Fabian Coulthard is aiming to impress in the Adelaide 500. Picture: Tim Hunter
Fabian Coulthard is aiming to impress in the Adelaide 500. Picture: Tim Hunter

Coulthard: Adelaide critical to set up season

FABIAN Coulthard hopes a positive Supercars season-opener in Adelaide this weekend can set up his year and put a disastrous 2018 into the distant past.

Coulthard struggled through last year, best shown by the fact he finished a whopping 1467 points off the pace set by championship-winning teammate Scott McLaughlin.

The 36-year-old enters the new season under pressure, with repeated speculation pointing to Chaz Mostert vying for his No.12 seat at DJR Team Penske for 2020.

Coulthard feels a return to form at the Adelaide 500 can get the confidence flowing again.

"Certainly if you come out of Adelaide with a whole heap of points, that sets up your year," he said.

"That's what we'll aim to do and then hopefully we're in for a big year."

The Gold Coaster has historically performed well in the South Australian capital besides last year's placings of 21st and 16th.

Coulthard (right) with Scott McLaughlin and Dick Johnson. Picture: David Caird
Coulthard (right) with Scott McLaughlin and Dick Johnson. Picture: David Caird

"We struggled with set-up there last year, definitely on our side of the garage," he said.

"I think we have learnt a lot, Mark (Fenning, engineer) and I, through working together last year. We had good success at other street tracks, the Gold Coast and Newcastle, so I definitely don't think we'll have the same gremlins that we had there last year."

Coulthard made clear he is eager to start with a clean slate in 2019 and is excited to have Ford's new Mustang Supercar at his disposal.

He added "time will tell" whether it does better suit his driving style than the Falcon model, as has been suggested.

"It's important for everyone that has got a Mustang to understand the package and what we have. I think it will take a few rounds for us to get on top of it," Coulthard said.

On-track action in Adelaide starts on Thursday, with 78-lap races being run on each of Saturday and Sunday.

FABS' RECENT ADELAIDE RECORD

2018: 21st and 16th

2017: 2nd and 5th

2016: 10th and 14th

2015: 3rd, 1st and 6th

2014: 5th, 5th and 4th