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Kiwi Coulthard to make V8 Supercar comeback


New Zealand’s Fabian Coulthard will make his comeback to this year’s V8 Supercar Championship driving a Paul Morris Motorsports Holden Commodore in round seven at Oran Park in Sydney from August 11-13.

Team owner/driver Paul Morris has raced in all six previous rounds this year in the No 67 Commodore, while Coulthard has shared PMM’s No 39 Holden with Alan Gurr and Steve Ellery, with the trio each driving two rounds to date.

Coulthard drove for the Gold Coast-based and Sirromet Wines-sponsored PMM team in round two at Pukekohe in New Zealand from April 21-23, and round four at Winton in Victoria from June 2-4.

He also contested the non-championship V8 Supercar races at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne from March 30-April 2.

“I haven’t raced anything or done any testing since the V8 Supercars at Winton so I’m keen to blow off the cobwebs and get back into it again,”
said Coulthard.

The 23-year-old, who is based in Auckland and commutes to Australia for racing, said his aim on the 2.7km Oran Park track would be to continue his improvement and consolidate his long-term goal of being a V8 Supercar frontrunner.

“Every time I get in the car I feel more and more comfortable,” he said.

“There is a lot to get your head around when you’re still learning your way in V8 Supercars. You need race ‘miles’ to find all the pieces that make up the puzzle.”

Coulthard has raced a V8 Supercar at Oran Park once before, in the 2004 championship round with Tasman Motorsports as preparation for the endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst that year. In 2005 he won two races at Oran Park in a Porsche on the way to claiming the Carrera Cup title.

“Oran Park is a technical track with a lot of corners and bit of everything,” said Coulthard. “How you come out of the bridge and get through the ‘dog leg’ is important. It takes a bit of bravery when you’re driving ‘blind’ up and over the crest.”

The Oran Park round will be contested over a sprint format, comprising a100km race on August 12, and two 140km events the following day.

Morris qualified for the Top 10 Shoot Out at the Oran Park championship round the past three years. He qualified third in 2003, and seventh in both 2004 and 2005.

“We’ve had good car speed at Oran Park the last few years and hopefully that will continue this time,” he said. “Fabian (Coulthard) is showing alot of promise and he will get better with more experience.”

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 6): Tander 1,642; Lowndes 1,604; R.
Kelly 1,597; Ingall 1,474; Winterbottom 1,435; S. Richards 1,388; Whincup 1,258; Bright 1,248; Dumbrell 1,248; Skaife 1,244. Others:
Morris 786; Gurr 227; Coulthard 170; Ellery 134

Mike Porter

Auto Trader New Zealand