Coulthard pleased to ‘drive a car that’s capable’

The WAU Commodore Fabian Coulthard is co-driving alongside Chaz Mostert

Fabian Coulthard was left enthused after his first co-driver outing with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

The Repco Supercars Championship race winner was recruited by the Clayton squad to partner Chaz Mostert in this year’s Bathurst 1000 after missing out on a full-time drive for 2022.

It comes after a year with Team Sydney which saw him record a best result of 11th throughout the 31-race season.

At last weekend’s Sandown event, Coulthard got into the Mobil 1 Optus Racing entry in the Additional Drivers practice session, and would be classified slower than only Triple Eight Race Engineering steerers Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander.

“It’s awesome,” he said of being back in competitive machinery.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a practice session, you know, but it’s nice to know that I haven’t forgotten what to do.”

Team Sydney effectively closed its doors at the end of last season, the squad now owned by Peter Xiberras and run under the PremiAir Racing moniker.

That came at the end of a difficult period for the squad, hampered by a lack of resources at the Jonathon Webb-led operation last year.

It was a significant step back from the five years he spent with DJR Team Penske, which saw him score eight race wins, the most recent at The Bend in late-2020.

“Last year, you know, it was a struggle at times, and it was a real battle,” Coulthard confessed.

“But to come out the other side, and to be with Chaz and a good team, it feels normal.

“I’ve driven at good teams before, and it’s just nice to drive a car that’s capable.”

Coulthard has kept himself sharp with outings in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, winning twice at Phillip Island in March.

However, he sat out the most recent round at Queensland Raceway, while the Sandown outing his first in Supercars as anything but a primary driver since 2005.

“It was nice to get back in the car, you don’t realize how much you missed it until you don’t get to do it,” Coulthard said.

“So I actually had a lot of fun in that session, so it’s good to get out there.

“You just hop back in and it feels somewhat normal – we’re lucky, we’ve [Mostert] got the same seating position, same seat belts, makes life pretty easy.

“I’ve been very integrated within the team throughout the year,” he continued.

“That’s also good to see how they go through about their business, and the processes they go through and things like that.

“I know the team. I drove there from years ago, and there’s a lot of familiar faces from 2010 and ’11.

“So it’s just getting yourself acquainted with the car and the buttons and everything like that.

“But so far, so good.”

Mostert won last year’s Great Race with Lee Holdsworth as his co-driver.

In WAU’s other entry, its regular enduro pilot Warren Luff will partner Nick Percat when the Bathurst 1000 takes place on October 6-9.

The last event before then is the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, at Pukekohe on September 9-11.