RACE WIN AND TRIPLE PODIUM ON FINAL DAY OF RACING IN DARWINmegan
DARWIN TRIPLE CROWN – SUNDAY 16 AUGUST – QUALIFYING, RACE 14 AND RACE 15
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 14 Position: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m06.4411s)
Qualifying for Race 15 Position: 6th (Fastest Lap: 1m06.8545s)
Race 14 Position: 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m07.7963s)
Race 15 Position: 5th (Fastest Lap: 1m08.3524s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 14 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m06.4155s)
Qualifying for Race 15 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m06.3093s)
Race 14 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m07.6867s)
Race 15 Position: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m08.0803s)
Capping off a fantastic weekend of racing in the top end for the Shell V-Power Racing Team, today McLaughlin scored two more pole positions, a race win and a 2nd place, while Coulthard finished on the podium in the first race of the day.
RACE 14 RECAP:
There were double podium celebrations for the Shell V-Power Racing Team as McLaughlin took out the win and Coulthard P3 in Race 14 at the Darwin Triple Crown.
It was a front-row lockout by the teammates for the start of the 38-lap sprint race, and both McLaughlin and Coulthard opted to start on the Dunlop soft tyre compound.
Coulthard was explosive off the line, and with a clean line on the outside of the track, moved into P1 as they entered the first corner. He marched ahead and had pulled half a second away from McLaughlin by the completion of the first lap.
Coulthard was first to complete his compulsory stop on lap 7, and his crew changed two rear tyres. McLaughlin followed just one lap later and took on two right-side tyres.
McLaughlin exited pit lane ahead of Coulthard who was coming down the straight, and it was a drag race between the two on the approach to the corner. But Coulthard pushed too hard and ran wide into the turn, losing positions to not only McLaughlin but also to Whincup.
With 11 laps remaining and all stops completed, McLaughlin was leading the race, and Coulthard was still tucked in behind Whincup in P3. The podium contenders were more than five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
This is where they finished the race. McLaughlin claimed his 48th Championship win and ties Peter Brock for 5th on the all-time race wins list. Coulthard, just seven seconds off the lead, finished on the podium in P3.
RACE 15 RECAP:
McLaughlin took out his third pole position of the weekend and started the Race 15 on the front row, while Coulthard was just two rows behind in P6. With the quality of soft tyre compound lasting longer than expected throughout the weekend, both Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustangs had the softs fitted for the start of race, as did all other cars in the field.
McLaughlin started well and held his lead into the first corner, while Coulthard hustled through the opening stages of the race and moved past Waters into P5.
McLaughlin and Whincup quickly pulled away and opened up a three-second gap to P3, leaving Coulthard in the battle pack behind.
Coulthard was first of the Shell V-Power Racing Team drivers to pit on lap 6 and did well to react quickly and avoid contact with Whincup who was released in front of him in pit lane. Once safely inside the box, Coulthard took on two tyres on the right side, as did McLaughlin who pitted on the next lap.
Coulthard was positioned P5 effectively following his stop. McLaughlin however, lost track position to Whincup when he rejoined the race and was left to try and find an opportunity to pass as they approached the halfway point of the race.
With 10 laps to go and all compulsory stops completed, McLaughlin and Coulthard were still P2 and P5 consecutively. But for Coulthard to gain the most points and claim the round win and the Triple Crown, he would need to pass Mosert who was ahead of him.
It wasn’t to be, and their positions remained unchanged to the flag. McLaughlin finished on the podium in P2 and Coulthard P5. Coulthard equalled Whincup on 228 points for the weekend but just missed out on winning the Triple Crown on points countback.
McLaughlin still leads the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship by 101 points while Coulthard moves up to P9. The Shell V-Power Racing Team leads the Teams’ Championship by 30 points.
“I have mixed emotions today. Obviously I’m happy with the car’s performance with qualifying on the front row, then getting a podium in the first race today, but a little bit bittersweet in the second race.”
“I felt we were in a good position running fifth and we were ahead of Chaz which would have given us enough points to win the round outright. But there was an unsafe pit release from the Triple 8 guys, and I’m not sure how much contact you have to endure before it becomes a penalty.”
“At the end of the day, I didn’t want to damage my car and I wanted to get to the finish, but it could have been very unsafe for the pit crew if there were any more contact than there was.”
“It would have bee nice to hold that trophy up for the Shell V-Power Racing boys as they deserve it, but it’s not over, and we’ve asked for it to be looked into further.”
“For me, today was a good bounce back. Last night I was mentally down, and I don’t take mistakes like that well, especially when I had a fast car. So it was nice to bounce back today.”
“Two poles, a win and a second is basically the closest I can get to perfect so I’m really happy and hopefully we can carry this into next week.”