SUPERCARS
Friday, Oct 18 11:50am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Match-fixing allegations are “frustrating and ridiculous” says Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has dismissed suggestions that DJR Team Penske fixed the Bathurst 1000 result to let him win the race.

 

Earlier this week Erebus Motorsport team boss Barry Ryan made match-fixing allegations on the Below the Bonnet podcast. 

 

Speaking candidly with Virgin Australia Supercars Championship competitors David Reynolds and Michael Caruso, Ryan said DJR Team Penske “blatantly cheated” with their antics that saw Fabian Coulthard slow drastically under Full Course Caution.

 

The slow down allowed race leader Jamie Whincup and Coulthard’s teammate McLaughlin to sprint away to the pit lane. There have been some suggestions that the slow down greatly impacted the result of the race with some teams believing they could have usurped the leading pair in the pit lane with a lighter fuel load necessary. 

 

READ MORE: Top 10 biggest Bathurst 1000 controversies in history


The incident began on Lap 134 and had lasting impacts once the field recycled on Lap 136. As a result of the slow down, Coulthard and Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen didn’t have to double stack while others weren’t able to make the most of their fuel advantage.

 

Ryan said DJR Team Penske has brought the sport into disrepute.

 

“Essentially that team blatantly cheated, I guess, and fixed the race, from that point,” he said.

 

“There's no other way to look at it. it's pretty clear from the vision, the radio, the body language of the people they interviewed within the team that they did it on purpose.”

 

In the fallout from the race, McLaughlin said the controversy has taken the shine off what was supposed to be “greatest week of my life.”

 

“I believe we won it fair and square, it just sucks we have to deal with all this stuff,” McLaughlin said on Fox Sports’ Loud Pedal Podcast

 

“I’m not going to lie, it has been a bit sad and it could have been a lot better for us to enjoy it.

 

“But I think from my point of view and Alex’s point of view, we have enjoyed it as a pairing, away from it, but it has been a bit frustrating not to fully enjoy it.”


AUDIO: DJR Team Penske tell Fabian Coulthard to slow down

 

A hearing will take place before next weekend’s Gold Coast 600 with a Teams’ Championship points penalty and monetary fine likely to be dished out. While there have been some suggestions in the media that McLaughlin might lose his win, he remains confident that he will keep it. 

 

“What they’re saying is completely wrong. I think it’s ridiculous,” McLaughlin said of the ‘match-fixing’ allegations.

 

“We didn’t do anything of that sort. I mean, the Safety Car period was nearly 30 laps from the finish and you’ve got to look at what happened after that, two more Safety Cars.

 

“Bathurst is always unpredictable and there’s always woulda, coulda, shoulda stories. I think there are some people in other teams that should be focusing on their internal team issues before they kick-on about us.

 

“That’s what’s pissing me off a lot about the whole thing. It is frustrating and ridiculous. But what I’ll say is social media is out of control. So-called fans sending death threats to drivers like Fabian is pathetic.

 

“People sending that kind of bullshit to real people who have families, who have real lives, to deal with it is really, for me it’s unacceptable and it’s all created by the media controversy that has been blown out of proportion.”

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