Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m11.5520s)
Practice 2 – 4th (Fastest Lap: 1m010.7861s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing FordPractice 1 – 15th (Fastest Lap: 1m11.5647s)
Practice 2 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m10.4756s)

RECAP: The opening day of the Newcastle 500 was held in very windy conditions, with a strong westerly gusting up to 47km/h. Practice 1 was spent tuning the cars for balance, with both Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard looking for additional drive off corners across their first outings. The team made damper and spring rate adjustments as the session continued, and McLaughlin reported back on his third run that the car felt good.

Coulthard continued to report drive issues through the session, and work continued on Car No. 12, before he made a slight error at the hairpin on his final flyer, which cost around four-tenths of a second, pushing him down the order. McLaughlin didn’t get a clean lap in either, so attention turned to Practice 2.

Practice 2 saw tuning continue across both Shell V-Power Racing Fords, with McLaughlin going fastest in his second outing in the session, which remained the benchmark for the whole session. The wind continued to play havoc with drivers and their braking markers, with front locking a continuing issue. Coulthard set his best time of the session on his 14th lap, pushing him to p4 at the end of the session.

COULTHARD QUOTE: “It today was a pretty good day. This place is pretty crazy, it’s a bit of a bullring and very difficult to set the car up perfectly for the whole lap. It’s very close, and we ended up P4 so it’s a good start to the weekend.”

MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “Overall we’ve had a really good day, and everything feels good. We’ve found a combination that we really like, and everything has gone well. We tried everything that we wanted to and went through a really solid program today. It’s going to be all about qualifying here, the race is going to be long, but track position is key and that’s what we’re working on.”