Coulthard had early doubts over Penske contract extension

Fabian Coulthard admits he had doubts about his future with DJR Team Penske during a tough 2018 Supercars campaign.

Coulthard had early doubts over Penske contract extension

It was recently confirmed that the Kiwi will be retained for a fifth season with the Penske outfit in 2020, a fresh contract extension ending speculation that he could be replaced by fellow out-of-contract driver Chaz Mostert.

While attributing much of the chat about the second Penske seat to enthusiastic media reporting, Coulthard has admitted that there were times during a tough 2018 season that he was unsure that he had a future with the squad.

Having struggled with the ageing FG-X Falcon package, Coulthard only out-qualified teammate Scott McLaughlin twice across the entire season, only took a single win, and slumped to ninth in the standings as McLaughlin claimed the title.

A move to the Mustang, however, has seen an upswing in form for Coulthard, who this year has already claimed a pair of wins and currently sits a clear second in the standings, albeit still 292 points behind his teammate.

"It just gets rid of the speculation, more than anything," said Coulthard when asked about the impact of the recent extension.

"The media do a good job of blowing it up. That's their job.

"At the end of the day I can only do what I do in the race car and if that's good enough then I get re-signed. [The team] clearly thinks that I'm good enough and I got re-signed.

"If you'd asked me last year, yeah, there would have been some doubt, because we really struggled. But this year we're consistently contending for podiums, race wins, and things like that.

"Part of the organization, that's part of the requirement to continually vie for those positions, and we're able to achieve that this year.

"It's just good to be all done and locked away."

Read Also:

Coulthard is currently teetering on the edge of title contention, that 292-point gap to McLaughlin meaning the leader still has the best part of a round up his sleeve.

However Coulthard says nothing is a forgone conclusion until at least after the three long-distance races, each worth 300 points.

"I'm not too stressed about that. We've got a long way to go," he said.

"I think the enduros alone is 900 points. So let's evaluate our championship after the Enduro Cup."

shares
comments
Nissan Supercars squad set for 'considerable upgrade' in 2020

Previous article

Nissan Supercars squad set for 'considerable upgrade' in 2020

Next article

McLaughlin leaving NASCAR future in Penske's hands

McLaughlin leaving NASCAR future in Penske's hands
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Fabian Coulthard
Teams Dick Johnson Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020