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V8SC: Kiwis Coulthard And McLaughlin Dominate At F1 Exhibition Round Photo:
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Malcolm Flynn | Mar, 18 2013 | 1 Comment

Fabian Coulthard has won his first three V8 Supercar races, on top of a first pole position and round win at the weekend’s Melbourne Australian Grand Prix non-championship round.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin also tasted his first series victory in Race 4 for Garry Rogers Motorsport, completing a clean sweep of the weekend by New Zealand countrymen.

Coulthard kicked off a stellar weekend for Brad Jones Racing by claiming pole position in Thursday’s qualifying session.

Teammate Jason Bright recorded a second, two thirds, and an eleventh placing across the four 12-lap races.

Bright also set the second quickest qualifying time in the Thursday session, but was penalised two grid positions after passing the chequered flag twice in the first practice session.

Coulthard finished the fourth race of the round in third position, after a minor post-pitstop error let eventual winner McLaughlin and second-placed Craig Lowndes through until the finish.

On qualifying and race speed, Brad Jones Racing were clearly ahead of the field in adapting to the 2013 series’ first use of the soft-compound tyre option.

Shane Van Gisbergen looked to continue his impressive start to 2013 for Tekno Autosports by crossing the line first in Race 3, but was one of eight drivers excluded from the results due to an ignition timing-related technical infringement.

Other drivers excluded were Van Gisbergen’s teammate Jonathon Webb (from third), the Triple Eight cars of Craig Lowndes (second) and Jamie Whincup (16th), Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Scott Pye (18th) and Dean Fiore (14th).

The only non-Holden entries excluded were the Nissans of Michael Caruso (ninth) and Todd Kelly (tenth).

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This subsequently handed the Race 3 win to second-placed Coulthard, and David Reynolds and Bright replaced Lowndes’ and Jonathon Webb’s respective second and third results.

Cumulatively affecting five of the top ten Race 3 finishers, this ruling also shuffled the Race 4 grid positions - based on drivers’ overall results from the first three races.

Race 1’s grid had been determined by a sole Thursday qualifying session, and Race 2 and 3 starting positions were based on the preceding race’s finishing order.

Coulthard therefore led the pack from all four starts, and his three race wins were the first for the Albury-based team at the at the Albert Park circuit since John Bowe’s victory at the 2005 event.

The New Zealander dedicated his win to the late Jason Richards, who succumbed to cancer in 2011.

"There's no better person to dedicate this victory to than JR. He was a close friend and a BJR family member. Charlotte and the kids were here this weekend so it is a pretty emotional time," Coulthard said.

"JR had massive success here. We all miss him and he's never forgotten and I'm sure he's looking at us from wherever he is smiling."

Championship leader Lowndes fared the better of the two Triple Eight entries, recording a fifth place, second place, and second in Race 4 after his Race 3 second placing was excluded.

His defending series champion teammate Whincup placed fourth in the first race, before dropping to the tail of the field in Race 2 after a drive-through penalty for spinning his wheels during his pitstop.

After his 16th place in Race 3 was excluded, Whincup recovered to sixth in the final race.

Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison fared the best of the factory Fords, recording third, fourth, fifth, and eighth placings across the four races.

FPR teammate Mark Winterbottom was penalised for an unsafe pit release in Race 1, shifting his seventh place finishing result to 25th after the race.

Winterbottom then worked his way through the field to finish 12th in Race 2, seventh in Race 3, and a DNF in Race 4 after a collision involving Russell Ingall on the opening lap.

Of Nissan Motorsport’s Altima entries, Michael Caruso was the best qualifier, earning 12th on the grid after lapping 1.5496 seconds slower than Coulthard’s pole time.

James Moffat had the best Altima race record, placing eighth and fifth in the first two races, before being boosted to tenth from 17th after the Race 3 exclusions, and placing a genuine tenth in the final race.

The best qualifier of the Erebus Racing AMG Mercedes-Benz E 63s was Tim slade in 14th, recording a best time 1.6569 seconds behind Coulthard’s pole figure.

Racewise, Lee Holdsworth performed best of the E 63s, recording 19th, 18th, 15th (after Race 3 exclusions), and 20th across the four races.

Slade and Maro Engel’s E 63s both suffered DNFs, with Slade failing to finish Race 2 and 4, and Engel’s Race 3 ended with electrical gremlins.

Given this weekend’s non-championship status, Craig Lowndes continues to lead the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship with 279 points.

Whincup is just 12 points behind, while Will Davison sits a further 27 points adrift.

The V8 Supercar Championship will continue in three weeks, with the Tasmania 360 round at Symmons Plains.

Top Ten V8 Supercar Race 1 results - Melbourne Australian Grand Prix

  1. Fabian Coulthard
  2. Jason Bright
  3. Will Davison
  4. Jamie Whincup
  5. Craig Lowndes
  6. Scott McLaughlin
  7. Mark Winterbottom
  8. James Moffat
  9. Garth Tander
  10. Rick Kelly

Top Ten V8 Supercar Race 2 results - Melbourne Australian Grand Prix

  1. Fabian Coulthard
  2. Craig Lowndes
  3. Jason Bright
  4. Will Davison
  5. James Moffat
  6. Scott McLaughlin
  7. David Reynolds
  8. Todd Kelly
  9. Shane Van Gisbergen
  10. James Courtney

Final Top Ten V8 Supercar Race 3 results - Melbourne Australian Grand Prix

  1. Shane Van Gisbergen (excluded post-race)
  2. Craig Lowndes (excluded post-race)
  3. Jonathon Webb (excluded post-race)
  4. Fabian Coulthard
  5. David Reynolds
  6. Jason Bright
  7. James Courtney
  8. Will Davison
  9. Michael Caruso (excluded post-race)
  10. Todd Kelly (excluded post-race)
  11. Rick Kelly
  12. Mark Winterbottom
  13. Jamie Whincup (excluded post-race)
  14. Dean Fiore (excluded post-race)
  15. Russell Ingall
  16. Alex Davison
  17. James Moffat

Top Ten V8 Supercar Race 4 results - Melbourne Australian Grand Prix

  1. Scott McLaughlin
  2. Craig Lowndes
  3. Fabian Coulthard
  4. David Reynolds
  5. Alex Davison
  6. Jamie Whincup
  7. Todd Kelly
  8. Will Davison
  9. Shane Van Gisbergen
  10. James Moffat

Top Ten V8SC Points Standings (Unchanged)

  1. Craig Lowndes 279
  2. Jamie Whincup 267
  3. Will Davison 240
  4. Russell Ingall 198
  5. James Courtney 192
  6. Scott McLaughlin 186
  7. Jonathon Webb 168
  8. Tony D’Alberto 159
  9. Shane Van Gisbergen 150
  10. Scott Pye 138

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