Fresh from claiming his first ever Adelaide podium, Fabian Coulthard went one better in Saturday’s second race of the V8 Supercars’ Clipsal 500 by claiming victory and the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings. It was the 100th race win for the Brad Jones Racing squad.
After failing to take the start in the opening race with an oil pump failure on the warm-up lap, the Volvo Polestar Racing squad performed miracles to fit a brand new engine into Scott McLaughlin’s car in time for the second race.
The drama for the young Kiwi hadn’t ended there. Starting from the front row alongside Race 1 winner and reigning champion Jamie Whincup, McLaughlin leaped off the line just fractions of a second too early to take the lead into Turn 1.
McLaughlin was issued a 10-second stop/go penalty to serve during his compulsory pit stop; he pitted from the lead during a Safety Car interruption, but the serving of the penalty during a full-course caution is in violation of the rules and so he was given a further time penalty. After crossing the finish line in third, the additional time penalty dropped him to ninth place.
Whincup had taken over the lead from McLaughlin during his visit to the pits, but his hopes of claiming back-to-back wins went south when he ran wide at the Turn 9 hairpin, allowing Coulthard to slip into the lead.
The Red Bull Racing driver’s woes didn’t end there, as shortly after his left rear tyre blew through the fastest corner of the circuit – the daunting Turn 8 right-hand sweep – and somehow kept his Holden from cannoning into the barriers and having an almighty accident. He limped back to the pits and rejoined in last place, eventually finishing in 21st place.
There were suspicions that debris from two earlier accidents at the same corner had caused Whincup’s dramas. Michael Caruso shunted his Nissan Altima at the same corner, and shortly before Chaz Mostert had achieved the same feat in his Ford Falcon.
There were two other retirees: Will Davison’s 300th race start celebrations will be postponed until tomorrow thanks to a clutch failure before the start of the race, while Time Slade retired late in the race after hitting Shane van Gisbergen’s Holden, dropping the Kiwi to a frustrated 13th.
The Holdens of James Courtney (HRT) and Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing) completed the podium, and the run of Commodores spanned the entire top-five with Garth Tander (HRT) and Jason Bright (Brad Jones Racing) claiming the honours.
Best of the non-Holdens were the Nissans of Rick Kelly and James Moffat in sixth and seventh respectively. Series rookie Ash Walsh made up for a disappointing opening race where he was innocently taken out in someone else’s accident to finish eighth in his Erebus Mercedes.
2015 V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Adelaide – Race 2 (39 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Fabian Coulthard||Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF||39||59:05.681|
|2.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||39||+ 1.957|
|3.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||39||+ 8.855|
|4.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||39||+ 10.006|
|5.||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF||39||+ 15.002|
|6.||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33||39||+ 15.681|
|7.||James Moffat||Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33||39||+ 16.420|
|8.||Ashley Walsh||Erebus Motorsport V8 / Mercedes E63 AMG||39||+ 17.701|
|9.||Scott McLaughlin^||Wilson Security Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||39||+ 18.207|
|10.||Lee Holdsworth||CS Racing / Holden Commodore VF||39||+ 18.288|
|11.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew Prodrive / Ford Falcon FG X||33||+ 18.779|
|12.||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33||33||+ 19.180|
|13.||Shane van Gisbergen||Team TEKNO Darrell Lea / Holden Commodore VF||33||+ 20.009|
|14.||Nick Percat||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport / Holden Commodore VF||33||+ 20.451|
|15.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||33||+ 22.635|
|16.||Marcos Ambrose||DJR Team Penske / Ford Falcon FG X||33||+ 24.110|
|17.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||33||+ 25.226|
|18.||Dale Wood||Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF||33||+ 26.399|
|19.||Tim Blanchard||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport / Holden Commodore VF||33||+ 27.205|
|20.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing / Ford Falcon FG||32||+ 27.573|
|21.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||33||+ 55.573|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Tim Slade||Walkinshaw Racing / Holden Commodore VF||25||Collision|
|DNF.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33||16||Accident|
|DNF.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew Prodrive / Ford Falcon FG X||3||Accident|
|DNS.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8 / Mercedes E63 AMG||0||Clutch|
The Clipsal 500 weekend continues tomorrow with qualifying and the final race, starting at 15:25 local time.
Image via Christian Hartung