Darwin Supersprint – Saturday 22 August

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Top 15 Shootout – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m6.7550s)
Race 16 – 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m8.0723)

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Top 15 Shootout – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m6.2014s)
Race 16 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m7.6462s)

RACE 16 RECAP

McLaughlin won the opening race of the Darwin SuperSprint at Hidden Valley Raceway, taking his Supercars career race wins to 49. Coulthard also put in a solid performance moving up four places from his starting position to finish in the top 10.

With only Dunlop soft tyre compounds allocated by Supercars, tyre choice was not an issue for Race 16. Starting on the clean line, McLaughlin moved straight into P1 off the line and into the first turn. Coulthard also had a strong start and charged up six places on the opening lap.

On lap 8, McLaughlin made his compulsory stop and after saving tyres earlier in Qualifying, had two green tyres fitted to the rear of his Mustang. Rival Whincup responded and stopped one lap later, but McLaughlin was able to stay ahead when he rejoined the race. Coulthard also pitted early, coming in for his stop on lap 11. He took on two tyres on the right-hand side of his car.

Coulthard showed solid pace following his stop, making up ground and getting past the Walkinshaw Commodore of Fullwood. In the closing stages of the race, Mostert made contact with the No. 12 Mustang as he made his way past, leaving Coulthard to try and fend off van Gisbergen who passed him on the last corner. McLaughlin comfortably won the 38-lap sprint race while Coulthard added another top 10 result to his resume, finish in P10.

DARWIN SUPERSPRINT – SUNDAY 23 AUGUST

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 17 Position: 6th (Fastest Lap: 1m6.4448s)
Qualifying for Race 18 Position: 16th (Fastest Lap: 1m6.47003s)
Race 17 Position: 4th (Fastest Lap: 1m8.0467s)
Race 18 Position: 11th (Fastest Lap: 1m8.3886s)

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 17 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m6.2585s)
Qualifying for Race 18 Position: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m6.3200s)
Race 17 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m7.7565s)
Race 18 Position: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m7.9208s)

RACE 17 RECAP

McLaughlin led from start to finish to claim his 50th Supercars race win. Teammate Coulthard narrowly missed out on a podium and finished in P4.

McLaughlin had a blinding start to the 38-lap sprint and was able to hold his position ahead of rival van Gisbergen who started next to him on the grid. But it was Coulthard who was most impressive off the line – he blazed from P6, around the outside of the field, and slotted into P3 at the first corner.

Coulthard was the first of the Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustangs to stop in an attempt to undercut van Gisbergen and gain track position. He did this on lap 6 and took on two tyres. Two laps later, McLaughlin made his compulsory stop. Having saved green tyres earlier in the day, he had an advantage over his closest rivals who were swapping to premarked tyres. McLaughlin rejoined the race still ahead of van Gisbergen, but Coulthard remained in P3 behind them both.

Having run a long first stint, Pye was the last car in the field to pit, and while timing showed he could threaten to overtake Coulthard when he rejoined the race, he came out 2-seconds behind him. But Pye’s pace was good on fresh tyres, and with 8 laps to go, Pye was closing in on the No. 12 Ford Mustang. He made his move on lap 29, relegating Coulthard out of podium contention.

By the final lap, McLaughlin had opened the gap to van Gisbergen by more than 9 seconds, and he cruised home to take his second win of the weekend. Coulthard finished in P4.

RACE 18 RECAP

McLaughlin claimed his third race win of the weekend in Race 18, while Coulthard, despite a post-race time penalty, made up five places to finish in P11.

In qualifying for Race 18, McLaughlin’s lap time was fast, but he missed a second pole position by 0.03 seconds and started from P2. A small lockup during his lap cost Coulthard precious time, and with half a second covering the top 19 cars, his small error meant he started from P16.

It was another solid start for McLaughlin, and he was never challenged as he immediately took control of the race off the start line. Coulthard also moved up one place into P15.

Sticking with the shorter first stint strategy, McLaughlin made his compulsory stop on lap 8, rejoining as the effective race leader. Coulthard had good race pace and was hot on the tail of Fullwood, fighting for track position. But on lap 16, the two made contact and Coulthard was handed a 5-second time penalty for sending Fullwood into the dirt.

Coulthard ran a long first stint and was one of the last cars in the field to stop on lap 29; he rejoined in P14. Aware of his looming post-race time penalty, he pushed hard and made up four more places in the closing stages of the race, crossing the finish line in P10. Fortunately, the time penalty only dropped him down one place to P11.

With the win never looking in doubt, McLaughlin charged home to claim his third win for the weekend as well as the round-winner trophy.

 

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