Fabian Coulthard secured back-to-back victories in the Supercars Championship’s first nighttime race at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway, following the DJR Team Penske driver’s win last time out at Phillip Island.
Despite further parity changes to the dominant Ford Mustang in the lead-up to the Perth SuperNight event, the Shell-sponsored cars once again locked out the front row of the grid in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. Championship leader Scott McLaughlin secured pole position with a record-breaking lap around the resurfaced 2.4-kilometre circuit, with Coulthard two-tenths of a second slower.
McLaughlin couldn’t convert pole position into the lead, however, bogging down off the line and dropping to third place by Turn 1 as Coulthard and Jamie Whincup – who started from third on the grid both swept ahead of him before the right-hander. Third place became fourth when Chaz Mostert forced his Ford Mustang by at Turn 4.
As Coulthard eased away into the lead, McLaughlin regathered and passed Mostert on Lap 3 with a neat move into the final corner. He then set about closing down Whincup, who proved a tougher prospect to pass once caught.
The DJR Team Penske crew called McLaughlin into the pits early on Lap 15, hoping that him emerging in clear air would allow him the opportunity to undercut Whincup when the Red Bull Holden Racing team served the seven-time series champion.
Whincup made his compulsory stop three laps later and emerged behind McLaughlin, while Coulthard pitted on Lap 19 and kept the effective race lead. Whincup briefly threatened McLaughlin with a look up the inside at Turn 6, but was fended off.
From there on, Coulthard held sway and kept the margin to McLaughlin at roughly two seconds for the remainder of the 50-lap race to claim another 1-2 finish for the team. Coulthard’s victory helped narrow the Drivers’ Championship points deficit to McLaughlin to 112 points.
Whincup couldn’t hand onto third place, succumbing to Mostert with eight laps to go. Despite their parity adjustments, the Ford Mustang would claim a podium lockout.
On fresher tyres by dint of making his pit stop on Lap 27, Shane van Gisbergen zeroed up to the back of Whincup in the final laps. The Red Bull Holden team asked Whincup to allow his teammate through, but found their calls rejected as Whincup argued that his teammate wouldn’t have enough laps to catch third-placed Mostert anyway. The pair staged an exciting battle over the remaining laps, with Whincup eventually prevailing.
All of the field’s six Mustangs finished inside the top ten, with the remaining Tickford-run entries of Will Davison, Cameron Waters and Lee Holdsworth claiming sixth, eighth and ninth respectively. Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) split them in seventh while David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport) completed the top ten.
Simona de Silvestro claimed her best finish of the 2019 season in twelfth place and as the best of the Kelly Racing team’s Nissan runners after a strong drive. The Swiss import qualified midfield but was fell to last at the start with a slipping clutch. An early pit stop would give her clear air to undercut a number of drivers once they cycled through the pits.
The cooler conditions and the resurfaced track saw the Barbagallo circuit’s race lap record, held since 2004 by Jason Bright, finally broken – incredibly the entire 25-car field achieved the feat.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship Pirtek Perth SuperNight – Race 11 Final Classification (50 laps)|
|1.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||46:05.772|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 2.223|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 7.925|
|4.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 12.665|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 13.339|
|6.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||+ 16.476|
|7.||Nick Percat||Holden Guaranteed Value||+ 19.450|
|8.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 20.249|
|9.||Lee Holdsworth||The Bottle-O Racing||+ 20.555|
|10.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 21.741|
|11.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||+ 22.241|
|12.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||+ 34.622|
|13.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 36.565|
|14.||James Golding||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 38.047|
|15.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 38.926|
|16.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 39.519|
|17.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||+ 40.878|
|18.||Mark Winterbottom||Irwin Racing||+ 42.161|
|19.||Garry Jacobson||RABBLE.club Racing||+ 50.227|
|20.||Jack Le Brocq||Truck Assist TEKNO||+ 50.804|
|21.||Tim Blanchard||Petronas Motorsport||+ 52.261|
|22.||Richie Stanaway||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 52.600|
|23.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||1 lap behind|
|24.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||1 lap behind|
|25.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||1 lap behind|
- Tim Blanchard was issued a 5-second time penalty for causing avoidable contact.
Image via Supercars
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