Name: David Coulthard
Date of birth: March 27, 1971
Debut (F1): 1994
Best season(s): 2001 (F1 runner-up)
ROC record: Defeated finalist v Sébastien Loeb, 2008
David Marshall Coulthard was born in Twynholm, Scotland. As a fledgling star of F3, he became Williams F1’s test driver in 1993, and after the tragic death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994, DC stepped up to drive alongside Damon Hill for the team, but even if he got his chance earlier than he might otherwise have done, grabbing pole and second place in Portugal that same season proved he had the talent that would serve him well in the future, and his first victory came a year later at Estoril after another pole. He switched teams in 1996, and 12 more wins would follow in a topsy-turvy McLaren career when the team often struggled, first against Williams, then the resurgent Ferrari. However, DC did take the team’s first win for three years in 1997 and finished second to Michael Schumacher in the 2001 championship. He became a ‘founder driver’ of the Red Bull Racing team in 2005, taking their first podium at Monaco in 2006 and a swansong third place in Canada in 2008. After retiring from F1 at the end of ’08, DC switched to DTM as well as providing commentary for the BBC’s F1 coverage and continuing with Red Bull as an ambassador. This will be his sixth ROC appearance.
- DC’s second cousin Fabian Coulthard (aka ‘FC’) is a racing driver born in the UK but raised in New Zealand. He now races in Australian V8 Supercars but was briefly a rival of Lewis Hamilton’s in British Formula Renault in 2001.
- DC’s own museum in Twynholm used to be family-run, but has now passed to Wendy McKenzie, a member of the ‘Twynosi’ fanbase. The adjacent ‘Pitstop Diner’ café also used to show F1 races religiously during his career.
- DC’s one foray into the Le Mans 24 Hour race was in a Jaguar XJ220 way back in 1993. Poor old DC, and his team-mates John Nielsen (who’d won in 1990) and David Brabham (who went on to win in 2009), were classified but were disqualified from the GT class later for a technical infringement.
“I can feel the water soaking into my boxer shorts, and at my age I’m not sure whether I’ve wet myself or if it’s the rain.”
DC, joking like a typical Brit in the twilight of his Formula One career at his last home grand prix at Silverstone in 2008, at the ripe old age of 37.
Official website: davidcoulthard.co.uk