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Tom Howard

Saturday 6th April, 2019 - 9:55pm

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Shell V-Power Racing celebrates a one-two finish at Symmons Plains

Shell V-Power Racing boss Ryan Story says the centre of gravity changes made to the Ford Mustang prior to Tasmania have galvanised his team following an impressive one-two in Race 7.

An ongoing parity debate surrounding the new Mustang has resulted in Supercars mandating adjustments to the car and the Holden ZB Commodore ahead of this weekend’s visit to Symmons Plains.

While the Mustang has been built within the rules, 28kg of ballast has been repositioned to the roof of the car to increase its centre of gravity, affecting its handling.

The Holden ZB Commodore has also undergone changes, although only 6.7kg of ballast has moved. 

Despite the modifications, Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard completed a commanding one-two result at Symmons Plains, ensuring the Mustang continued its 100 percent winning start to the season.

Story admitted that the parity question the teams has faced has only made them work harder for success.

“There’s been a lot happen over the course of the last few weeks,” said Story.

“This has been well documented. But that’s only served to galvanise the team and we’ve worked harder. 

“Last night was a long night for the engineers in particular trying to ensure that we could extract the best out of the cars. 

“We always know we get the best out of the drivers but yesterday wasn’t exactly a solid day for us. 

“Today may well have played out differently if Jamie didn’t have the mistake in qualifying and with great respect to the gentleman to my left, (Shane van Gisbergen) had a better start off the line. I think that had an impact on the final result.

McLaughlin echoed Story’s thoughts while labelling the victory as one for all the Ford fans and the team. 

“That one’s for Ford fans and all our team – we’ve worked hard behind the scenes and there’s been a lot of stuff thrown at us and whatever, but we just fight on and we’re a strong group.”

Meanwhile, team-mate Coulthard admitted that the centre of gravity changes has affected the cars but believes his squad has coped admirably.   

“I wouldn’t say it hasn’t affected us, I definitely think it has,” said Coulthard. 

“If you look where Tickford are, they were right on our bumpers every time at the grand prix and they’re a little bit further back here. 

“I think you see in both organisations that it definitely has affected us. I think we’re just doing a better job and got a handle on it.”

Shell V-Power Racing’s team spirit was also on show when the squad sent a young mechanic Toby Chappill, who was highlighted on the broadcast during the race, to represent the team on the podium.

The team has policy of sharing the honour of representing it on the podium after a victory throughout the workforce. 

Chappill, who joined the team two years ago, came to the camera’s attention after it appeared he was being consoled by fellow crew members for errors in both pit stops, which were his first in a race scenario.

“We’ve got a policy within our shop of developing young talent and moving them through,” added Story.

“He’s been with us for a couple of years but today was the first time he was live in action in a pit stop. It was an opportunity to effectively commemorate that moment. It also happened to be his turn.

“We’ve been fortunate to have won a number of races over the last few years which means we give everyone the opportunity to collect the win on behalf of the team.

“It’s usually my ugly face on TV when these blokes are out doing the real work. It’s great to see those guys get up there.   

Story also explained that there had been no mistakes in the stops and the team had actually been congratulating the mechanic on his first pit stop.

“I cleared it (the situation) up with Larko (pit lane reporter Mark Larkham) as quickly as possible because as soon as it became clear to me that they were focused on Toby, I made sure that Larko was aware it was because it was his first pit stop, not because there was a mistake,” Story said.

“There was no mistakes in the stops, the stops were perfect, both mega.”

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