Fabian Coulthard says he is ready to put the demons of his Bathurst past to bed at the Great Race this year.
The Kiwi was the centre of a controversial late safety car in last year’s rendition of the race at Mt. Panorama. Coulthard was instructed to slow the field to give his teammate, and eventual race winner, Scott McLaughlin an opportunity to make a clean pitstop.
McLaughlin retained his victory while DJR Team Penske was fined $250,000 for a breach of fairness regulations.
Since that race, Coulthard says he has struggled to come to terms with the criticism. But he is ready to prove his worth at this year’s event next month.
“I’ve been living with it every day since,” Coulthard said on The Loud Pedal podcast.
“To go back to Bathurst it’s going to be brought up, you know we’re still talking about my Bathurst crash from 2010 that’s ten years later as well, so it’s not going to come as a surprise.
“I’ve blocked that many people off social media that keep bringing it up – Twitter, Instagram. If you want to be blocked, mention that, so I’m dwindling in numbers.
“I can’t dwell on the past. We have to look forward to the future. What’s been done has been done. The team’s paid the price for that and we just need to move on and move forward.”
However, Coulthard did hint that if a similar situation were to occur this year, he would do everything in his power to assist his teammate once again.
McLaughlin currently heads the Supercars championship standings. He will need to outscore Jamie Whincup by 85 points this weekend at Tailem Bend if he is to wrap up the title pre-Bathurst.
Should that not happen, the Kiwi will head into the race and contend with both a Bathurst and championship defence. Something Coulthard says he plans on staying clear of.
“(The directive) Comes from the top. Whatever I’m asked to do I’ll do,” Coulthard said.
“We’ve all got bosses, we all answer to somebody, so if the call comes through and it gets made then you do what you’re told.”
Coulthard also suggested that an announcement on his future within the team won’t be made until after the season-finale at Bathurst.
The 38-year-old’s contract is up for renewal at the end of the current season with large question marks still hanging whether Penske will continue its involvement in Supercars in 2021.
“We’re waiting for a decision to be made in America and what’s going to happen, transpire for the future.
“So I won’t know until after Bathurst. All that I can do is the best I can, focus on what I can control, and we’ll worry about the rest later. I think it does for everybody.
“Do I want to stay with the team? Absolutely. I have no intentions of going elsewhere. I’m continuing life and racing as if the team is going to carry on and I’m part of it.
“I guess it’s just a little bit (of) wait and see. See what pans out, see what decisions get made, and then we go from there.”