Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat. (AAP Image/Mark Horsburgh)
Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat. (AAP Image/Mark Horsburgh)

Bathurst winner reveals death threats

SCOTT McLaughlin dreamt of winning Bathurst his whole life but the aftermath quickly turned into a nightmare - and he's had enough.

The Supercars series leader has hit back hard at critics of his team's win at Mt Panorama last weekend after a controversy surrounding go-slow tactics employed by teammate Fabian Coulthard.

Motorsport legend Larry Perkins labelled the tactics "disgraceful" on race day while Penrite Racing boss Barry Ryan said the Penske team "fixed the race" with Coulthard's actions, which held up the field.

But McLaughlin has a different view. "What they're saying is completely wrong. I think it's ridiculous. We didn't do anything of that sort," McLaughlin told Fox Sports' The Loud Pedal podcast.

"Bathurst is always unpredictable and there's always woulda, coulda, shoulda stories, and I think there are some people in other teams that should be focusing on their internal team issues before they kick on about us. And that's what pisses me off a lot about the whole thing."

McLaughlin said the controversy had taken the gloss of what he expected to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of his racing career.

"We deserved to win that race, I believe we won it fair and square, it just sucks we have to deal with all this stuff and what probably should be the greatest week of my life," he said.

Alex Premat and Scott McLaughlin. Photographer: Adam Yip
Alex Premat and Scott McLaughlin. Photographer: Adam Yip

"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.

"I think from my point of view and Alex's point of view, we have enjoyed it as a pairing. But it has been a bit noisy and frustrating not to fully enjoy it."

COULTHARD SENT 'DEATH THREATS'

Coulthard has worn the brunt of the criticism despite simply following team orders.

"It was a directive from the team," Coulthard said. "The team said to me 'take extreme caution, the engine is hot'.

"I'm getting smashed for something I've been told to do. I'm a little bit pissed off. I did what I was told and I'm getting murdered for it."

McLaughlin said it had turned ugly for his teammate.

"He's struggling. It's been bloody hard for him, for the team, for Alex and I too, it's not the place we want to be in," McLaughlin said.

"As we always do we'll stick together as a team and get through it. But what I'll say is social media is out of control. So-called fans sending him death threats to drivers like Fabian is pathetic.

"People sending that kind of bulls*** to real people who have families, who have real lives, for me it's unacceptable and it's all created by the media controversy that has been blown out of proportion."

Fabian Coulthard. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Fabian Coulthard. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

But the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport thought the vision and an interview broadcast during the race with team boss Ryan Story was evidence enough to warrant an investigation and the result of the race will remain provisional until a hearing takes place at the Gold Coast 600 in late October.

"Essentially that team blatantly cheated, I guess, and fixed the race, from that point," Barry Ryan 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.

"It's pretty damaging (to the sport). Unfortunately there is so much public damage going on around it anyway, we just don't need another thing like this that damages our integrity and the way our sport is perceived.

"It is blatant cheating, and I don't like calling anybody a cheat but they did. They had to do that to ensure that car #17 had the chance to stay as (one of) the front two cars."

News Corp Australia


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