28 Feb 2018
WHILE it's business as usual for reigning Virgin Australia Supercars teams' champion Shell V-Power Racing, there's some unfinished business in the minds of drivers Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard.
By Matthew Agius
There is complete continuity at Shell V-Power Racing in 2018, with no change to the team's driver line-up, primary sponsor and endurance driver combinations.
That gives the opportunity for the iconic outfit to push ahead with its goal of bringing the Number 1 into its stable, after falling agonisingly short in last year’s season-decider.
Both series runner-up Scott McLaughlin and third-placed Fabian Coulthard led the championship during 2017, but won’t let the disappointment of last year weigh them down.
Their simple motto heading into this season is, ‘Unfinished Business.’
“I’m excited to start the year, it’s going to be a great year and hopefully we can get some unfinished business done,” McLaughlin said.
“ was a tough pill to swallow, but I had an awesome off-season, got away from everything and I just want to get back into it, to get started.
“We’ve talked enough about what happened, and what we want to do this year, and now we just want to get on with it.
“You use what happened last year as a bit of momentum, and hopefully we can just springboard… and have a good year.”
Announcing a partnership extension with Shell beyond 2020 on Wednesday, the team will be one of just three on the grid to have featured in the very first Adelaide 500 in 1999 (along with Garry Rogers Motorsport, Brad Jones Racing and the former HRT-turned-Walkinshaw Andretti United).
Coming off a teams’ championship victory is no small feat for the team, and Coulthard expects the Shell V-Power Fords to benefit from rolling out of the first garage in pit lane.
“It’s definitely going to play its part, we can see what others are doing and plan and do things accordingly to make sure we get out ahead of them,” Coulthard said.
“From a team level, it’s fantastic to say you’re the teams’ champion. We’ve done a lot of hard work, and hard yards last year.”
While both drivers will look to replicate their consistent seasons, Coulthard is especially looking to match his teammate for qualifying pace.
“Scott’s performance was second-to-none and a record for qualifying [last year] so if I can peg back a couple of those from him, it will be nice.
“But it was my best year in Supercars last year, finishing third in the championship, so we’ve got a little bit to build on.
“We work hard together as a driving group – we push each other, which is very healthy within a race team – so I think it all works very well, and we need to continue to work well.”
The 20th edition of the Adelaide 500 kicks off on Thursday 1 March with feature race category action, including Dunlop Super2, before the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship hits the track for qualifying on Friday and races on Saturday and Sunday.
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