Race 28 2023 Repco Supercars Championship - Vailo 500 For the second year succession, the…
PRESS RELEASE/Shell V-Power Racing – Photo: Darin Mandy
After another bruising 200km race in Townsville, Scott McLaughlin took his second podium of the weekend, with Fabian Coulthard driving through the pack.
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 18th (Fastest Lap: 1m13.0666s)
Race 18 – 8th (Fastest Lap: 1m14.0526s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 6th (Fastest Lap: 1m12.6238s)
Race 18 – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m13.3515s – Fastest Race Lap)
RECAP: The 200km Race 18 offered a wild opening couple of laps that saw Scott McLaughlin slip from sixth at the start to 11th, whilst Fabian Coulthard sliced through the pack to be 12th after starting 18th. Once the dust settled, both drivers began to move forward. McLaughlin was into ninth by lap 10, when he took his first pit stop. He was the first car to take service, and it would prove to be a strategy masterstroke from the No.17 crew.
Using the benefit of fresh tyres and clean air, McLaughlin launched through the pack into a net second place after the first round of stops. He battled Triple Eight’s Shane Van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes through the middle stint, holding onto third place into his second and final pit stop with 30 laps to go. He entered the pit lane with Craig Lowndes right on his tail, however a fast stop from the team gained him time in the lane that he was able to extend once back on track.
A late Safety Car with seven laps remaining saw Lowndes putting pressure back on McLaughlin, however he was able to hold him off to take his second podium of the weekend. It was a solid points haul, that sees him continue to lead the Drivers’ points by 131 over Van Gisbergen. After starting 18th, Coulthard had a sensational race using strong car pace, good race craft and intelligent strategy to make his way through the pack. He was 10th after the second round of stops were completed, and then passed Will Davison and James Courtney on track to finish the race eighth. He now sits sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, with the Team now second in the Teams’ points, 69 behind Triple Eight.
COULTHARD QUOTE: I’m happy with the race, but I really need to sort qualifying. That is my Achilles’ heel at the moment. If I can sort that we don’t give ourselves as much to do in the races. I’ve always been able to race, that’s always been a strength. The way the race went today, we got by plenty of cars, stuck to our plan, the car is straight and we’ve come out of it looking pretty good.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “I think that two podiums when we were up against the pace that Triple Eight have shown this weekend is really good for us as a team. I was really disappointed with the Top 10 Shootout today, in myself. I made some mistakes, and the car was very loose. The start today wasn’t great, and today my driving really wasn’t the best, but the team pulled me through. They gave me a great strategy and awesome support. They’re always there for me.”
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