|Coulthard races to victory|
Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin will take bragging rights to the next Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event in Tasmania after securing victory at the Rolex Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
The Shell Fords were unlucky not to record a clean sweep of wins when Coulthard blew a tire when holding a commanding lead but still did enough to secure the most points for the weekend from team-mate McLaughlin and Sunday winner Chaz Mostert.
Mostert snapped a long winless streak in a dramatic finale to the Coates Hire Supercars Challenge which after Whincup also shredded a tire having assumed the lead from Coulthard. Mostert pounced on the hapless Coulthard and Whincup to sweep through to a surprise victory.
It was Mostert’s first Supercars race victory since August, 2015, having suffered a long drought following his crash at Bathurst that season.
“I only got the podium through some misfortune from some of the other guys, but I’m pretty ecstatic to get win considering I haven’t had one since 2015," Mostert said.
“I don’t know if you count the grand prix for wins but there are a lot of guys that do so we will definitely take it. Last year I went without a win so it is good to get the monkey off the back and we have just got to keep trying to produce this form and get more wins."
Whincup’s misfortune handed the overall victory back to Coulthard, whose 20th place helped him edge out McLaughlin 241 points to 235.
“It was meant to be," Coulthard said. “It was a pretty bizarre way to win the weekend, but the boys have worked very hard all weekend and I feel like we deserved to win.
|Coulthard and McLaughlin|
“We’ve got a little bit to go, and a little bit to achieve. It was pretty weird to have a puncture and then see Jamie have the same issue. To take not only the round win but a 1-2 as well is pretty awesome."
McLaughlin finished seventeenth in race four after copping steering damage on the opening lap.
“We were up against it, we had a difficult time today, and I got some damage early on which seriously hurt the car," McLaughlin said.
“I had to soldier on, I had about 90 degrees of lock going down the straights, and right-handers where horrendous. We continued on and managed to get a one-two result for Shell V-Power Racing."
Not for the first time this weekend, there was carnage at the first corner as the 24-car field attempted to squeeze through the tight right-hander.
James Moffat was spun around in the melee, while Cameron Waters' Monster Ford was subsequently forced to pit with damage and a small fire caused by running through the grass.
The chaos saw Scott McLaughlin make significant contact with the back of Garth Tander, shooting the Shell V-Power Ford into the air.
The Championship now heads to Symmons Plains near Launceston on April 7-9 for the second Championship event of 2017 after the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
RECAP: Coulthard looked like he would dominate the race again today, and was leading comfortably when disaster struck and he was hit with a puncture. He limped back to the pits where the team changed the tyre, and he rejoined the race 20th. He then received a solid dose of luck when Jamie Whincup also got a flat tyre, which elevated Fabian back into the first place for the weekend. Three poles, two wins and an overall first place – an excellent weekend for the No.12 Shell V-Power Ford.
QUOTE: “It was meant to be. It was a pretty bizarre way to win the weekend, but the boys have worked their rings out all weekend and I feel like we deserved to win. We’ve got a little bit to go, and a little bit to achieve. It was pretty weird to have a puncture and then see Jamie have the same issue, but to take not only the round win but to be one-two is pretty awesome."
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
RECAP: McLaughlin was up against it from the start, with a last place grid position due to a qualifying penalty. He was then hit with damage in a lap one, turn one incident which he couldn’t avoid. He battled on, and had surprising speed which allowed him to salvage a good result, and finish the weekend in second place to complete a one-two finish for Shell V-Power Racing Team.
QUOTE: “I’m just stoked for Shell V-Power Racing Team, it’s one of those things where I’m so happy to get a one-two. We were up against it, we had a difficult time today, and I got some damage early on which seriously hurt the car. I had to soldier on, I had about 90 degrees of lock going down the straights, and right-handers where horrendous. We continued on and managed to get a one-two result for Shell V-Power Racing."