Fabian Coulthard Wins Race 11 While Darwin Triple Crown
DJR TEAM Penske broke their Darwin drought in style, Fabian Coulthard leading Scott McLaughlin home in the action-packed Race 11.
Failing to get the start and an early pit stop saw him in 4th place. The championship leader holding off his teammate for his 3rd win of the season & the team’s 1st at Hidden Valley.
Coulthard said that it was his 1st and credited everyone for their efforts. Further, Scotty played pretty kind there, a 1-2 for the team, just could not ask for more.
Nick Percat completed and sealed his 1st podium finish for Brad Jones Racing, withstanding pressure from Jamie Whincup & Chaz Mostert for the 2nd half of the race.
The reigning champion
Shane van Gisbergen had a horrid time at Race 11.
The Kiwi charged past the early leader David Reynolds & checked out to a handy margin, but suffered a blown tyre on Lap 19 to drop him to the back of the field.
He made his way ahead after the Safety Car period, but a late tangle with Garth Tander & Jason Bright left him parked with a broken steering & no points.
The Nissan driver led in the early laps prior to his pit stop. It could have been 2nd place but a stuck throttle sent him into the barriers in Lap 19. The race was action-packed from the 1st corner.
Mark Winterbottom got tangled with Dale Wood in an incident to be investigated by the stewards post race, Frosty eventually recovered to finish 14th.
Todd Kelly & Michael Caruso at the end of the lap were turned around in separate incidents. James Courtney copping a fifteen sec penalty for his role in dispatching the elder Kelly brother. The next lap saw wildcard Macauley Jones spinning across the pit straight after a brush with Courtney leaving the final corner.
Tander’s late-race tangle followed by a hip-and-shoulder from Will Davison at the final corner as they battled for 13th position.
Who could have won?
McLaughlin could have, but for a mistake while battling the younger Kelly for the lead. He tried to pass him around the outside but instead ended up on the grass.
Laughlin apologized for his terrible miscalculation. He said he tried to hang on the cushion but it did not work.
Was relieved & thrilled to meet the DJR Team Penske pilots on the podium post fighting off the advances of Whincup & Mostert.
He mentioned that he was nervous on the last 16 laps and I know it was important for my team. This being my 1st legitimate podium on pace, means a lot.
Completed 6th from Craig Lowndes who made up 11 spots from 18th to finish on 7th.
He fell to 8th after an electrical issue left him frustrated & messes in him mind.
Finished a solid 9th in front of Lee Holdsworth. Thus capping off his return to Hidden Valley with a Top 10 finish.
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