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McLaughlin: Reynolds rivalry ‘good’ for the sport

Tom Howard

Tuesday 16th July, 2019 - 11:35am

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Scott McLaughlin and David Reynolds have spoken out about their ongoing rivalry

Scott McLaughlin is not ‘stressed’ by the growing rivalry between himself and David Reynolds, stating that he welcomes hard racing.

The pair clashed at the start of Race 18 at the Watpac Townsville 400, ruining both drivers’ races while sparking a building rivalry into life after McLaughlin confronted Reynolds twice over the incident post-race.

It triggered a war of words with McLaughlin saying that Reynolds was at fault while the latter felt the series leader wasn’t ‘man enough to deal with hard racing’.

Since then, the feud has gathered momentum through the medium of podcasts with both drivers sharing their views on the crash and the rivalry on their own shows.

Shell V-Power Racing’s McLaughlin, speaking on his Balls and Bumpers podcast, believes the rivalry won’t any effect when the pair find themselves fighting for position in future races.

“It hasn’t made us closer, by any means. It’s certainly a rivalry that Supercars is relishing on,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s not going to affect me going for a move on him or racing him side-by-side. But it’s probably a bit different off-track.

“We certainly won’t be going down the pub and having a beer, that’s for sure.

“I’m not really stressed. Rivalries are good for the sport. This has been a massive talking subject for a lot of people.”

“In this sport you’re going to get to a point where you don’t like someone, you can’t like everyone, that’s just BS. It’s a rivalry, it’s a good rivalry. I’m certainly looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Reflecting on the Townsville incident, the reigning champion maintains he didn’t move in the braking zone but admits he was overly cautious on the approach to Turn 2 prior to the contact.

“I was overly cautious, a bit of water, I was worried about the wet lines and that sort of stuff, backed off a little bit and Dave probably saw an opportunity,” McLaughlin added.

“I’m always going to think I’m in the right and he is going think he is in the right.

“I believe he made a gap, he didn’t actually go for one. It shows when he’s hit my rear wheel there… he hasn’t gone up beside me or anything like that.

“He says I moved, I don’t believe I moved, if anything it was a millimetre, which sometimes when you brake pretty hard, things move around, especially in those conditions.

“I don’t disregard hard racing, I think that is awesome. Him having a go and me and him banging doors, I don’t mind it.

“I like racing hard, you only have to look at me and Shane (van Gisbergen) in the last few years but I thought at the time we hadn’t driven on that track in 11 years in the rain so nobody knew what to expect. I felt I was driving to the conditions.”

Meanwhile, Penrite Racing’s Reynolds is adamant McLaughlin was in the wrong, claiming the Kiwi turned in on him on his Below the Bonnet podcast.

“I started to go right, but I got to a point where I was going to hit the fence,” said Reynolds.

“I’m a racing driver, (the team) pays me for my judgement. My judgement call was that there was enough room there.

“I started to make the pass, he didn’t like it so he turned in on me.

“If there was no room there, like people have been saying, I would have just drilled him in the back. I wouldn’t have got that far down the inside of him before he closed the door.

“But there was enough room, I started to make the move, he didn’t like it and he turned in.

“Of course he wasn’t happy, which I can understand.

“His day hadn’t gone his way, so he’s looking for someone to blame. He’s trying to blame me and I’m saying, ‘I’m trying to blame you, you moved under brakes, you’re not allowed to.’”

The rivalry is set to continue when the Supercars Championship heads to Queensland Raceway for the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint from July 26-28.

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