McLaughlin reflects on Bathurst agony
Scott McLaughlin has reflected on the agony of watching his Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 dream come to a premature end.
The Shell V-Power Racing driver headed into Sunday’s race as the favourite after recording a record breaking 2:03.83s lap to claim pole position.
McLaughlin and Alex Premat were firmly in the hunt in the early stages before an engine fault developed, which eventually proved terminal on lap 75, when Premat ground to halt at The Cutting.
The Kiwi, who logged just 25 laps of the race, was left to witness a chance to challenge for Australian motorsport’s richest prize evaporate in the team garage.
The disappointment follows a missed opportunity last year when his victory hopes were dashed after being caught up in a late race clash involving Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander.
After such an impressive start to the weekend where he marked himself as the clear pacesetter, he was left gutted that the potential was unable to be shown in the race.
“I am gutted, I think if it was an all dry race, potentially, we had a really good car,” said McLaughlin.
“Who knows, hindsight is a wonderful thing but I felt like we had a really strong car in the race so to not be able to show that. It just leaves you wondering.
“It is a bit of a weird feeling. Getting out, my last lap was lap 24, so it was pretty weird.
“You can’t do anything about it.
“We were travelling really good, the car was nice, second there and then all of a sudden we saw it’s dropped speed down the straight and we just didn’t know what it was.
“We thought we could have fixed it a couple of times, and I was getting ready to jump back in, and then thing just stopped and we were done.”
McLaughlin’s early demise saw his 84 point championship lead turn into a 97 point deficit as team-mate Fabian Coulthard finished third to take command of the title race.
The damage was however lessened after title rival Jamie Whincup suffered mechanical drama of his own.
The Red Bull Holden driver also suffered an engine problem that saw the #88 car spend a lengthy period on the garage, before re-emerging for the closing stages to score a 20th place finish.
Looking ahead to the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, McLaughlin is relishing the next stage of the championship battle.
“I don’t mind being the chaser for once for a while, it is nice too,” added McLaughlin.
“We know we are fast at the Gold Coast, I feel like it is a good track for both of us and the last few races after that we should be okay.
“It is going to be a good battle for the championship, not only between me and Fabian, but also Jamie.”