‘More to come’ from new Coulthard partnership

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 02/06/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Shell V-Power Racing managing director Ryan Story believes the new partnership between Fabian Coulthard and engineer Mark Fenning is working well, and that “there’s more to come”.

Team stalwart Fenning moved back into race engineering for the first time since 2015 this season, after Coulthard’s six-year partnership with Phil Keed came to an end.

Coulthard had a torrid season opener in Adelaide, and has worked his way from 20th in the standings back to seventh in recent months.

That included a first win of the season in the Sunday race at Winton, which marked the end of the first block of the campaign.

“You’re only as good as your last race!” Story told Supercars.com of the pairing’s performance.

“I think it’s going really well. We’ve got a lot of confidence in both Mark and Fabian and they’re doing a great job.

“For those guys to have a win, it strengthens the partnership for sure, but it also reiterates the potential of that partnership and the direction it’s taking.

“We’re really pleased and proud of where it’s heading and we think there’s more to come there, for sure.”

Coulthard’s team-mate Scott McLaughlin leads the championship by 131 points, with five race wins and seven ARMOR ALL Pole Positions.

After 14 races, the pair are separated by 408 points, Coulthard’s other two podiums coming in the form of third-place finishes at Albert Park.

Beyond his tough Adelaide weekend, Coulthard had a wheel-nut failure at Symmons Plains and lost a front-row grid spot at Phillip Island due to a rear-wing breach.

Noting the Winton victory will give Coulthard confidence, Story believes the #12 Shell Ford’s performance has been better than the pure results.

Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton Motor Raceway, Winton, Victoria. May 18th to 20th 2018

“Fabs has been a victim of circumstance,” he added.

“We’ve made some mistakes in pitlane, there’s been some things that have happened on-track that have really hampered his progress and meant the results sheet doesn’t necessarily reflect his competitiveness.”

Test day to be ‘pretty straightforward’

The Ford squad will test on Monday at Queensland Raceway alongside chief rival Triple Eight, Tekno Autosports and Matt Stone Racing.

While the factory Holden squad has been counting down to the chance to learn more about its new ZB Commodore, the continuity of the Falcon package means Story’s team will have a simpler day.

“The test for us is a pretty straightforward undertaking,” Story said.

“We’ve got developments, like we always have, that we want to explore and see if they make it better or worse, whether we take a step forward or otherwise.

“And then we start thinking about some of the other races we’ve got later on and certainly Darwin being the next one off the rank.”

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