So it was a good weekend for the V8s and particularly Brad Jones Racing's Fabian Coulthard who won two out of the weekend's three races! I've written wrap ups of race two and three on the trusty Richard's F1 site: you can find the link to race review two here (Bright's Drought Over), but here is what I wrote for the final...
Kiwi driver Fabian Coulthard sealed the deal at the Symmons Plains track yesterday taking advantage of a late safety car appearance, chalking up his second V8 win at the Tasmania Microsoft Office 365 in race three for the weekend.
The Lockwood Racing Holden driver also won the 60/60 Super Sprint race on Saturday and, coming off fine form over the Albert Park weekend, converted the speed into Championship points.
Coulthard pipped Ford driver Mark Winterbottom three laps from the finish followed by James Courtney in the HRT Holden. The Drivers’ Championship lead is still in Jamie Whincup’s hands however, who came in fifth under the rear wing of Jason Bright in the BJR Holden. Will Davison, Jonathon Webb, Scott McLaughlin, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander rounded out the top ten places.
Coulthard was naturally pretty stoked to claim his first two official wins this weekend.
“We got three fake ones at the Australian Grand Prix and it’s great to get one under the belt,” the New Zealander said. “We came in confident after the performance at the Grand Prix. You can’t ask for much more and the team did such a great job today.”
It was a well fought race, with lots of action for viewers. It almost ended tragically in fact, with the young Scott Pye crashing head-on into the wall in the final stages of the race.
It has been reported an issue with the brakes (i.e. they failed!), but fortunately Pye is fine and amazingly walked away with only sore joints. The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport rookie said there was no warning before the brakes went.
“I’d been pumping (the brake pedal)… but I pumped it and it went to the floor, so there was nothing I could do… My eyes were dragged to that Armco wall and I knew I was going in.
“I saw the Armco wall took some of that impact and got pushed back. It’s a freak accident; it’s one of those things,” he lamented.
“A big hit like that puts such a shockwave of force through the chassis that I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s stuff that’s damaged at the back of it,” team owner Lucas said afterwards.
“Until we have it back to an absolute shell we’re not going to know the extent of the damage.
“New Zealand is definitely out of the question but touch wood we’ll have it back for Perth.”
Subsequently, the race was temporarily halted behind the safety car and restarted with only a few laps to go. It was the race’s second restart after the full course yellows were brought out earlier in the race to clear the rear diffuser of Tim Slade’s Mercedes on the track.
Various cars took damage throughout the race that they will have to carry over or repair in the next few days before they head off across the seas to the New Zealand meet. Todd Kelly battled issues throughout the race and stopped quite early on Lap 20 with another engine failure in his Nissan Altima.
Lowndes, who was hoping to break the record for all-time wins, didn’t have a spectacular weekend and finished in eleventh place.
Jonny Reid from Wilson Security Dick John Racing, praised the format of the race nonetheless.
“The race format was really good and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it. The racing was absolutely crazy in the early laps of both legs with cars running door to door and some big dust clouds where cars were spearing off.”
We wish all the drivers and their teams the best of luck in getting their gear across for the next meet in only a few days! Stay tuned for more V8 news from RichardsF1.com!
Photos via V8Supercars Media.