TOWNSVILLE SUPERSPRINT – SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Top 10 Shootout: DNS
Race 22 – 7th (Fastest Lap: 1m14.3452s)

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Top 10 Shootout: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m12.0144s)
Race 22 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m13.7193s)

RACE 22 RECAP

McLaughlin had the perfect day out at the Townsville SuperSprint 2 claiming his 71st pole position and his 53rd career race win.

McLaughlin gave a masterclass in qualifying, topping the timesheet in all sessions and claiming the 71st pole position of his career. Coulthard missed out on progressing to the Top 10 Shootout after the crew ran out of time making adjustments to his Ford Mustang. He started Race 22 in P12.

McLaughlin got away to a clean start and easily maintained his P1 position into the opening turns. Coulthard did well to avoid Hazelwood who stalled on the grid in front of him. He moved up three places on the opening lap.

On lap 17, Coulthard was the first of the Shell V-Power Racing Team cars to complete his compulsory stop having been overtaken by Pye two laps earlier. He rejoined in P20 with most of the field yet to pit. McLaughlin made his stop one lap later and took on three fresh tyres. He also gained an undercut benefit in the process.

Once all cars in the field had made their stops, McLaughlin was P1 with a lead of 3.634s over Waters. Coulthard was up to P7, just 0.5seconds behind Percat.

With 10 laps to go, Waters was desperately trying to close the gap between him and McLaughlin, but he never got near McLaughlin. In the closing stages of the race, Coulthard was putting the pressure on Percat, edging closer but just didn’t have enough to pass.

McLaughlin cruised home to complete a perfect day on the track and claim his 53rd career race win. Coulthard finished P7, up 5 spots up from his starting position.

TOWNSVILLE SUPERSPRINT – SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 23: 16th (Fastest Lap: 1m12.8765s)
Qualifying for Race 24: 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m12.5802s)
Race 23: 20th (Fastest Lap: 1m14.5618s)
Race 24: 8th (Fastest Lap: 1m14.3977s)

Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying for Race 23: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m12.3423s)
Qualifying for Race 24: 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m12.4599s)
Race 23: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m14.1646s) 
Race 24: 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m14.0844s)

RACE 23 RECAP

McLaughlin claimed the second step on the podium in Race 23, but unfortunately for Coulthard, heavy damage to the right rear of his car caused on the opening lap meant he finished down the pack in P20.

McLaughlin wasn’t able to match the pace of Percat off the line at the start of the race. As he slowed to tuck in behind Percat heading into turn 2, McLaughlin was passed by van Gisbergen around the outside pushing him back to P3. Coulthard was caught up in the usual push and shove of the battle pack and lost two places after a solid hit to the rear. He dropped to P18.

Coulthard lost more places before making his compulsory stop on lap 15. McLaughlin visited pit lane on the following lap and took on three tyres. A slight delay in his stop meant Whincup nearly jumped him and was just millimetres behind him coming out of pit lane. 

Whincup put the pressure on, but McLaughlin got a chance to make his getaway on the next lap when Hazelwood rejoined the race from pit lane between them. McLaughlin left Whincup to negotiate how he would pass Hazelwood and focussed on closing the gap to van Gisbergen.

Race leader Percat make his pit stop late but didn’t challenge van Gisbergen and McLaughlin when he rejoined, leaving the two as effective race leaders. Although Percat had younger tyres and made some ground, he never challenged the three podium-sitters ahead.

With heavy damage to the right rear of his Ford Mustang, Coulthard was only able to place as high as P20. McLaughlin finished where he started in P2 and claimed his 15th podium of the season.

RACE 24 RECAP

McLaughlin fought valiantly in the intense final stages of Race 24 to finish on the podium in P3. Coulthard made up an impressive six places from his starting position to finish in P8.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team drivers stayed out of trouble on the opening lap of the 39-lap sprint, and both moved up two places. It wasn't long before McLaughlin found himself again battling his Red Bull Racing rival van Gibergen for position. 

McLaughlin made his compulsory stop early on lap 8, and hoped that clean air and an undercut would help his campaign. It did, and once the field had completed their stops, McLaughlin was the race leader. Coulthard ran a longer first stint not stopping until lap 17 for fresh tyres and once all stops were completed, was up to P8.

The safety car was called on lap 25, just as van Gibergen pitted. While he rejoined the race behind Coulthard down in P9, the safety car gave him a considerable advantage over the cars ahead as he was on much newer tyres.

The race restarted with 9 laps to go, and it was a matter tyre life that would decide the winner. Hazelwood wasn’t letting McLaughlin get away when racing resumed, but pressure on Hazelwood from Whincup who was behind him meant McLaughlin could concentrate on pulling a gap. 

Whincup passed Hazelwood with 7 laps remaining and was hunting down the No. 17 Mustang. Van Gisbergen would soon join his teammate in trying to catch McLaughlin. With fresher tyres on the Red Bull cars, McLaughlin wasn’t able to fend them off, and with 3 laps to go, both van Gisbergen and Whincup passed him.

McLaughlin was able to hang on for a podium position and finished in P3, seven places up from his starting position. Coulthard crossed the line in P8, six places up from where he started.

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