Red Bull Holden Racing Team drivers Shane van Gisbergen (R) and Garth Tander with Virgin Australia crew ahead of this weekends Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Gold Coast, Queensland. Australia 25th-27th Oct 2019
Red Bull Holden Racing Team drivers Shane van Gisbergen (R) and Garth Tander with Virgin Australia crew ahead of this weekends Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Gold Coast, Queensland. Australia 25th-27th Oct 2019

‘Ifs, buts and maybes don’t get you the trophy’

BATHURST bridesmaid Shane van Gisbergen has refused to weigh into Scott McLaughlin's controversial Mount Panorama triumph despite admitting his championship hopes are over.

Van Gisbergen was runner-up in the thrilling Bathurst 1000 earlier this month which saw McLaughlin's DJR Team Penske outfit later hit with a record $250,000 fine.

The "go slow" controversy has cast a shadow over McLaughlin's maiden Bathurst victory and been slammed by Supercars legend Craig Lowndes, a seven-time Bathurst champion.

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At the time, van Gisbergen was perplexed by DJR Team Penske's Fabian Coulthard driving "stupidly slow" when a safety car was deployed in the final stages of the race.

"Fabian is going stupidly slow," Van Gisbergen said on team radio.

"Fabian should get a penalty for that … that was shocking."

Coulthard was relegated from sixth to last place in the official race results and DJR was stripped of 300 team championship points on top of the record fine.

While it is impossible to predict how the race would have panned out if not for the controversy, van Gisbergen was in the mix to claim his maiden Bathurst title.

But the Kiwi superstar was in no mood to talk about the controversy at a promotion for this weekend's Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise.

Van Gisbergen has been tightlipped about the controversy.
Van Gisbergen has been tightlipped about the controversy.

"I've got no public thoughts," he said.

"It's last week's news."

Van Gisbergen has partnered with three-time Bathurst champion Garth Tander for the three-round endurance leg of the Supercars Championship.

Tander has been critical of the penalties imposed on DJR, but said there was no point stewing over the Bathurst result.

"Ifs, buts and maybes don't get you the trophy," he said.

"What's happened in the past can't be changed. The focus is the Gold Coast this weekend.

"It was our first run together at Bathurst. I really enjoyed that. On the podium was a great way to start the relationship.

"You couldn't get a more different race circuit than the Gold Coast versus Bathurst."

McLaughlin's Bathurst victory has given him a 622-point lead in the championship standings ahead of Red Bull Racing's van Gisbergen.

Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat held onto the title despite the controversy.
Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat held onto the title despite the controversy.

Van Gisbergen admitted it was a certainty McLaughlin would claim back-to-back

championships and he was now fighting for a second consecutive runner-up finish.

"We're racing for second unfortunately," the 2016 Supercars champion said.

"We're getting more competitive and closer to the front more consistently.

"Unfortunately the leader, Scotty, had an awesome first half of the year and it's really hard to claw that back.

"His car was (miles ahead) and he was as well, all the Fords were really good. We're closer to the Ford level now."

Practice for the Gold Coast 600 begins Friday

News Corp Australia


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