Shane van Gisbergen’s winning streak in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship came to an end…
PRESS RELEASE/Shell V-Power Racing (Photo: Darin Mandy)
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 21st (Fastest Lap: 55.9270s)
Qualifying – 17th (Fastest Lap: 55.5205s)
Race 12 – 16th (Fastest Lap: 57.4280s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 12th (Fastest Lap: 55.6849s)
Qualifying – 19th (Fastest Lap: 55.5971s)
Race 12 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 57.1542s)
RECAP: A poor qualifying session saw both Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard knocked out in the opening Q1 phase, with Coulthard 17th on the grid, and McLaughlin 19th.
The race proved to be incredible, as McLaughlin mounted a stellar comeback drive and took an against the odds victory. He got a fast start, and gained several positions on the opening lap. He got himself to 12th before a lap-five safety car triggered a full-field entry to the pit lane. It worked well for McLaughlin, gaining several more positions to exit in seventh. Through the second stint he used strong car pace to continue his push to the front. It ended up being a three-stop race, with the combination of speed and good strategy seeing McLaughlin take his fourth win in a row in 2018.
Coulthard also got a good start, however got caught up in an incident at turn four on lap one and dropped to p24. Coulthard then had to stack in pit lane behind McLaughlin at the first stop, which pushed him into the battle pack, where he again got caught up in trouble. This time it was Lowndes who pushed him off the road and back to p23. Coulthard then had some tyre issues that hampered his pace, which caused another off-road excursion on lap 29. Also using a three-stop strategy, he ended the race in p16, after driving back through from the rear several times. McLaughlin now leads the Championship by 158 points, with Coulthard ninth, 438 behind. The team is second in the Teams’ standings, only 12 points behind Triple Eight.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “I got a good start and then something happened at turn five, the field checked up and I got taken out from behind. Then it was exit stage left, and I was on the dirt. That took me back to last, I got past a few and then got pushed off by Lowndes, and went back to last, and then double-stacked in the pit-stop and went back to last. So 16th, I think given the circumstances we did the best we could with what were handed. We’ve had so much bad luck this year, but the package is there for success, we’ve just got to put it together.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “It’s like a footy team that’s 60 points down at half time. You’ve just got to rally, you’ve still got two quarters left and you’ve just got to get on with it. First to 19th, the two Bulls on the front row. it was a bit daunting. Our aim heading in was a top-five, and that a podium would be exceptional. Pretty much everything went our way in that race. It’s the best team effort that I’ve been involved with, I think. One of my best races ever.”