Van Gisbergen, McLaughlin in qualifying tangle

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 25/08/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Officials are investigating an awkward exchange between title rivals Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen in the dying stages of ARMOR ALL Qualifying at The Bend.

Television footage showed van Gisbergen trying to find a way around the Shell Ford as they rounded the final turns, preparing for a last qualifying lap.

Van Gisbergen overtook McLaughlin out of the penultimate corner and started his lap ahead of the Falcon, but then slowed dramatically on the entry to Turn 3.

McLaughlin had to abort his lap as a result and was left dumbfounded by his fellow Kiwi’s driving.

Asked whether van Gisbergen had cost him, McLaughlin said: “You never know because we didn’t get to do the lap.

“But at the end of the (previous) lap, we were going to have an attempt there at trying to do it on our second run.

“The tyres were taking a long time to get up to temp, so my plan was to do my fast lap and then have another crack again.

“On my first run we were able to do one of our quickest sectors on our second lap. Anyway, it is what it is, he might not have seen me, I don’t know what was going on.

“But he rushed to get in front of me before the start of the lap… I don’t know, I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Van Gisbergen was meanwhile in little mood to speak to the Fox Sports broadcast immediately after the session.

Chased by reporter Riana Crehan for his side of the story on the McLaughlin incident, he said: ‘I don’t know about that,” before adding. “Oh, on the in-lap? There were yellow flags.”

Van Gisbergen ended up second for the session behind team-mate Jamie Whincup, who is also under investigation for a dangerous rejoin following an early spin.

McLaughlin qualified fifth in what was a solid result after a tough run through the three practice sessions.

“Literally that session was probably the first time all weekend I got my laps half-decent, but still not 100 percent,” he said.

“It’s a very unpredictable track. You go into a corner and really don’t have any feeling of what the car’s going to do.

“We need to work on it, but the track then took a massive, 180-degree swing. It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to it.”

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