Webb: Coulthard can take Team Sydney to next level
Saturday 6th March, 2021 - 6:00am
Team Sydney boss Jonathon Webb believes Fabian Coulthard will be pivotal in taking his Supercars outfit to the next level.
The 38-year-old comes to the Sydney Motorsport Park-based outfit following five seasons at the then known DJR Team Penske.
In that time, Coulthard claimed eight wins with a career-best third in the drivers’ championship in 2017.
After being dropped by the Stapylton team at the end of 2020 in favour a completely new line-up, Coulthard sought a new opportunity at Team Sydney.
“Fabs and I go back forever and ever, whether we raced together or hung out off-track, so it’s just a pretty natural fit,” explained Webb, speaking with Speedcafe.com.
“When he was looking for an opportunity we just got together, had a beer, talked it through, and a couple days later did some paperwork, and got it done.
“Pretty short and sweet really, it just made sense for both of us.”
Combined with returning engineer turned team manager Geoffrey Slater, Webb believes an experienced Coulthard can turn the team’s fortunes around.
It comes as the squad endured a lacklustre start to 2021 at the Repco Mount Panorama 500 last weekend, Coulthard and Jacobson leaving 19th and 23rd in the championship respectively.
“He’s obviously been around a long time in Supercars in general,” Webb added of Coulthard.
“Good solid driver, knows what he’s doing, works well with a group like ours, with some good guidance.
“He’s a long way from a rookie, so he’ll point the team in the right direction.
“He’s learned a lot from Team Penske, we’re expecting between our skills and Geoff’s skills that there should be a good combination.”
Webb paid tribute to Alex Davison and Chris Pither in what was the team’s first year under the Team Sydney banner.
Pither was Team Sydney’s lead driver, finishing 20th in the drivers’ championship while Davison finished 23rd.
By the season’s end the team lay 11th in the teams’ championship ahead of Matt Stone Racing.
A tumultuous 2020 saw the team delay its move into a new facility at Sydney Motorsport Park, eventually taking up residence midway through the year.
However, a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic saw them move back into their former base in Yatala, Queensland.
After a turbulent start, Webb is optimistic about the team’s prospects as they look to build upon a stable platform in Coulthard and team-mate Garry Jacobson.
Both drivers are on multi-year deals, something Webb said is important to the team’s development.
“We learned a lot from last year, and it still was a productive year,” Webb said.
“It was good having Alex and Chris there, but now’s the time to step up. We’ve got the crew where we need them, got some more solid Sydney-based guys, it’s an opportunity to build the team, and build them around Fabian and what he needs.
“It’s obviously the same with Garry. He’s been with a couple of different teams in the last few years, and he’ll be with us for a couple of years, settle in, find his feet, and between the two of them, help us grow as a group.
“Both guys are on a multi-year deal. It’s just that trying to keep that consistency is probably the biggest thing for us.”