McLAUGHLIN WINS FINAL RACE AT TOWNSVILLE SUPERSPRINT

TOWNSVILLE SUPERSPRINT – SUNDAY 30 AUGUST – QUALIFYING, RACE 20 AND RACE 21

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 20: 15th (Fastest Lap:1m12.7692s)
Qualifying for Race 21: 16th (Fastest Lap: 1m12.6079s)
Race 20: 15th (Fastest Lap: 1m13.4381s)
Race 21: 17th (Fastest Lap: 1m14.7801s)

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 20: 13th (Fastest Lap:1m12.7000s)
Qualifying for Race 21: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m12.1793s)
Race 20: 6th (Fastest Lap: 1m13.6876s)
Race 21: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m13.6180s)

RACE 20 RECAP
Scott McLaughlin salvaged a reasonable result in Race 20 with McLaughlin fighting his way up seven spots to finish in P6.

Both the Shell V-Power Racing Team cars struggled for balance in qualifying and McLaughlin was only fast enough for P13 and Coulthard P15.

Starting mid-pack, there was always the possibility of damage through the normally chaotic turn 2, but it was a surprising clean run and both the No 12. And No.17 Ford Mustang’s remained unscathed. The proceeding opening laps did see plenty of biff and barge however, and both McLaughlin and Coulthard had lost two places by lap 5.

In an attempt to get him out of traffic, McLaughlin was the first car in the field to pit on lap 9, and he took on three tyres. On the same strategy, Coulthard was stopped one lap later.

The strategy had a positive impact and by the closing stages of the 39-lap race, McLaughlin had clawed his way up to P6 and Coulthard P12. Coulthard also clocked the fastest time of the race with a 1m13.4381s

By the end of the race McLaughlin had moved up to more places to P6. With other rivals on fresher tyres, Coulthard lost three places by the time he passed the chequered flag and finished in P15.

RACE 21 RECAP
McLaughlin led Race 21 from start to finish to take the top step in the final hitout out the Townsville SuperSprint. Despite a race-long onslaught by Waters, McLaughlin was able to hold him off for the 39-lap sprint.

After a front suspension change, McLaughlin had good recovery in Qualifying for Race 21, claiming his 70th pole position by just 0.0230 late in the session. Coulthard was out of fresh rubber and could only manage P16.

At the start of Race 21, McLaughlin was quick to assert himself over the field and led the from the outset. Coulthard had an issue when the lights went green and found himself at the rear of the field in P24. But with good car pace, Coulthard was charging and was back up to P20 by lap 5.

By lap 11, McLaughlin was just 0.9 seconds clear of his nearest rival, Waters. Waters tried to undercut McLaughlin, stopping before him on lap 17. But the Shell V-Power Racing Team responded, and McLaughlin stopped on the next lap to take on three fresh tyres. He rejoined the race still ahead of Waters, but Waters was aggressive and immediately put the heat on the No.17 Ford Mustang.

Coulthard didn’t pit until very late in the race to try and take advantage of having newer tyres than others. But he was in P23 when he rejoined the race, and with only 12 laps remaining, he had plenty of work to do.

McLaughlin was able to fend off Waters and open a gap of 4.1 seconds to claim the race win and his 52nd Supercars Championship race win. Coulthard finished in P17.

McLaughlin leads the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship by 123 points, and Coulthard is P9. After a tough weekend, the Shell V-Power Racing Team drops back to P2 in the Team’s Championship.

COULTHARD QUOTE
“I was pretty positive after yesterday, and this morning we tried to tune the car up and make it better, but I don’t feel like we made the same leaps forward as others did. That sort of set us up our day as qualifying is key, as we know.”

“To qualify where we did in both sessions made our day very tough, and I just sort of ran around where I started. We need to look at our strategy and see if we can do anything better there.”

“At the start of that final race, I loaded the clutch, and it went away, and then the engine stalled. So I sat there and everyone went past me, and I dropped back to 24th.”

“I passed a few cars before the pit stop but didn’t really have any pace. I was just sort of stuck there and I wasn’t able to capitalise on any of the gaps. I pitted and came out second last and finished 17th, but that is the best I could do with what I had today.”

MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE
“We thought we were in the window with the car and it wasn’t until the first qualifying today that we realised we really weren’t. We made a big change for the second qualifying session today, and the car was really hooked up. I might have been driving it a bit better, but I had a lot more confidence with the car.”

“I didn’t know I’d got pole initially, but I knew we’d be somewhere there and that is what I was really happy with. We were not where, so to end up on pole, I was pretty stoked.”

“The first race today was all about survival and doing our best. I fell back to 17th or 18th at the start purely because I was being safe because there was a lot of crazy stuff going on, which is standard. But I got through that, had good pace and got back to 6th. We had a great strategy and pit stops too.”

“For the final race, it was all about getting a good start and controlling it from there. Again the stop was amazing, and that’s what really won us the race, the pit stop.”