WORK TO DO IN TAILEM BENDBen Nightingale
THE BEND SUPERSPRINT – FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 – PRACTICE
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m51.3443s)
Practice 2 – 25th (Fastest Lap: 1m52.0252s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 18th (Fastest Lap: 1m51.9486s)
Practice 2 – 12th (Fastest Lap: 1m50.8917ss)
RECAP: In the very first Supercars sessions ever held at The Bend Motorsport Park, plenty of time was spent learning the circuit and finding a balance around the 18-turn 4.95km long track. The surface is proving to be quite slippery, being new and very smooth. A strong breeze was also blowing dust across the surface, with the result being plenty of off-track excursions for many of the top runners.
With such a variety of different corner types, finding the right handling balance will be a challenge. At the end of the first session, Fabian Coulthard was 10th and Scott McLaughlin 18th. Across Practice 2, both Shell V-Power Ford crews continued to search for a balance to make their drivers comfortable. Both cars were grip limited across the entire session, with both Scott and Fabian reporting loose handling. This was evident in a number of off-track excursions from them throughout the session.
McLaughlin set a very fast first sector on his final flying lap, however then ran off circuit to lose a large swathe of time. He ended the session 12th, with Coulthard 25th. The team will assess the data and look to make big improvements to both cars before final practice tomorrow morning.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “Practice 1 was good, learning the track and coming to grips with it pretty quickly. We didn’t change the car too much from p1 to p2, but it felt quite different, so we made some changes to try to improve it. We’ll go through everything overnight and try to make it better. I made a couple of small errors on my final flyer, locking up a couple of times. Good thing is we have another practice tomorrow morning before qualifying, where we’ll be aiming to be somewhere up the front.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “We’re not too bad, but we’re not at the optimum pace we need to be and know we can be. There’s plenty for me to work on in my driving, and plenty for Ludo to work on in the car. We’ve got another session tomorrow morning, and we’ve got to get it together then and hopefully have a direction before qualifying.”