for first, and led a tight pack of Coulthard and Tickford Racing's Jack le Brocq.

On lap 23 of 24, van Gisbergen lost his lead and, in his 200th round start, Coulthard won by 0.4693 seconds over le Brocq.

Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie Bryce Fullwood made his first podium appearance in third place.

McLaughlin scored pole position for both of Sunday's races after strong performances in qualifying, but he only won one of those races.

Van Gisbergen was the standout driver in the second race and was justifiably rewarded with the win - with a bit of push and shove helping him out along the way.

Kelly Racing's Andre Heimgartner daring two-for-one dive on the inside of Walkinshaw Andretti United's Chaz Mostert and McLaughlin on lap five earned him second place. McLaughlin finished third.

While the first two races were tight and entertaining, the third was easily won by McLaughlin, who effectively led from start to finish.

Managing his tyres proved pivotal to his win, and his teammate Coulthard was able to do the same to finish in second place.

After a horrendous first two races, Whincup managed to clinch third position.

McLaughlin now sits atop the leaderboard heading into the second half of The Bend's double header on September 26 and 27.

This story Supercars excite in first half of The Bend double header | PHOTOS first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.