Mercedes factory driver Maro Engel did not hide his frustration with Shane van Gisbergen following the Supercars champion’s late crash in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes that the duo shared with Craig Baird was in the fight for victory all day until it quickly came apart in the dying stages.
Van Gisbergen crashed on his own at The Dipper moments after being handed a drive-through penalty for tagging a lapped Porsche into the wall with 30 mins to go.
Click here for more on how the dramatic race unfolded.
An angry Engel kicked a stack of tyres in the STM garage immediately after the crash before storming into the team’s transporter.
The reactions... 😡😱 #B12HR pic.twitter.com/D6c9ShmmuX— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017
The reactions... 😡😱 #B12HR pic.twitter.com/D6c9ShmmuX
“It’s not motorsport in my book,” said Engel.
“All I’ve seen this week is a lot of mistakes from Shane. It’s a tough one.”
A very unhappy @MaroEngel with @shanevg97. #B12HR pic.twitter.com/yxMq9MfFJ6— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017
A very unhappy @MaroEngel with @shanevg97. #B12HR pic.twitter.com/yxMq9MfFJ6
Speaking a short time later, Van Gisbergen said he had already apologised to Porsche driver Andrew MacPherson and would also do so to Engel and the entire STM team.
“It was just a mistake,” said Van Gisbergen.
“I’m a pretty critical person on myself. I hate making mistakes and that was 100 percent myself.
“I thought I got away without a drive-through (for the MacPherson incident) and thought I could run with Jamie (Whincup, eventual winner).
“I just stuffed up and put the car in the wall.
“I was pushing on the limit and sometimes over it, we were just so slow on the straight.
“As I said it’s my mistake and I’ll be angry at myself until the next race and push on.”
Baird later voiced his support for countryman Van Gisbergen via Twitter.
@shanevg97 is a true champion on and off the track. You can't shit can a guy for giving 110%. Was proud to be his wingman.— Craig Baird MNZM (@cbairdo) February 5, 2017
@shanevg97 is a true champion on and off the track. You can't shit can a guy for giving 110%. Was proud to be his wingman.
Engel meanwhile Tweeted that he has apologised to Van Gisbergen for the television comments.
I'm a great believer in our team, he's a great driver and I've apologised to Shane for my heat of the moment comments.— Maro Engel (@MaroEngel) February 5, 2017
I'm a great believer in our team, he's a great driver and I've apologised to Shane for my heat of the moment comments.
Engel is most known to Australian audiences for his single-year Supercars campaign with Erebus Motorsport in 2013.
The long-time AMG driver was brought into the team to drive its #9 Mercedes following Van Gisbergen’s sudden exit from the squad.