MCLAUGHLIN AND MUSTANG WIN IN ADELAIDEBen Nightingale
ADELAIDE 500 – SATURDAY, MARCH 2 – PRACTICE, SHOOTOUT & RACE
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m21.3874s)
Top 10 Shootout – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m19.8918s)
Race 1 – 6th (Fastest Lap: 1m21.2644s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m20.2212s)
Top 10 Shootout – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m20.2551s)
Race 1 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m21.2245s)
RECAP: It was another strong day for the Shell V-Power Racing Team in Adelaide, with Fabian Coulthard taking the the first pole of 2019 in the Top 10 Shootout with a spectacular lap, followed by Scott McLaughlin taking the first victory for Mustang and the 2019 season this afternoon.
The opening race of the season started late in the day, however the temperature remained at 40 degrees, pushing in cabin temperatures into the mid-60s. Coulthard started from pole, with McLaughlin from p3. McLaughlin got a great start and passed both Coulthard and second placed Jamie Whincup to take the lead, with Coulthard second.
A few laps into the race Coulthard was penalised for a jumped start, and given a 10-second time penalty at his first stop. This dropped him from from second to 22nd. He then had to mount a recovery drive.
McLaughlin took his first stop on lap 20, maintaining the effective lead. Coulthard drove through the field to be 6th on lap 30, 14s off the lead. McLaughlin got himself into a comfortable six second lead by lap 35, with Coulthard’s tyres starting to go off.
When the second round of stops began, Coulthard was elevated into p3, behind Whincup and McLaughlin. Coulthard took his second and final stop on lap 45, rejoining in p7.
McLaughlin had pushed his lead to 12 seconds by the time Whincup took his final stop, with Scott being the last car to take second service. The gap to Whincup was 55 seconds when McLaughlin entered the lane. He took tyres and fuel, returning to the track with a 15.3 second lead over Whincup.
With 20 laps left to run McLaughlin was dealing with lapped traffic, which lost him a little time. He maintained an 11-second lead, before rebuilding it to over 13 seconds over the following five laps. Coulthard pushed to sixth, three-seconds behind Mostert and 23 seconds off the lead.
At the conclusion of 250km, Scott McLaughlin took victory in the opening race of the 2019 season, and the first for the new Mustang Supercar, with Fabian Coulthard sixth after a fantastic recovery drive.
McLaughlin leads the Championship, with Coulthard sixth and the team second in the Teams’ title.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “I ballsed up the start, Jamie flinched and then I did the same. We had great car speed though. Congratulations to Scotty and the car 17 crew, they got it done today. Tomorrow should be a little bit easier temperature wise, so hopefully it will be a lot of fun.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “That one’s for you Ford fans, first weekend for the Mustang. We’re here, we’re here to party and we’re going to have a good time. It was really tough, but the cooling and all that stuff was really good for us and I just brought it home. I’m really happy with the car. We don’t have number one on the car but we’re number one today, it’s a great start.”