With three rounds left in this year’s championship, five drivers have a serious shot at the title after the big guns were shot down at Mount Panorama.
Bathurst race-ruining engine failures for season standouts Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup have put Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske), Chaz Mostert (Prodrive Racing Australia) and Shane Van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden Racing Team) in championship contention.
Coulthard stole the championship lead from teammate McLaughlin by surviving the late Bathurst 1000 carnage to finish third.
“If you’d told me before the start of this weekend that I’d leave with my first Bathurst podium, the championship lead and the lead of the Pirtek Enduro Cup I probably wouldn’t have believed you,’’ Coulthard said.
“It’s was a great day for me, a real shame for Scott and Alex (Premat), they were super quick all weekend so seeing them go out like that wasn’t good at all.
“But it is good for the team to still get a result. Tony (D’Alberto) was fantastic, he did such a great job in that rain to keep the car in one piece.”
Scott McLaughlin lost his Supercars lead after failing to finish in the Bathurst 1000. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Red Bull legend Whincup salvaged 60 points by nursing a wounded Commodore around to be classified as a finisher.
The six-time champion held on to second place in the championship fight and is now 91 points behind leader Coulthard.
“It’s something,’’ Whincup said.
“Not ideal but we took something away.’’
McLaughlin was not so lucky with the Ford flyer crashing from first to third on the championship table.
“It’s amazing how quickly things turn around.” he said.