Volvos Scott McLaughlin knows just how vital this weekends Supercars event in Sydney is to his flagging championship aspirations.The New Zealander goes into the Sydney SuperSprint round 285 points behind championship leader Jamie Whincup and without a podium since the opening race of the Winton event in May.McLaughlin made a statement at Sydney Motorsport Park on Friday by topping the time sheets in practice, but he knows he has to turn that one-lap pace into results this weekend.The only way were going to get back into contention is we have some stronger results, said McLaughlin, who clocked a best lap of one minute and 29.7774 seconds in the second of two one-hour practice runs on Friday.With championship rivals Shane van Gisbergen (1:29.8191) and Mark Winterbottom (1:29.8326) clocking the second and third fastest-laps of the day and championship leader Jamie Whincup (ninth) not far behind, McLaughlin knows he cant afford to relax.Obviously those guys arent getting any slower. Its important we stay in front of them, he said.To win the championship you need to be in the top five more often than not if youre not winning races. Thats the aim.Holdens Craig Lowndes, wholl make an unprecedented 600th career race start on Sunday, was seventh fastest.Just ahead of him was Holdens James Courtney, returning to the scene of an accident in 2015 that left him with broken ribs and damage to his lungs and sternum.A week after finding out Holden would end its 26-year association with Holden Racing Team at the end of 2016, Courtney said it was refreshing to get the teams focus back on racing.For sure were upset to see Holden leave the team but were pressing on, trying to keep on winning ... its just part of business really, he said.Fords Chaz Mostert, who won two races at this event in 2015, came fourth in the second session after topping the time sheets in the days earlier hour-long practice run.The session was a complete write-off however for Nissans Rick Kelly, who went off track with a stuck throttle inside the opening four minutes and was unable to return to the track despite some feverish work by his garage.The Sydney SuperSprint starts on Saturday with a 120km race from 4.30pm with a 200km race to be held on Sunday. 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LANDOVER, Md. -- Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns, Preston Smith had two sacks and a game-altering interception, and the Washington Redskins beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 on Sunday for their first victory in almost a month.Washington (5-3-1) got all of its second-half points off the foot of Dustin Hopkins, who hit four field goals, including a 50-yarder. The Redskins shut out Minnesota (5-4) in the second half, and Smith sacked Sam Bradford in the final seconds to hand the Vikings their fourth consecutive loss.Cousins was 22 of 33 for 262 yards with touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Jamison Crowder. Robert Kelley ran for 97 yards, helping Washington bounce back from a rough 6-minute stretch.Bradford was 31 of 39 for 307 yards, two touchdowns and the interception that Smith tipped and caught with 5:44 left. Stefon Diggs had 13 catches for 164 yards.DIGGS DISCOVEREDAfter zero targets in the first quarter, Diggs had six catches for 102 yards in the second quarter alone. The Maryland product burned rookie cornerback Kendall Fuller -- a former teammate at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland -- on a 26-yard gain .FUMBLES FOLLOWEven with former No. 1 running back Matt Jones demoted and made inactive in part because of fumbles, the Redskins butterfingers continueed.ddddddddddddChange-of-pace back Chris Thompson fumbled at his own 32-yard line with a minute left in the second quarter, setting up the Vikings third touchdown.GUTSY VIKINGSWith 5 seconds left before halftime, the Vikings opted to run a play from the Washington 3 instead of kicking a field goal. The gamble worked, with Bradford connecting with Adam Thielen on a touchdown pass that put Minnesota ahead.WALSH MISSES AGAINAfter Thielens touchdown, Blair Walsh shanked his extra-point attempt wide right. Walsh, who kept his job after Minnesota brought in six free-agent kickers for workouts, fell to 15 of 19 on the season (79 percent) on extra points.MISSING PIECESMinnesota was without rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell (hamstring) and cornerback captain Munnerlyn (ankle), while Washington didnt have receiver DeSean Jackson (shoulder), left tackle Trent Williams (suspension) and Jones (healthy). During the game, the Vikings lost left tackle Jake Long with a left leg injury, linebacker Eric Kendricks with a hip injury and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who was evaluated for a concussion.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '