Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin will take bragging rights to the next Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event in Tasmania after securing victory at the Rolex Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
The Shell Fords were unlucky not to record a clean sweep of wins when Coulthard blew a tyre when holding a commanding lead but still did enough to secure the most points for the weekend from team-mate McLaughlin and Sunday winner Chaz Mostert.
Mostert snapped a long winless streak in a dramatic finale to the Coates Hire Supercars Challenge which after Whincup also shredded a tyre having assumed the lead from Coulthard. Mostert pounced on the hapless Coulthard and Whincup to sweep through to a surprise victory.
It was Mostert’s first Supercars race victory since August, 2015, having suffered a long drought following his crash at Bathurst that season.
“I only got the podium through some misfortune from some of the other guys, but I’m pretty ecstatic to get win considering I haven’t had one since 2015,” Mostert said.
“I don’t know if you count the grand prix for wins but there are a lot of guys that do so we will definitely take it. Last year I went without a win so it is good to get the monkey off the back and we have just got to keep trying to produce this form and get more wins.”
Whincup’s misfortune handed the overall victory back to Coulthard, whose 20th place helped him edge out McLaughlin 241 points to 235.
“It was meant to be,” Coulthard said. “It was a pretty bizarre way to win the weekend, but the boys have worked very hard all weekend and I feel like we deserved to win.
“We’ve got a little bit to go, and a little bit to achieve. It was pretty weird to have a puncture and then see Jamie have the same issue. To take not only the round win but a 1-2 as well is pretty awesome.”
McLaughlin finished seventeenth in race four after copping steering damage on the opening lap.
“We were up against it, we had a difficult time today, and I got some damage early on which seriously hurt the car,” McLaughlin said.
“I had to soldier on, I had about 90 degrees of lock going down the straights, and right-handers where horrendous. We continued on and managed to get a one-two result for Shell V-Power Racing.”
Not for the first time this weekend, there was carnage at the first corner as the 24-car field attempted to squeeze through the tight right-hander.
James Moffat was spun around in the melee, while Cameron Waters’ Monster Ford was subsequently forced to pit with damage and a small fire caused by running through the grass.
The chaos saw Scott McLaughlin make significant contact with the back of Garth Tander, shooting the Shell V-Power Ford into the air.
The Championship now heads to Symmons Plains near Launceston on April 7-9 for the second Championship event of 2017 after the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.