Coulthard ready to write new Bathurst chapter

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 04/10/2018
  • By Dale Budge

Shell V-Power Racing’s Fabian Coulthard wants to be remembered for more than his 2010 crash when he takes on Sunday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The Kiwi suffered a frightening first-lap crash at the 2010 race, after losing control at the bottom of Conrod Straight barrel-rolling in the sand trap in spectacular fashion.

“I got more coverage than the race winner that year for that crash,” Coulthard reflected. “It has become an iconic part of this race that crash – obviously it is for the wrong reasons.

“Last year made up for it a little bit – being on the podium and actually what has been a race where I haven’t had much luck to getting a race where I came away with a decent result.

“It is what it is – that crash is in the past now and we look forward.”

Coulthard hopes to etch his name into Bathurst folklore for the right reasons - by winning the race come Sunday afternoon.

“You work your whole career to align yourself with a good team and I am finally here and I need to make the most of the opportunity,” Coulthard said.

“This year and last year were the best chances I’ve had of winning this race. We have come close a few times but haven’t quite had the outright luck at the end there to be in the right position.

“You do dream about winning this race and what it would be like but at the moment it is a dream – I am yet to turn that dream into a reality.”

He is just one of a number of New Zealanders in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship that shape as strong contenders to win Sunday’s 161-lap test.

His Shell V-Power teammate Scott McLaughlin set a lap record in qualifying on pole for the race last year and starts alongside Frenchman Alex Premat as a combination to beat.

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen will race with fellow Kiwi Earl Bamber in the all-conquering Red Bull Holden Racing Team that has dominated recent events.

On top of that Richie Stanaway proved fast in the wet on Thursday’s practice day while Nissan’s Andre Heimgartner has shown good speed at the famous venue as well.

Not since Greg Murphy in 2004 has a Kiwi in the fulltime championship won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“I think we all have a long way to go to catch the King of the Mountain from a New Zealand point of view in Murph – he won four of them,” Coulthard said.

“We have all got great cars so if I can’t be the one to win it then I would enjoy seeing one of the others win it.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will head to New Zealand following the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, with the ITM Auckland SuperSprint on November 2-4.

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