Unbelievable Day at the Newcastle 500admin
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
QUALIFYING– 8th (Fastest Lap: 1m11.0046s)
RACE – DNF (Fastest Lap: 11.0627s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
QUALIFYING– 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m10.5212s)
RACE – 18th (Fastest Lap: 1m10.9375s)
RECAP: After an incredible day yesterday where Shell V-Power Racing took a 1-2 and claimed the Teams’ Championship, today was almost unbelievable. It was a very tough race for Shell V-Power Racing in Newcastle. Coulthard qualified 8th, and was running strongly in the top 10 before a transaxle failure put him out of the race, and left him a spectator for the remainder of the afternoon. A good qualifying session saw McLaughlin take his 16th pole of 2017. He started strongly and led the first section of the race. Unfortunately, he was penalised for speeding in pit lane during his first stop, which pushed him down the order. McLaughlin knew that he needed to finish 11th or better to win the Championship, with Whincup in the lead. He pushed hard to pass cars, making an unfortunate mistake when trying to pass Simona de Silvestro that meant he took a 15 second time penalty at his second stop. He was pushed down the order as a result, and was again forced to race his way forward. He made it into the crucial 11th position with two laps remaining, before clashing with Triple Eight driver Craig Lowndes on the run up Watt St, that saw Lowndes into the wall and out of the race. The officials handed down the post-race equivalent of a pit lane penalty, which dropped Scott back to 18th and handed the Championship to Jamie Whincup on the very last lap. As a result, McLaughlin finished second and Coulthard third in the Drivers’ Championship.
Shell V-Power Racing won the Teams’ title, giving us the number one garage in pit lane for 2018.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “Obviously not the way we wanted to end the season, but I’m so incredibly proud of this team. These guys pushed so hard all season, so for it to end this way is pretty devastating. It’s been an incredible year, and we can all hold our heads high. We won the Teams’ Championship, and went so close to taking the Drivers’ title too. Amazing year, and we can only grow from here.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “It was a real tough day. After that first penalty I was pushing as hard as I can, and I have to put my hand up for the Simona incident. I was just trying so hard to get it done. It’s hard to pass around here, and we must have passed 20-odd cars here today. After all of it, we’re Teams’ Champions and finished second and third in the Drivers’ points so it’s been a great year. Hard to take when we were only a couple of laps away from winning the Drivers’ title, but we still have to look at the big picture. There’s plenty more to come from this great team.”