McLaughlin holds no grudges on return to Supercars paddock

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin says he holds no grudges on his return to the Supercars paddock after a controversial penultimate season in the championship.

McLaughlin took in last month’s Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 as a spectator and will fill a television and ‘Fanbassador’ role when the season draws to a close at the Valo Adelaide 500 next month.

Those are his first visits to the Supercars paddock since he departed for North America and a career as an IndyCar driver in October 2020, having just sealed a third straight title in the Australian Touring Car Championship.

It was the middle year of that threepeat which was particularly controversial, initially because of a series of parity adjustments triggered by the introduction of the Ford Mustang in which McLaughlin was dominating.

However, the drama exploded in the aftermath of that year’s Bathurst 1000, when the New Zealander’s victory with Alexandre Premat in the Great Race came under threat due to the infamous ‘debriss’ incident.

Ultimately, they kept that win, even if DJR Team Penske and the sister car were punished, and Bathurst looked to be in the rear vision mirror.

That was until it was announced weeks later at Sandown that McLaughlin had been officially stripped of his pole position at Mount Panorama, and DJRTP fined again, due to an illegal engine (which was changed before the race).

Ahead of the 2019 season finale, it was claimed by a third party that McLaughlin had been called a ‘cheat’ by a rival team owner via text message, and another driver likened the saga to that of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France wins over doping breaches.

The three-time IndyCar race winner says he has not actively sought to clear the air with such critics, but is not holding onto grudges either.

“I saw a few others [on the Gold Coast] and whatever, but I didn’t really go out of my way,” he told selected media including Speedcafe.com.

“I can’t change people’s opinions about me or what went on, so I’m not really going to go out of my way to try and fix that myself; that’s up to them.

“I’ve gone about my business and they have about theirs and that’s fine.

“I’m just pressing on with what I’ve got to do over in America, and then I’ll do the same when I come back here and do the commentary thing; I’ll just do my job.

“I’m excited to see what it’s like on that side, you know, interviewing various people and whatever.

“I haven’t really tried to mend anything, so I’m not sure whether there’s a drama or whatever.

“But, look, at the end of the day, the tension was there, but I felt like it was a it was a competitive tension for the most part.

“Certainly, there were some people that made it personal, but at the same time, I don’t hold any grudges.

“I’ll just get on with my life, and it is what it is.”

The Adelaide 500 takes place on December 1-4.

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