Coulthard hits top gear in V8 Supercars series
He's threatening to upset more vaunted rivals in this year's V8 Supercars championship race and frankly, Fabian Coulthard is loving his unlikely title challenge.
The 31-year-old New Zealander heads into this weekend's event in Darwin third in the standings, just 140 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom.
After a breakthrough 2013 campaign when Coulthard claimed the first three race wins of his V8s career, the Holden driver has carried on in 2014.
A fourth-career race-win at Winton in April along with another three podium finishes has catapulted Coulthard firmly into championship contention despite most of the focus being on Winterbottom and Red Bull Racing pair Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
"Everytime we're up there people are saying you'd be happy to be in this position and I say I'd be happier if it was December," Coulthard said.
"We've got a little bit to go, there's a lot of races to go. For us, BJR (Brad Jones Racing) and Lockwood Racing, it's awesome.
"We're punching above our weight and to fly under the radar a little bit, doesn't affect me at all."
Coulthard made a slow start to his Darwin weekend, posting the 12th-fastest time in Friday's practice.
With high temperatures and a tight stock of tyres, Coulthard admits the Top End round will be tough but he won't be getting too down if he can't close the gap on the series leaders.
"I don't look at it like this is going to be how it is and we're going to have to do this and that and if it doesn't happen we slit our wrists, it's not like that," he said.
"It's been a good start to the year. We've been consistent, we've won races when we can, had a few podiums here and there, it's enjoyable."