FAST IN PUKEKOHEBen Nightingale
AUCKLAND SUPERSPRINT – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – PRACTICE
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 5th (Fastest Lap: 1m03.2553s)
Practice 2 – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m03.1652s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m03.1150s)
Practice 2 – 24th (Fastest Lap: 1m03.5807s)
RECAP: The opening day of the 2018 Auckland SuperSprint brought both pleasure and pain for the Shell V-Power Racing Team. With all cars running green tyres from the beginning of the day, all cars rolled out fast.
Fabian Coulthard went to p1 on his opening flyer, before Scott McLaughlin then improved the time to take over the p1 slot. Times continued to drop across the session, McLaughlin improved his time to hold the p1 slot. Coulthard improved his time also to finish 5th.
In Practice 2, McLaughlin set his fastest lap on his opening flyer, however he then locked his brakes at Turn 3 and went into the tyre wall on his second flying lap, with the session being red flagged as a result. Damage was minimal, and the team immediately set about repairing the car.
The session restarted after a 10-minute delay, however was again red-flagged after another five minutes when Heimgartner’s Nissan stopped in pit entry. The second restart came with 31 minutes remaining. Coulthard set his first fast time on his eighth lap of the session, before the red flag was flown for the final time in the session with 12 minutes left on the clock, when Todd Hazelwood crashed at the high-speed Turn 1. He was able to restart the car and continue.
Coulthard improved his time on his second to last lap, finishing the session in p14. Tomorrow will bring a final practice session in the morning, before a 20-minute qualifying session and the first of two 200km races for the weekend.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “We tried a few things today and have a good direction. I just need to put it all together into a good lap tomorrow morning. It was a shame to see Scott go into the fence, but it’s a testament to the team that they got it fixed so quickly.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “The car is fast and it feels good, I’m just disappointed. Obviously, mistakes happen, but picking a fly-away round to make a big mistake is really frustrating. I’m disappointed in myself, but we’ll move forward. These things happen in motorsport, and you’ve got to move on. The team have cracked into it, and got the car fixed up really quickly. I’m very fortunate to have the best crew in the lane, and they’ve showed it again today.”