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Coulthard ‘pretty positive’ he can mount championship challenge

Simon Chapman

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Friday 21st February, 2020 - 9:45am

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Fabian Coulthard

Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Fabian Coulthard has high hopes he can challenge for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2020.

Coulthard made history at last year’s Superloop Adelaide 500 when he claimed the first pole position in the then-new Ford Mustang.

However, the opening race of the season saw Coulthard docked for a jump start. He went on to finish sixth.

His woes were further compounded, double stacking behind team-mate Scott McLaughlin in the second race before eventually finishing 20th. Meanwhile, McLaughlin took back-to-back wins.

That set the tone for the season. McLaughlin went on to take a record 18 wins that year while Coulthard could only get on top step twice more with nine additional podiums.

The 37-year-old said the results masked his overall performance, which he believes should have seen him finish second at the end of the season

“We came out firing last year,” Coulthard told Speedcafe.com.

“I got pole position here, the first one for the new Mustang. Everyone talks about how my season was okay and not great, but we were strong at the start of the year.

“We followed a direction midway through the year and lost our way a little bit.”

Coulthard found the lion’s share of his success in 2019 through the first half of the year.

In the end, the New Zealander completed the season with third and second place finishes at the Newcastle 500, which gave him the round win and fourth in the championship standings.

Coming into 2020, the series long-stay said he’s riding a wave of confidence.

“I think if it wasn’t with the things that happened in the middle of last year we should have finished second in the championship,” he asserted.

“I’m pretty positive. We’ve got a great package. The proof is in the results as a team over the years. I’m just looking forward to the season.

“We have to work hard, really hard. I’ve got a quick team-mate. I’ll give it a nudge.”

Coulthard was seventh fastest behind teammate McLaughlin in Practice 1.

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