Sean van Giesburgen gave a brief response but noted Scott McLaughlin’s accusation of playing “silly games” in the Townsville Final.
McLaughlin was dismayed by Van Giesburg’s late-race pass to top the 39-lap race, as Holden’s driver ran Ford extensively, allowing teammate Jimmy Winkop to follow him.
As a result, Whincup reduced the McLaughlin Championship to 143 points with three events remaining in the 2020 title race.
McLaughlin called the move “pretty average”, adding that “it’s a little early for those silly games.”
Asked about this comment at the post-race press conference in which the three drivers participated, Van Giesbergen said: “I don’t know about these things.
“We don’t need to stir up” wreckage “and things like that. I thought it was a fair pass on my part.”
Van Gisbergen’s sign “debriss” was a vocal reminder of the 2019 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, with McLaughlin and his assistant Alex Primate defeating in controversial circumstances.
McLaughlin’s teammate, Fabian Coulthard, had held out on the field under the safety of the race car, for which the team was subsequently fined and rejected points, which were deemed to have violated FIA’s fairness rules.
In their findings, the hosts declared that the misspelling of the word “wreck” in broadcast messages to Coulthard is evidence that its architect was “speaking to text”.
Bathurst this year will host the tournament winner for the first time in two decades, as the date of October 18 has been confirmed to conclude the season.
When asked at the press conference whether the rivalry between the two teams was escalating with the approach of Bathurst, McLaughlin said: “It is always boiling away, and it is clearly still on their minds.
“We won [at Bathurst last year] And we’re really proud of that achievement and last year’s tournament and how we got it.
“ But at the end of the day, we’re working hard as a team to take the fight to one of the best teams on the parking lot.
“You want to fight to the end. Obviously we’ll hit the doors and disagree from time to time. This is motorsport and this is how we go about it.”
“It won’t change the way I race between the two or whatever. I’m damned if I do and damn if I don’t.
“If I say something I’ll be hated and if I don’t say something people will say I’m soft, so it’s one of those deals I have to do.”
Meanwhile, Winkop welcomed today’s controversy, adding of the late-race pass: “I was just doing my job. It’s a race, it’s a team sport and we’re racing hard.”
“It has lasted for years and we hope it will continue for many years to come. That’s it.
“The day that no one talks about [the sport’s rivalries] The day we should be anxious. “
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