McLaughlin wins despite radio miscommunication

Tom Howard

Saturday 6th May, 2017 - 7:48pm

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Scott McLaughlin celebrates victory in Race 7

Scott McLaughlin says his critical pit stop on the way to a commanding victory in Race 7 was the result of a radio miscommunication.

The DJR Team Penske driver stormed into a healthy lead before pitting his Falcon on lap 22 which was just a lap after his pole-sitting team-mate of Fabian Coulthard.

McLaughlin, who had built up a 3.5s advantage before ducking into the pits, rejoined the race narrowly ahead of the sister #12 DJRTP Falcon.

However, the 23-year-old revealed post race that the timing of his pit stop was earlier than planned.

The Kiwi misheard a call from engineer Ludo Lacroix to ‘push’ and instead elected to pit.

Luckily his team was able to react in time to service the car which went on to take the victory by just over a second from Coulthard.

The miscommunication was not the first since he has paired with Lacroix, but he remains confident the error will be ironed out.

“We went over this like crazy in the pre-brief,” said McLaughlin.

“It was one of those things where I wasn’t meant to pit that lap, I actually misheard Ludo, so pitting that lap probably effectively got me the lead back.

“It was a miscommunication for me to pit that lap, so I don’t know. They were going to sort it out, I just trust my team’s decision.

“During the race it was hard, because Ludo was speaking to me in the bowl (Turn 6) and we’ve had radio dramas down there.

“I thought he said ‘pit’, but he said ‘push’ apparently. That’s how it is, we’re getting used to each other.

“We were lucky. We’ll sort it out, there are no dramas apart from those little things.”

Reflecting on the victory, McLaughlin described the triumph as a special day in his career.

“It has been an amazing day for us as a team, as a squad. To look after the tyres and really just pull away was a pretty special day for all of us,” he added.

McLaughlin’s first points paying win for DJRTP sees him remain fifth in the standings, but he has closed to within 85 points of championship leader Coulthard.