Sponsor clashes stopped a Kiwi dream team at the Bathurst 12 Hour

Sponsor clashes stopped a Kiwi dream team at the Bathurst 12 Hour
February 5, 2018 | 9:01 am | Author: Steven Wright

McLaren could have had an all-Kiwi dream team featuring both Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen in the same car at yesterday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour if sponsors weren’t a problem.

Putting aside their Supercars rivalry to team up in a McLaren 650S GT3 car could’ve happened for top Kiwi racers Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen, but sponsors clashes forced the New Zealanders into separate cars.

Van Gisbergen raced alongside Lowndes and Frenchman Come Ledogar in car No 58, while McLaughlin had Australian Fraser Ross, Andrew Watson from Ireland and Britain’s Alexander West in the YNA PRO-AM entry.

It’s not known who would’ve joined the Kiwis if they did pair together in the same McLaren 650S, but no doubt it be someone fast like Richie Stanaway or Jaxon Evans.

“There were a couple of sponsor conflicts that didn’t enable me to pair up with Shane, which I really wanted to do,” McLaughlin said.

“It just didn’t work out, maybe one day it might and I’ll be in an all pro car, but I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”

“Being in the Pro-Am, I’ll get a fair number of laps under my belt and we had a great line up to win the Pro-Am.”

McLaughlin holds the lap record in a Supercar around the Mt Panorama circuit with a time of 2:03.8312 around the 6.213km circuit.

But van Gisbergen holds the overall lap record at 2:01.5670, done in a McLaren 650S GT3 in qualifying at the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour.

McLaughlin says there are parts of the iconic track where the cars are driven differently.

“They’re vehicles that require finesse at different points of the track,” he said.

“The aero is massive on the McLaren compared to the Supercar. But the Supercar is fast in the straight and that’s where it makes up the time.”

“It’s going to be about trying to flow the car, very similar to a V8, but it has a lot more grip and you have to get used to it.”

McLaughlin finished 11th overall in the PRO-Am McLaren car, while Van Gisbergen’s McLaren suffered engine overheating issues in yesterday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.