8 Oct 2017

Coulthard's third at Bathurst tops Supercar series

9:55 pm on 8 October 2017

New Zealand driver Fabian Coulthard has moved to the top of the Supercar series championship after coming third in the Bathurst 1000 race on Mount Panorama.

Australian driver David Reynolds has powered his Holden to victory in a rain affected seven- hour race this afternoon coming in almost four seconds ahead of fellow Holden driver Scott Pye.

Coulthard came in third moving ahead of Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin in the championship.

Scott McLauglin during practice for Bathurst 2017.

Scott McLaughlin Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 © Clay Cross 2017

It was a disapppointing day for the main New Zealand hopes with Scott McLaughlin, who set a new Bathurst record lap to take pole position, forced out midway through the race due to engine failure.

McLaughlin went into the race leading the series.

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN / MATT CAMPBELL (Red Bull Holden). Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. 2017

Shane van Gisbergen Photo: Clay Cross / PHOTOSPORT

Fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen was leading the race with less than 15 laps to go before he drove wide in the wet and ended up back in 5th place.

Ford driver Richie Stanaway, who also led the pack for large periods of the early race, drifted back to finish 16th.

Australian Scott Pye came in second four seconds behind Reynolds.

Reynolds - with co-driver Luke Youlden - lifted the spirits of his Erebus Motorsport team which were forced to switch from Mercedes to Holden last season after a horror run of results.

Yet the battling outfit - owned by tattooed extrovert Betty Klimenko - emerged triumphant in a race held in treacherous conditions.

"This is a David versus Goliath victory. What a win," Supercars great Mark Skaife said.

Reynolds had been more well known for making the "showy" celebration popular on the Supercars podium.

And he showed off the move again when he celebrated his victory that lifted him from 10th to sixth in the drivers' season standings.

Reynolds fought back tears as he thanked an overwhelmed Klimenko track-side.

Reynolds snapped up a Supercars lifeline from her when he was dumped from Ford's heavyweight Prodrive Racing Australia at the end of 2015 despite finishing third in the series.

"This is the icing on the cake," Reynolds said.

"I had been wanting to pay them back (Erebus) but I had not had a lot of results lately but this ticks every box.

"It hasn't really hit me yet, but the last couple of laps I was trying to hold back the tears and I was half throwing up because I was so nervous."

Defending Supercars series champion Shane van Gisbergen blew his chance when he slid his Holden off at The Chase and suffered a puncture vying for second with 11 laps left.

At one stage the race resembled dodgem cars as even six-time Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes slipped and slided around the mountain as rain fell throughout the seven hour-plus epic.

Record-breaking Ford driver Scott McLaughlin did not survive the horror conditions, lasting just 74 laps before engine dramas ended his race.

McLaughlin came crashing back to earth a day after taking pole in two minutes, 03.83 seconds - the fastest Supercars lap ever seen on the famous Mount Panorama street circuit.

His Ford teammate Coulthard now leads the series, 91 points ahead of Holden's Jamie Whincup.

McLaughlin is third, 97 points adrift of Coulthard.

Despite the wet, 56,042 fans flocked to the track on Sunday pushing total four- day attendance to 205,693 - the second-biggest overall crowd.