Communication breakdown for McLaughlin

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 04/03/2017
  • By Lewis Isaacs

Scott McLaughlin says a communication breakdown triggered the pitlane penalty that curtailed his debut with Shell V-Power Racing.

The Kiwi was running fifth in the second stint when he was given a drive-through for weaving behind the Safety Car after its lights had been extinguished.

McLaughlin explained a lack of familiarity with his new team was likely to blame for the incident which dropped him to 17th on his debut for Shell V-Power Racing.

“I knew straight away (that I'd broken the rules),” McLaughlin explained post-race.

“I couldn’t see the Safety Car and it was in the dip (on Bartels Road) and the light had obviously gone out.

“I was behind I think it was (Shane) van Gisbergen at the time, and the Safety Car had gone down and I was weaving still and trying to get the temperatures up.

“It’s one of those things where I was used to getting told that the lights were out.

“It’s no fault of anyone’s and something we’ve got work on from the first race.

“I fully understand the rule and the penalty, it’s just disappointing.”

McLaughlin's penalty was one of two high-profile punishments in the season opening race.

Erebus Motorsport driver David Reynolds was robbed of a top 10 finish when issued a late-race drive-through for reaching four kerb strikes.

The punishments came in the first race after Supercars made sweeping changes to its judicial process that has placed an emphasis on investigating on-track incidents post-race.

Speaking immediately after the penalty was issued, Erebus Motorsport’s general manager Barry Ryan was highly critical of its severity.

Reynolds’ penalty followed a decision to investigate an incident between Mark Winterbottom and Jamie Whincup post-race.

“The judicial system has had a big overview and they don’t want to do drive-through penalties,” said Ryan, whose driver eventually finished 18th.

“We’ve just copped a drive-through in the hardest race of the year for overuse of the kerbs.

“We saw a multiple champion (Whincup) turn someone around and he’s got no penalty. It’s just not fair in a race like this. 

“The play-on thing is what they want and a drive-through for overuse of kerbs is just not right.”

McLaughlin said his penalty felt harsh but did not want to draw a comparison to the amended judicial system.

“That’s the rule and it’s been in place for a long time,” he said.

“We knew it, it was just a communication error. 

“It’s a little bit harsh, but I wouldn’t have a massive complaint at the moment. You shouldn’t be doing it.

“I wouldn’t blame the rule. It’s just unfortunate. We shouldn’t do that.”

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