DOUBLE PODIUM AT THE GRAND PRIXBen Nightingale
COATES HIRE MELBOURNE 400 – SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – RACES 4 & 5
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Race 4 – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 2m14.0167s)
Race 5 – 12th (Fastest Lap: 1m57.6698s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Race 4 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 2m13.7182s)
Race 5 – 15th (Fastest Lap: 1m57.6298s)
RECAP: It was a mixed day for Shell V-Power Racing Team at the Australian Grand Prix in Races 4 & 5 of the Championship.
The heavens opened early in the day, with pouring rain in the lead up to Race 4. The race was started in extremely wet conditions, with the traditional standing start replaced by a rolling start controlled by the Safety Car. Jamie Whincup got the jump from pole off the start, and maintained his lead across the full race distance. Scott stayed strong in second position from the start and despite some pressure from teammate Coulthard at points during the race, finished where he started to claim another podium.
Race 5 started strongly, with Scott McLaughlin from pole and Fabian Coulthard from 7th. McLaughlin lead the opening couple of laps, before making an error at Turn 1 on the second lap. He lost five places, rejoining in sixth, with Fabian elevated up to fourth as a result. Coulthard took his first stop on Lap 10, rejoining in fifth. The issues continued for Car No.17 with a radio failure that lead to McLaughlin missing the call for his opening stop. The team reverted to a pit board to notify him of the need to pit, and he took the stop on Lap 11, two laps later than planned. Scott slotted into 7th, with Fabian 5th until rain started to fall on lap 20. The team made the call to pit the cars for wet tyres, with both cars rejoining back in the pack. Others took the choice for wet tyres, however the leaders continued on slicks. The rain slowed, and unfortunately the wet tyres proved to be the wrong call. The cars continued in train to finish 12th (Coulthard) and 15th (McLaughlin). McLaughlin remains second in the Drivers’ points, with Coulthard 14th. The team is 4th in the Teams’ points. The final race of the weekend is tomorrow 1:45pm local time.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “I got a ripper start, made up two positions off the start and we were trucking along fine. Our first stop was a bit slow, and we came out 5th on the road. When it started to rain, we thought it was time for wets – with the low light it was hard to see how wet the track was, and several other drivers made the same call. It’s a shame because I think we were on for another good result.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “I tried to gap the field a bit at the start, and was pushing pretty hard and then I made a blue at Turn 1 and ran wide, and lost a few spots. The we had radio dramas, and things just really went downhill from there. It’s a shame, and possibly a win gone begging there. We’ll have another crack in the last race tomorrow.”
|DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS|