How Supercars threat turning up the heat on teammate
CHASING the almost unstoppable championship leader Scott McLaughlin has turned up the heat on all the Supercars drivers at Queensland Raceway this weekend.
However, it's a different sort of temperature that McLaughlin's Ford Mustang teammate and second placegetter Fabian Coulthard also prepares for.
About to celebrate his 37th birthday on Sunday, the Shell V-Power Racing team racer shared how he maintains concentration in such a tough motorsport arena.
"Fitness is a big thing,'' Coulthard said, preparing for this weekend's Ipswich SuperSprint series.
"All the training you do outside of the car puts you in good preparation for what you are going to do inside the car.
"The big thing is being able to deal with the heat.
"It's high ambient. It can be 25-30 degrees in the cabin so it's pretty warm at the best of times.
"Concentration-wise, you become match-fit over the years.''
Coulthard said learning to manage hot conditions as much as the opposition came with experience.
Since starting his karting career and venturing into Formula Ford racing, he has continued his motorsport obsession almost on a weekly basis.
"You put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform so I don't really notice too much things change over the year,'' he said.
Despite the Supercars championship battle hotting up, Coulthard was relaxed about his current position launching his latest Ipswich campaign.
"So far the year's been pretty solid,'' Coulthard said. "We've had race wins and podiums and we're second in the championship, which is a huge turnaround from last year.
"Confidence is good.
"We're looking forward to getting to Ipswich. This our home track for our team. So looking forward to putting on a good show.''
When the podium finishes are flowing, the Shell V-Power team doesn't have to make major changes. That was even the case even during a full day of pre-Ipswich SuperSprint testing at Queensland Raceway last week.
"We found a few things,'' he said. "It wasn't a crazy day. We just stuck to our plan and got through everything, which was good.''
British-born, Gold Coast-based Coulthard first raced at the Ipswich circuit in 2007, after moving from New Zealand.
"You've been doing it for so long now so you have got a fair idea of what's required,'' he said.
"You just have to make sure you dot the i's and cross the t's and get it done.''
McLaughlin and Coulthard were recently re-signed to join forces for a fourth consecutive season next year with the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
As for having teammate McLaughlin to chase, Coulthard was also in a contented place.
"We push each other, which is pretty cool,'' Coulthard said.
"He learns from me. I learn from him and we have a great relationship in a driver sense.
"It works well.''
The weekend's Supercars round consists of Races 19 (Saturday) and 20 (Sunday).
Practice sessions start tomorrow.
Latest Supercars championship points (top five): 1. Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power Racing Team - Ford Mustang) 2168
2. Fabian Coulthard (Shell V-Power Racing Team - Ford Mustang) 1876
3. Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden Racing Team - Holden Commodore) 1669
4. Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Racing - Ford Mustang) 1640
5. David Reynolds (Penrite Racing - Holden Commodore) 1634.