Race 28 2023 Repco Supercars Championship - Vailo 500 For the second year succession, the…
PRESS RELEASE/Shell V-Power Ford – Race 8 – Photo: Darin Mandy
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 9th (Fastest Lap: 50.9330s)
Qualifying – 6th (Fastest Lap: 50.8099s)
Race 8 – 17th (Fastest Lap: 51.6592s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 50.7988s)
Qualifying – 4th (Fastest Lap: 50.7808s)
Race 8 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 50.7225s)
RECAP: The 200km, 84 lap Race 8 started well for Shell V-Power Racing Team, with Scott McLaughlin from fourth on the grid and Fabian Coulthard from sixth. Good starts from both drivers saw them hold position, through to their first stops. A quick stop saw McLaughlin leap the field to take the lead, fighting with Lowndes. Lowndes got by Scott to re-take the lead on Lap 29, and they held those positions until their second stops.
Scott pitted two laps earlier than Whincup and Lowndes, and raced them as they exited pit lane. He split the Triple 8 pairing, and then was able to hold that position through to the race finish to take a strong podium, against the tide of the weekend. Coulthard raced well again, gaining positions to be third until his first pit stop. He returned to the track and continued on at strong pace, however he complained of a strange feeling in the rear end of the car.
It would prove to be a loose wheel nut, which failed on lap 41. Fabian returned to the lane, took four tyres and fuel to the finish but lost a lap in the process. He battled hard to end the race in p17 after making several passes in the closing stages. Scott is now second in the points, only 11 behind leader Whincup. Fabian is 11th. The team is third in the Teams’ points.
FABIAN COULTHARD QUOTE: “It’s unfortunate. We had good speed, good enough for the top four or five. The boys always work really hard, but it was just one of those days where things didn’t go as planned. Straight after the pitstop I could feel something wrong, asking Mark to check a few things for me and give me some reassurance. A couple of laps later the wheel nut is bouncing down the track, and there’s three wheels on the wagon. So it’s a bittersweet day for me, knowing that we had pace but couldn’t take advantage of it. Great for Scotty though, good to see him up on the podium.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “For us today, this is almost like a win. We struggled through the weekend, chasing down those Triple 8 Holdens. It was really nice to split them today, and be second on the road. It was a good battle, through the pitstops. I thought I might have been able to scrape past Craig, but after that last stop we just missed out. It feels like a win, and now we move on to Phillip Island where we feel quite strong.”