Scott McLaughlin has responded to Shane van Gisbergen’s race-winning pass at today’s Robson Civil Projects Townsville SuperSprint, labelling it “pretty average” after the DJR Team Penske driver finished third.
McLaughlin held the lead heading into a final nine-lap sprint at the end of the weekend’s final race, but was vulnerable on older tyres than the likes of Red Bull Racing Australia drivers van Gisbergen and Whincup.
Van Gisbergen was the biggest name to watch; ranging up to McLaughlin in the closing laps and getting by with four laps to go via a pass at turn 11. Van Gisbergen looked to have out-braked himself, missing the hairpin’s apex. This caused contact with McLaughlin, and allowed the Shell V-Power driver’s lead championship rival and van Gisbergen’s teammate, Whincup, to also get by.
“I had nothing left, I was trying my best,” said McLaughlin. “I think if we didn’t have the safety car we might have been a real good shot, we were looking after our tyres there but the safety car happened and I was just hanging on.
“Shane was playing the team game there, he’s made plenty of clean passes there over the years and that was pretty average, just a big push-off there. I get that he’s playing the team game but it would have nice to have a bit more of a fair battle.”
Van Gisbergen made note of “playing the team game” while speaking after the race.
“We had a great car,” he said. “I got stuck in the first stint and it was going to be interesting trying to get back to the podium but the Safety Car worked out perfectly. Big battle at the end, I tried to do the team thing to help Jamie, but awesome result.”
While the result sees Whincup close in slightly on McLaughlin in the championship standings, the margin is still a significant 143 points as the series prepares to travel to Tailem Bend.