Fabian Coulthard the fastest Kiwi at official Supercars test day
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Shell V-Power Racing ace Fabian Coulthard has ended the official Virgin Australia Supercars Championship test day in second, behind Tickford Racing's Cameron Waters.
The day-long test was the first on-track hit-out for many of the Supercars pack, with each of the 2019's 24 drivers (plus a selection of co-driver) taking to Phillip Island across the day.
Coulthard led for much of the session, only to be pipped at the very end by Waters — the two drivers setting best times of 1:30.7265 and 1:30.7383 respectively. The SuperCheap Auto entry of Chaz Mostert and co-driver James Moffat made it three Ford Mustangs at the top of the final standings, with David Reynolds the best of the rest in fourth.
The test day isn't necessarily a full representation of who has pace and who doesn't. For reference, Scott McLaughlin's set pole at Phillip Island a few years ago with a 1:29.0612. However, those behind the development of the new Mustang's aero package will be quietly pleased to see three of them leading the field.
Speaking of McLaughlin, he ended up eighth quickest on the day, nestled between Anton de Pasquale and James Courtney. Fellow Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen, Andre Heimgartner, and Richie Stanaway ended the day in 14th, 15th, and 21st.
Van Gisbergen and Red Bull Holden Racing Team teammate Jamie Whincup had a fairly quiet day, with the former's new co-driver — Garth Tander — finding time in the day to cut his first laps in a Triple Eight Holden ZB Commodore. Whincup meanwhile ended up 19th.
Ironically, a team that didn't have a quiet day was Erebus Motorsport. While both their drivers (Reynolds and de Pasquale) were near the front in the end, they both had to effectively sit out half the test day after their cars were found to have breached the circuit's 95 decibel noise restrictions.
Teams now pack away and prepare for round one of the season; the SuperLoop Adelaide 500 on March 2-3.
Results, official Supercars Championship pre-season test
1. Cameron Waters / Michael Caruso
2. Fabian Coulthard
3. Chaz Mostert / James Moffat
4. David Reynolds / Luke Youlden
5. Will Davison
6. Scott Pye / Warren Luff
7. Anton de Pasquale
8. Scott McLaughlin
9. James Courtney / Jack Perkins
10. Lee Holdsworth / Thomas Randle
11. Nick Percat
12. James Golding
13. Rick Kelly / Todd Kelly
14. Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander
15. Andre Heimgartner
16. Mark Winterbottom / Steve Richards
17. Tim Slade
18. Todd Hazelwood
19. Jamie Whincup
20. Jack LeBrocq
21. Richie Stanaway
22. Simona De Silvestro
23. Garry Jacobson
24. Macauley Jones