McLaughlin defends DJR from 'uncalled for' criticism

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/03/2021
  • By James Pavey

Scott McLaughlin has rallied behind the Shell V-Power Racing Team following a podium-less weekend for the team at Sandown.

Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison scored P5 finishes in Race 3 and Race 5 respectively.

The trophy-less weekend came at a bogey circuit for the Ford team, which hasn’t won at Sandown since 2010.

However, that didn’t stop detractors from criticising the team, prompting McLaughlin to defend the champion Dick Johnson Racing squad.

WATCH: DAVISON'S HAIRY MOMENT

It comes amid a campaign launched by Chaz Mostert, which aims to prevent online bullying.

"This was always a tough track for us and a strong one for [Triple Eight Race Engineering], always, since I joined the team,” wrote McLaughlin, who is slated to join the team for October's Repco Bathurst 1000.

"I’m sad reading some comments the last few days, I love our fans but the attack on the team/drivers is uncalled for.

"This has been a tough start for us as a squad, Bathurst, for two new drivers, learning a new car there is impossible, [you] need time, but Anton got a provisional pole at BATHURST, jeez give them some credit.

"Now into Sandown, where we never have been amazing, but the team showed glimpses of speed even better than we have had before."

Both Davison and De Pasquale struck drama at Sandown; Davison was fed into the Turn 2 grass and suffered overheating in Race 3, while De Pasquale suffered an engine failure in Race 4.

The team began its new era with aplomb at the Bathurst season-opener, with Davison scoring a podium on the Saturday.

It came just hours after De Pasquale set the fastest lap of the weekend to score provisional pole.

To next month’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint, Davison and De Pasquale are 228 and 365 points adrift respectively from championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.

Van Gisbergen, who proved McLaughlin’s closest rival in the Kiwi’s razing run to three titles between 2018 and 2020, has won all five races in 2021.

Amid his own departure for IndyCar, the exit of Roger Penske and a new driver line-up finding its feet, McLaughlin backed the Shell squad.

"We now go to Tasmania, where we have won in the past but have also struggled at a track where T8 is always strong," said McLaughlin, who will make his full-time IndyCar debut next month.

"We have had a tough initiation for two new drivers in brand new cars. Give it time, support the drivers and the team.

"They will get there, you don’t win 3 teams championships because you’re idiots.

"But we all got a huge boost from positivity and support from all our fans, positivity will only speed up the process for you all to enjoy success sooner rather than later.

"Cheering hard from USA team, you got this!”

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