Comeback Kings of the Gold Coast

October 22, 2017

Fabian Coulthard & Tony D'Alberto - No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Qualifying – 22nd (Fastest Lap: 1m11.5090s)
Race 22 – 9th (Fastest Lap: 1m11.6827s)

Scott McLaughlin & Alex Premat - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Qualifying – 13th (Fastest Lap: 1m11.1818s)
Race 22 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m11.5947s)
Fabian Coulthard & Tony D'Alberto - No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Recap: After qualifying this morning, the mood in the Shell V-Power Racing garage was a sombre one. However the team set to work to improve the cars for the 300km race this afternoon. The work paid off, with the Car 12 crew of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto able to race hard, gaining an impressive 13 positions over their starting place. D'Alberto showed that the car had pace in his opening stint, pushing forward to 14th before he handed the car over to Coulthard. Fabian continued to work his way forward, getting the car into 9th place at the chequered flag. He is second in the Championship standings, only 17 points behind Jamie Whincup. Shell V-Power Racing continues to lead the Teams' Championship, 180 points in front of Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Coulthard Quote: "We had to get it done today. It was hard, it was tough, but to comeback with a top 10 after starting so far back is a credit to the whole team. We put out heads down after qualifying and said what we've done isn't good enough and we came together and made it better. To turn it around, to work well as a team, and to move forward - everyone should be very proud."

D’Alberto Quote: "I was really happy with my stint. We were all a bit down after qualifying, but the car was a great race car. I managed to pass plenty of cars, and hand the car back to Fabian in good nick and he was then able to press on and finish the job. It was a pretty good recovery from 22nd on the grid. We would have loved to join Scott and Alex on the podium, but it was probably a bit of a stretch from that far back. Great team work, and a nice way to end the Pirtek Enduro Cup."

Scott McLaughlin & Alex Premat - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Recap: Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat combined perfect strategy with blistering pace on the Gold Coast today to put together an incredible comeback. After starting from 13th place on the grid, Premat drove an impressive opening stint, passing seven cars on his way to handing the No.17 Shell V-Power Ford back to McLaughlin on Lap 35. That stint set the stage for McLaughlin to then push forward, and he did just that. A strategy masterstroke by the team saw McLaughlin pit two laps before the Triple Eight cars in front of him, and with fresh tyres and a fast car McLaughlin put the ‘undercut’ to good use, managing to get by Craig Lowndes, Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup as they took their stops. He then drove fast and efficiently to take the victory by 1.5s. In a ‘made-for-TV’ twist, he ran out of fuel at pit entry after his victory burnouts, and pushed his car to Victory Lane. He remains third in the Championship, however is now only 27 points behind new leader Whincup.
McLaughlin Quote: "What a finish – I don't mind pushing my car if it's pushing it into Victory Lane! Thanks to everyone at Shell V-Power Racing, this is such a good way to come back after Bathurst. Alex did an incredible job in that opening stint, he saved our day with that drive. Thanks so much to him, what a great way to finish the Pirtek Enduro Cup!"

Premat Quote: "It was a good start, the car felt good after the first few laps. I love this track, and it kept getting better and better. The tactic was to push hard, pass cars and get the car as far to the front as I could. I felt like it was a really good base for Scott to then push really hard. I'm so pumped for Scotty and his Championship, I'm very happy and looking forward to next year."