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Black Bullet Profile: Fabian Coulthard
V8 Supercars, Australia

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Fabian Coulthard is a proud New Zealander who began the long path to V8 Supercar racing as a mere six-old-year back in July 1988.

At the tender age of six he began his racing career in karting, where he quickly reached the top. He won the New Zealand Championship four times and the North Island Championship on three occasions. While competing in the Junior Restricted class in 1994, he managed to also be the runner-up in the New Zealand Formula Vee Scholarship at just the age of 12. Fabian continued to race karts and reached the senior categories in 1997 with many more wins.

He began his car racing career in 1999 at the age of 16 and instantly it proved successful with victory in the New Zealand Formula Ford Scholarship. He won the NZ Formula Ford Championship in 2001 in dominant style, taking 14 wins from a total of 17 races. In conjunction with the Formula Ford Championship, he won the Formula Ford International Challenge and equalled 2005 V8 Supercar champion Russell Ingall's record of seven consecutive wins in any New Zealand Formula Ford Championship contested.

During the summer of 2001/2002, Fabian won the New Zealand Grand Prix, the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, the Dan HigginsTrophy, the Ron Frost Memorial Trophy, the Denny Hulme Trophy, the Jim Clark Trophy (for being the most outstanding New Zealand motor racingdriver) and was the winner of the Bruce McLaren Scholarship.
During 2002 he travelled to Malaysia and competed at The Asian Festival of Speed where he drove a AF2000 car at the Sepang F1 circuit, in his debut in a wings and slicks formula. He was the winner of rounds eight and nine and won both races by over 14 seconds.

Fabian also made his first foray into Australian motorsport, taking victory in the Formula Ford races at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Come 2003, Fabian took his career to the epicentre of world motorsport – England. He joined the highly-competitive British Formula Renault Championship against the likes of current F1 star Lewis Hamilton.

Unfortunately, after 11 rounds of the 17-round series (and while sitting eighth in the championship), a budget shortfall cut short his racing program and he was forced to return home to New Zealand to plan his next move.

An invite to test with Greg Murphy Racing's Porsche Carrera Cup squad in 2004 proved successful, so Fabian teamed up alongside Alex Davison and Peter Hill in the three-car squad for the one-make series which is the main support category for the V8 Supercar Championship Series. He finished third in the championship in the Team Braun-backed 911 GT3, at the same time taking out the Michelin Driver to Europe Award for the best driver under the age of 30 in addition to the Michelin Rookie of the Year Award.

2004 was a big season, with Fabian making his V8 Supercar debut in a Tasman Motorsport Commodore at Oran Park mid-year as a prelude to teaming with Jason Richards for the Sandown and Bathurst endurance events. The duo finished a strong ninth at the Sandown 500 and was well placed at Bathurst before a stone pierced their Commodore's radiator. But pole at Sandown and race wins at Winton and Bathurst in his inaugural year of Porsche racing proved that Coulthard would be a force in the 2005 Carrera Cup in Australia – and he dominated the championship.

Driving a car backed by current sponsor Glenfords Tools, Coulthard dominated his opposition and sealed the championship in the final round at Phillip Island. He finished 150 points clear of racing legend Jim Richards and even took his Porsche racing overseas mid-way through the season.

As a reward for winning the previous year's Driver to Europe Award, Fabian made a one-off appearance in the Porsche Supercup at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. Up against a world-class field, he showed the level of competition from 'Down Under' and ran in the top 10. Again he joined Tasman Motorsport for the V8 Supercar endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst, partnering Tony D'Alberto in the team's second Dodo-backed car.

A unique opportunity popped up for Coulthard in 2006. He made the step into V8 Supercar racing but not quite on a full-time level. He shared the second Sirromet/Paul Morris Motorsport Commodore with Alan Gurr and Steve Ellery, alternating in a pattern that saw Fabian compete in three rounds before teaming with Paul Radisich in the Team Kiwi Commodore at Sandown and Bathurst.

Coulthard stuck with the Sirromet team in 2007, driving the team's second car. However, hampered with an older model VZ Commodore, he decided to step out of the drive after finishing just out of the championship points in the Bathurst 1000 to focus on 2008. With the retirement of former champ John Bowe, Glenfords Racing and team boss Paul Cruickshank needed a new driver and Fabian was their man.

Reunited with the same sponsor whose colours he carried to victory in the Carrera Cup in 2005, Fabian is behind the wheel of an ex-Triple Eight/Craig Lowndes Falcon for the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series. In the first of a two-year deal with Glenfords and Paul Cruickshank Racing, the Gold Coast-based Kiwi is well placed to continue to push his way to the front of the V8 Supercar field.

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