Mclaughlin On Podium In Season Opener

McLaughlin On Podium In Season Opener

ADELAIDE 500 – SATURDAY, MARCH 3 – PRACTICE, TOP 10 SHOOTOUT & RACE

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Practice 3 – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m20.5551s)

Top 10 Shootout – N/A

Race 1 – 21st (Fastest Lap: 1m21.6881s)

RECAP: Coulthard spent practice this morning working with his engineers on race pace for the No.12 Shell V-Power Ford, and then sat out the Top 10 Shootout after qualifying 18th yesterday. He started this afternoon’s 250km race strongly, and got himself up to 11th position before his first pit stop. Being in the pack means that trouble is never far away, and Coulthard came together with rookie Richie Stanaway at the final corner mid-race, causing steering damage that required a lengthy period in the garage for repairs. He returned to the circuit three-laps down and finished the race in 21st place.

COULTHARD QUOTE: “We tried our best, but after qualifying poorly, it puts you back in the pack where there’s trouble, and unfortunately we found it. I’ve definitely had better days in a race car, and I feel for the boys as they have to repair a damaged car. It’s not the best way to start the season, but we’ll look to qualify better and bounce back tomorrow.”

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Practice 3 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m19.8117s)

Top 10 Shootout – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m20.2587s)

Race 1 – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m21.3555s)

RECAP: McLaughlin again spent the day at or near the top of the timesheets, taking out first place in final practice as he looked to perfect the car for the following run in the Top 10 Shootout. He put in a fantastic lap in that session in much warmer conditions to lock away a front-row start for the 250km opening race of the season. He got a flying start, and then led the pack for the opening stint of the race. He took his first stop early, and then looked to use the undercut to stay in front of his rivals. It nearly worked, however James Courtney just snuck in front after his first stop. In traffic, Scott battled some understeer and ended up having to settle in to a rhythm and take a well-earned podium to open his 2018 account.

MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “It’s definitely nice to start the season on the podium. Those guys in front were fast today, so congratulations to them. We’ve got a bit of work to do to catch up to them and stay with them, I think. If we can get another podium tomorrow, it’ll be a really strong start for the year.”

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1. Shane van Gisbergen 150
2. James Courtney 138
3. Scott McLaughlin 129
4. David Reynolds 120
5. Mark Winterbottom 111
6. Jamie Whincup 102
7. Chaz Mostert 96
8. Will Davison 90
9. Craig Lowndes 84
10. Scott Pye 78
21. Fabian Coulthard 42

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1. Triple Eight Race Engineering 252
2. Walkinshaw Andretti United 216
3. Tickford Racing 207
4. Shell V-Power Racing Team 171
5. Erebus Motorsport 168
6. Brad Jones Racing 132
7. NISMO 111
8. 23Red Racing 90
9. Nissan Motorsport 90
10. Triple Eight Race Engineering (Lowndes) 84

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