MELBOURNE, Australia - Scott McLaughlin has become 2019 Supercars ‘Champion-Elect’ today, by finishing the Sandown 500 in ninth position, alongside co-driver Alex Premat.
Fabian Coulthard & Tony D’Alberto - No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Warm-Up – 8th (Fastest Lap: 1m08.5152s)
Race 30 – 4th (Fastest Lap: 1m08.6010s – under old record)
Scott McLaughlin & Alex Prémat - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Warm-Up – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m08.2210s)
Race 30 – 9th (Fastest Lap: 1m08.7053s – under old record)
McLaughlin and Premat - who started the race from last position due to a post-qualifying penalty - drove a cautious race, aiming to finish with enough points to close out the title. The result was a 550-point gap to p17 finisher Shane van Gisbergen, with only 300-points left to earn in Newcastle.
Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto started the race from fifth position, and had to battle for it after being spun back to last on lap five. D’Alberto did a fantastic job across his two stints, before Coulthard climbed aboard Car 12 and drove it to a fourth place finish to remain fourth on the points table.
The team’s lead in the Teams’ Championship is 116-points over Triple Eight Race Engineering, and is now the focus for Coulthard and McLaughlin as they head to Newcastle in two weeks.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “I’m pretty happy with that, we recovered really well. We were last on lap five when Tony got turned around, and finished fourth. We had a bit going on, the engine was getting hot so we pitted early to pull out the blanking which wasn’t the optimum strategy and were a little bit wounded in that middle part of the race. Tony and I did the best with what we had, and the best today was fourth. Thanks to Tony for another great year together, he’s a great co-driver. And Congratulations to Scott for going back-to-back. Now we’re aiming to take the Teams’ championship in Newcastle.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “I’m just so proud of this team. We’ve been knocked around a fair bit this year, and they’ve just kept coming back. We started last today, and just ground it out to get a Top 10 result. Thanks to Alex for his work this year, I love Frenchie. I’m stoked to have been able to get it done, but there’s still work to be done for our team and sponsors in Newcastle. We want to win the Teams’ Championship, and will be pushing hard to get that done.”
D’ALBERTO QUOTE: "I've enjoyed another year with Shell V-Power Racing Team for the Pirtek Enduro Cup, and today Fabs and I had a really strong race. It’s a shame we haven't been able to get some better results to show for it, however we've had some bad luck and a few issues along the way. Looking forward to doing it all again next year!"
PRÉMAT QUOTE: “It was great to be with this team again this year, to win the Bathurst 1000 and to help Scott to wrap up the Championship has been fantastic. Shell V-Power Racing Team is so good, to drive for Dick and for Roger is very special to me, and I am looking forward to being able to do it again next year.”