Fabian Coulthard has big shoes to fill in 2008
Young New Zealander Fabian Coulthard has big shoes to fill in the 2008 Australian V8 Supercar Championship.
The 24-year-old has signed with the largely New Zealand-crewed Glenfords Racing Team, as successor to Australian racing legend John Bowe who has retired from fulltime V8 Supercar racing.
Glenfords Racing has signed Coulthard to drive its Ford Falcon in the 2008 and 2009 V8 Supercar series.
Coulthard’s racing career began in karts at the age of six. He won four New Zealand titles before moving to the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, which he won in his second attempt.
He then raced in the 2003 British Formula Renault series.
He made his tin-top debut in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Championship and earned the Rookie of the Year title in 2004.
He won the series the following year as a Glenfords-supported driver.
He raced V8 Supercars in 2006/07, most recently in the second car run by Paul Morris’ Siurromet Wines Holden Commodore team.
Coulthard caught the eye of Glenfords Racing team owner, New Zealander Paul Cruickshank, and was offered the drive for 2008 and 2009.
Coulthard will race Glenfords Racing’s newly-bought Triple Eight Race Engineering-built V8 Supercar that Craig Lowndes drove to third place in the 2007 championship, four race wins and a stash of podium finishes.
Now Australian-based, Coulthard will make his debut in the Glenfords Falcon when the 2008 series begins in Adelaide with the Clipsal 500 on February 21-24.
“I’m really excited about joining the Glenfords team,” Coulthard says.
“V8 Supercars is a hard category to break into; the V8 racing I’ve done in the last couple of years gave me good grounding and made other people take notice and I’m really stoked that Paul (Cruickshank) has given me this opportunity.
“The main focus is definitely to move up the order from where we were this year, and Glenfords Racing is going to give me a more competitive car than I’ve ever had before, with a great engine package and now it’s up to me to repay their faith.
“As a team, I think we’ve all got the same goal in mind and that’s to go out and do the best we can and to get some great results.
“So far, I’ve driven PCR’s 2007 V8 and it’s a lot better than what I’ve raced in the past, which is definitely exciting for me.
“We’re looking forward to an even bigger step forward with the new Triple Eight chassis. It’s a proven car that’s had results this year, so there’ll be no excuses.
“I’ve got to knuckle down and drive to the best of my ability and we should be alright.
“Driving for a predominantly Kiwi team with a Kiwi owner is going to be great, not only for myself but for the team. You can be sure that the New Zealand round is going to be huge for us next year.”
Cruickshank says Glenfords has gone “to great lengths putting things into place to allow our team to develop and moving the V8 Supercar further up the grid, and Fabian is one key element in that process.
“Obviously, this is a tough game and we’ve had two difficult years graduating into the category, but we’ve paid our dues and learnt a lot of valuable lessons in the last couple of seasons.”