Saturday, Mar 16 08:40pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Bizarre incident takes Scott McLaughlin out on warm up lap

Scott McLaughlin’s hopes of taking a fifth straight win in this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship have been kiboshed.


The Shell V-Power Racing driver was caught up in an incident that saw he and fellow front row starter Cameron Waters make contact on their way to the grid on the out lap.


McLaughlin appeared to weave out of Turn 5 when Waters tried to drive by the New Zealander. As the no.17 weaved left and right, Waters in the no.6 clipped the right rear of McLaughlin’s car with his front left.


The pair both suffered extensive damage and neither took the start of the race. That meant Brad Jones Racing drivers Tim Slade and Nick Percat started effectively from the front row. 


McLaughlin was left bemused by the incident and put the blame on Waters. 


“What do you do mate, I’m just more so gutted for our fans, our sponsors, our team, Shell V-Power Racing,” McLaughlin said.


“I was just driving up to the grid, warming up my tyres like I had been all weekend. Those guys come out blazing all the time. I understand they need to get to the grid, but I just had no idea he was there.


“I was just doing my normal thing then all of a sudden whack! What do you do? I just tried to report as much of the damage as I could to the guys. It is what it is.


“It’s annoying. I certainly don’t think [the blame] is on myself. I’m the car in front, he’s got vision of me, absolutely, I’ve got mirrors but I was doing what I was doing at all the other corners so I was doing my procedure.


“I understand he was doing his, I slowed down a fair bit before and then it all happened. I haven’t seen the vision on his car but for me where I stand I expect an apology.


“I don’t need to go find him, he probably knows what happened more than I do because I didn’t see anything. If he wants to come see me he’ll come see me, we’ll battle on. There are worse things happening in the world.”


Waters said he was blindsided by McLaughlin but wouldn't accept the blame.


“I was just following Chaz to get to the front so the boys had enough time to bleed tyres,” he said.


“I was passing a few guys and then out of Turn 5 I stayed hard right to try and pass Scott. I thought he’d seen me and went hard left. I went to go and then he went hard right. I just clipped his back wheel.


“It’s just …. shit. To be completely honest I was hard right and was on the edge of the track. When you think a car has seen you and going straight you don’t know where to go. I’m not taking full responsibility for that, but it shouldn’t happen.”


Stay tune for a full race report...