Drivers rarely forget their first victory, but eight years on from his maiden win, Fabian Coulthard is somewhat of an anomaly.
Coulthard has won races for two teams, being Brad Jones Racing and Shell V-Power Racing Team.
His first championship race win came at the 2021 season’s next venue, Symmons Plains, having waited nearly 200 race starts for a victory.
Coulthard’s Tasmanian triumph should have come as little surprise to his rivals; he won three of the four exhibition races on the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix support card a few weeks earlier.
At Symmons Plains, the Kiwi started alongside Jamie Whincup for the maiden 60/60 sprint race, with drivers to contend with two 60-kilometre sprints with a half-time break in between.
WATCH: COULTHARD’S TASSIE BREAKTHROUGH
Coulthard, aboard his Lockwood-backed #14 Commodore, kept Whincup under pressure in the opening stanza.
After the break, a hungry Coulthard pounced on the #1 Red Bull entry, with the New Zealander scything past Whincup at Turn 6 after an attack at the Turn 4 hairpin.
From there, Coulthard ran an assured race to claim championship race win No. 1, leading Whincup and Mark Winterbottom.
“It was the first year of the Car of the Future with Brad,” he reminisced to Supercars.com.
“The car rolled out really well from the introduction of Car of the Future.
Coulthard leads after the break
“I got the first pole at Austin, and won a race at Austin as well.
“To win at Tassie was really special, but the recollection of Tassie isn’t really that good.
"I couldn’t really tell you who I passed for the lead!”
The 2013 season was a breakout campaign for Coulthard, who won three races and claimed a further nine podiums en route to sixth overall.
Two of the wins came on the Tasmanian weekend, with Coulthard backing up in the Sunday finale.
Teammate Jason Bright won the Sunday opener, marking an unprecedented BJR clean sweep.
Happy days for Fabs after the race
It came four years after Coulthard claimed his first podium, and four years before he won the first race for Shell V-Power Racing Team under its DJR Team Penske.
All milestones came at the Symmons Plains circuit, where he will return with Team Sydney having knocked off Greg Murphy as the most capped Kiwi with regards to race starts.
Of active drivers, only Whincup, with 12 wins, has more victories at the Tasmanian venue than Coulthard.
“Tassie’s been a great event for me,” he said.
“I got my first podium there in 2009, got my first race win there in 2013 as well for Brad.
The #14 in prime position in parc ferme
“I also got the first win there for DJR Team Penske in 2017.
“I don’t know what it is about Tassie; I don’t particularly like the track more than others, but I seem to go well there.”
Heading to Tasmania, Coulthard is 20th in the standings after a topsy turvy start to life at Team Sydney, with his best finish a 14th in Race 1 at Mount Panorama.
In acknowledging his team has a long way to go before it can consider itself a contender, Coulthard was confident the Jonathon Webb-led squad can make gains in 2021.
“I’d much rather it take a little bit longer to have a good understanding of what makes the cars better,” the 38-year-old said.
Victory No.1, sealed with a kiss
“Jono is pretty quiet. He doesn’t say too much, but I’m sure if we were doing something wrong, we’d know about it.
“We’re all under the same understanding of that there’s no quick fix, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’ll work collectively as a group to improve the package.”
The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to Symmons Plains for the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint across April 17-18. Tickets are on sale now.
The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo.