McLaughlin: ‘Massive respect’ for SVG after ‘fake narrative’

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen

Scott McLaughlin has expressed “massive respect” for Shane van Gisbergen after the Triple Eight driver broke his silence over the drama which transpired at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

Van Gisbergen was roundly criticised for effectively refusing to answer questions on either television or in the press conference which followed his victory in Race 2 of the Repco Supercars Championship.

That criticism included comments from Mark Skaife on live national television when a relatively brief grab of said press conference was replayed during the post-race show which aired on Fox Sports.

What was unstated then, although admitted by Skaife himself in relation to David Reynolds on television only a day earlier, is that Supercars drivers have been under pressure to toe the line on the new Gen3 ruleset despite a number of concerns.

In a lengthy Monday night social media post, van Gisbergen claimed he had “upset some of the top brass” with his comments about cabin heat, for example, and declared, “I am not going to pretend it’s all roses when it is not.”

McLaughlin wrote in a reply to that post, “I think what you have said is completely honest and no BS.

“Massive respect for not leaning into the fake narrative and calling it how it is.

“It’s only going to make things better, but people need to listen.

“Keep ya head up mate, always gonna be haters when you’re at the top of your game.”

While McLaughlin and van Gisbergen are known to be friends despite their heated championship battles, that was far from the only support from current or former paddock figures.

Fabian Coulthard, for example, simply wrote, “Well said.”

Reynolds was also a participant in the aforementioned press conference after he finished third in Race 2, and stated while sat to van Gisbergen’s left that evening that, “They don’t want us to say anything negative.”

He did not specify who ‘they’ was or exactly what instruction he had been given, but Skaife had already revealed the two “fell out of love” over the Grove Racing driver’s comments about a perceived lack of parity in recent weeks.

Skaife is not only a television commentator but board member of the parent company of Supercars and understood to have been the head of the Gen3 project since the departure of former championship CEO Sean Seamer.

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