McLaughlin Extends Championship Lead In Darwin

June 17, 2018

Fabian Coulthard - No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Qualifying – (Fastest Lap: 1m05.7934s)
Top 10 Shootout - (Fastest Lap: 1m06.2119s)
Race 16 – (Fastest Lap: 1m07.2787s)
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford

Qualifying – (Fastest Lap: 1m05.5538s – NEW LAP RECORD)
Top 10 Shootout - (Fastest Lap: 1m05.8789s)
Race 16 – (Fastest Lap: 1m07.1690s)

Recap:  Race 16 started well for the Shell V-Power Racing Team, with both Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard getting off the line strongly on the long chute down to turn one. McLaughlin settled into third place for the opening stint, with Coulthard up one spot to seventh. The opening stint was longer than yesterday, with Scott pitting on lap 21 and re-joining p13 in effective fifth place on the road. In-car cameras showed that McLaughlin's cooling fan air hose had disconnected from his helmet, in a 68-degree Celsius cabin to test his preparation and fitness. To add to the issues, Car No.17 started to blow smoke around lap 30, with oil temps rising to cause oil surge/blow-by in the engine. Car No.17 engineer Ludo Lacroix coached McLaughlin to ensure that he got cooling air into the engine on the straight across each lap, and the problem was able to be managed as temperatures came back under control. A lap 55 Safety Car bunched the field back up, however on the restart it was status quo at the front as Reynolds pulled away from McLaughlin, who continued to manage his engine issue whilst defending from Jamie Whincup behind him. McLaughlin was able to maintain position, and took a hard-earned second place for his second podium of the weekend, extending his championship lead to 161 points. Coulthard was mid-pack after his first stop, and then made a series of moves to get through the field passing several cars to get himself back to 8th position. He was under some pressure late in the race, but held the spot to finish where he started. Coulthard maintains seventh place in the points, whilst the team continues to lead the Teams' points by 48 over Triple Eight.
Coulthard Quote: "We started eighth, and worked hard to finish eighth! I made some good passes, I passed a lot of cars today. The car was good, but there were seven other quicker cars in front of us. We made the car a lot better today, but we unfortunately had to use more greens than we wanted to yesterday, so had to use old tyres in the Shootout today. We still managed eighth, so not a bad day. Onwards to Townsville."

McLaughlin Quote: "Congrats to David [Reynolds] and Erebus, they did a great job. For us at Shell V-Power Racing it was tough going there. The engine was hot, I was hot and we had stuff going on everywhere. It was a solid day for us, we'll take that and run. The car was good, but I couldn't get close to anyone because of the heat in the engine. And with the helmet fan it was very hot, but that's why we train so we can go hard. All up, a solid result and we leave with more Championship points, so I'm happy with that."