DJRTP soaks up teams’ championship win

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/10/2020
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

A third teams’ championship title in four years is proof of the effort that goes into both cars at Shell V-Power Racing, says team manager Ben Croke.

Fourth and fifth for its Fabian Coulthard/Tony D’Alberto and Scott McLaughlin/Tim Slade entries at Bathurst secured the title for the Queensland outfit.

Shell V-Power Racing ended up 262 points clear of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, which had one car win the race and the other crash out.

McLaughlin won the drivers’ title for a third-straight year in 2020, again leaving Coulthard – who ended up sixth – in his shadow.

While the team has been the subject of several barbs, including Jamie Whincup’s “one plus one” comment in Townsville this year, Croke takes great pride in the teams’ title.

“As a team it means so much to all the guys that are behind the scenes, both at the workshop and those that have been travelling away,” he said on Sunday of the title.

“For us the teams’ championship is the number one thing we aim for. We want to be the end garage and it’s proof that both cars really do a good job.”

Asked further about the team’s success, he said: “It’s just hours behind the scenes, late nights. I don’t think we’ve had a night before midnight [at Bathurst].

“At the workshop it’s never just a standard day, it’s long hours, guys looking at data, pitstop practice, all that sort of stuff.

“As a team we even made it to the final of the Pit Stop Challenge, stuff like that is what we strive for.”

This season marked the fourth-straight year that the Shell Ford and Red Bull Holden outfits finished in the top two of the teams’ title.

The top five places were unchanged by the Bathurst results and in fact remained as they were in 2019.

The two lots of two-car Tickford teams finished third and fourth, with #6/#55 ahead of #5/#44, while Penrite Racing was fifth.

The Bathurst results shuffled the remainder of the order, with Team 18’s double top 10 lifting it from eighth after Tailem Bend to sixth.

Brad Jones Racing’s horror Bathurst meant its #8/#14 combination went the other way, from sixth to eighth, with Walkinshaw Andretti United retaining seventh.

Kelly Racing, Brad Jones Racing’s #3/#4 combination, Team Sydney and Matt Stone Racing rounded out the 2020 standings.

Accepting the teams’ championship trophy on Sunday, Croke also paid tribute to the Melbourne-based teams for their sacrifice during the year.

Shell V-Power Racing’s 2021 plans are currently unconfirmed, with McLaughlin set to make his IndyCar debut with Team Penske this weekend ahead of a likely full-time move.

Roger Penske, who co-owns the team alongside founder Dick Johnson and managing director Ryan Story, is yet to publicly announce his intentions beyond this season.

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