McLaughlin: My Bathurst win isn’t tarnished
Scott McLaughlin has broken his silence to reveal how he got through the six-day turmoil of not knowing whether he was a Bathurst king.
Speaking for the first time about the charge that threatened to rob of him of his greatest win, McLaughlin said his maiden Bathurst 1000 victory should not be tarnished by the team orders controversy.
DJR/Team Penske copped the biggest fine in Bathurst history when the all-conquering team was found guilty of issuing a team order.
The same investigation also cleared McLaughlin of any wrongdoing in a finding that allowed him to keep his first Bathurst win.
"It wasn't the week that I thought I was going to have after I won the biggest race of my life,'' McLaughlin said.
"It was obviously a tough week. It was an unfortunate situation and I am certainly glad we can put it behind us.
"We can now celebrate being Bathurst 1000 champions. I have been wanting to win that race forever. I think everyone knows what it means to me and it was a dream come true. It has capped off a pretty awesome year.''
McLaughlin refused to even contemplate having his epic last lap win over Shane van Gisbergen stripped.
"It is hard to speculate how I would have felt,'' McLaughlin said.
"I didn't even worry about it until all the media started coming out and people started getting angry or whatever. I can't tell you how it would have felt. I was adamant the whole week that I hadn't done anything wrong and it would be fine.''
McLaughlin is adamant he won the race legitimately.
"I don't think (it has been tarnished),'' McLaughlin said.
"For me it had nothing to do with me or Car.17. If you look at the stewards report it acknowledges that.
"We still had 30 laps to go and I had to first beat Jamie and then hold off Shane at the end. I still think it was a bloody good race and anyone that can't say that is probably lying. I am proud of how I drove and how I executed. That is all that matters to me.''
"We can be proud we have won it after 25 years as a team. It means a lot and I am proud of myself, my team and of Alex. We earned that win.''
McLaughlin recalled his shock at being told a CAMS charge had put his win in doubt.
"We just went 'stuff it, let's not worry about it','' McLaughlin said.
"I just put it down to noise on the outside. I just had to block it all out and get on with it.''
McLaughlin will now turn his attention to winning his second championship title in a row with the Ford flyer out to win the crown at the Gold Coast 600 this weekend.
"I have a really good chance to get some good points even if we can't wrap it up,'' McLaughlin said.
"We can put ourselves in a good position to wrap it up. It would be nice to wrap it up. I'll be having a crack.''
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