Fabian Coulthard has led home Shell V-Power Racing team mate Scott McLaughlin to a 1-2 finish in the opening PIRTEK Perth SuperNight race.
“It’s awesome to win in the dark, all the good stuff happens after dark, so I’m pumped. Scotty and I spoke about it before the start, ‘I either need a blinder to get in front of you or you need a blinder and I’ll slot behind,” commented Coulthard.
“Thankfully it went my way, I got an awesome launch and was able to get the run into Turn 1. It’s great to have a strong car and to be able to be back on the top step of the podium. Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
After another stellar qualifying sessions saw McLaughlin take his seventh pole of the year, with Coulthard right alongside for a Shell V-Power Racing Team front-row lockout.
Coulthard got the better start, slotted into p1 with McLaughlin getting a slow start to drop to fourth behind Mostert.
The pace was quick from the outset, with Coulthard setting a new lap record of 54.4202 on lap two, while McLaughlin took third place off Mostert on lap three, quickly building a half second gap.
Coulthard improved his lap record on lap four with a 54.2341, with a 1.4-second gap to Whincup in second. McLaughlin drove up to the back of Whincup by lap seven, applying pressure while looking for a place to pass.
The lap record was bettered again on lap seven, when Coulthard set a 54.1803s effort. By this point all 25 cars had gone under the old lap record thanks to the new track surface.
By lap 10 Coulthard had a 2.1s gap back to Whincup, with McLaughlin continuing to apply pressure to the seven-time champion.
By lap 15 Coulthard’s lead was 2.2s. McLaughlin was still third, now 0.6s behind Whincup before pitting. A great stop for McLaughlin got him back on track in 20th, and first of those who’d stopped.
McLaughlin ran several fast laps, resetting the lap record on lap 17, with a 54.1761. Whincup stopped on lap 18 from second, before Coulthard stopped on lap 19 from the lead.
Another great stop saw Coulthard rejoin in front of McLaughlin, with Whincup behind. Whincup attacked McLaughlin for several laps, attempting the pass several times before dropping back
“We ended up with a decent result tonight in comparison to the last few races,” said Whincup. “At the start of the race, the car in front had a bad start so we were able to captialise and move up to P2. At the end of day however it’s all about pace.
Lapped traffic was an issue for the drivers as they came through the slower pack, with Coulthard picking his way through. McLaughlin continued to defend against Whincup, before beginning to build a gap.
By lap 28 Coulthard is back in the lead of the race, with McLaughlin second. They worked together to drive away from Whincup, building a 2.2s lead by lap 38. At that point, Coulthard was 1.7s in front of McLaughlin.
With five laps remaining the gap was out to 5.6s over Mostert who was now third after passing Whincup, Coulthard 1.9s in front of McLaughlin. Shane van Gisbergen came home fifth.
Coulthard crossed the finish line 2.2s in front of McLaughlin to take his second victory in a row, McLaughlin continues to lead the championship by 112 points over Coulthard. The team now leads the Teams’ points table by 568 over Triple Eight.