STRONG START TO 2020Ben Nightingale
ADELAIDE 500 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – QUALIFYING AND RACE 1
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 11th (Fastest Lap: 1m20.0875s)
Top 10 Shootout – N/A
Race 1 – 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m21.1318s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m19.6220s)
Top 10 Shootout – 7th (Fastest Lap: 1m19.8490s)
Race 1 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m20.9098s)
RECAP: Race 1 of the 2020 Supercars Championship saw defending champions Shell V-Power Racing Team kick off their campaign with Scott McLaughlin taking a hard-fought, strategy driven podium while Fabian Coulthard grabbed a solid Top 10 result.
Both drivers had to work for it, with the new-for-2020 rules package making the cars more lively and difficult to drive, especially across a 250km race distance.
McLaughlin struggled in traffic early, before the team put him on an alternate strategy from lap eight to give him fresh tyres and clean air. It allowed the Car No.17 pilot to drive to the front of the pack, and despite some late race challenges from Shane van Gisbergen, McLaughlin took a strong second place finish.
Coulthard had a harder time of it, starting 11th. He got a good start and made up several positions on the opening lap, before being checked up by Nick Percat in his damaged BJR Commodore. This pushed him back to 14th, and he had to work his way forward from there.
He made his way to the lead twice across the pit stop sequences, before dropping back into 14th and battling his way forward with better car speed and good driving to finish 10th.
Race 2 of the 2020 championship will conclude the Adelaide 500 tomorrow.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “It wasn’t a bad race. I got a really good start, but I just chose the wrong lane going through the staircase and got bottled up behind Percat. We were out of position, got dragged back a fair bit in that first stint and once we got past that car we actually had really good pace. We moved forward, but didn’t need that setback on the first lap. We’ve now got a race under our belts, we hve an idea of how the car is going to go and have a direction on where we need to head with it for tomorrow.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “It’s a credit to the team here at Shell V-Power Racing, that strategy was awesome. My car pace in taffic wasn’t that good, so getting me into fresh air and allowing me to hustle was really good. We need to improve the car in traffic, or qualify on pole and lead tomorrow. Good job to Jamie and his crew. A great start to the year for us. Thanks to all our partners, it’s going to be a great season.”