Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin are in a heated battle for the Supercars championships, but van Gisbergen has proved blood is thicker than petrol with an impressive display of sportsmanship after his fellow Kiwi suffered a shocking crash in qualifying at the Gold Coast 600.
- Scott McLaughlin was leading qualifying when he crashed his car and ended up on his side
- Fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen was first on the scene, pulling up and getting out of his car on the track to help
- McLaughlin is leading second-placed van Gisbergen in the race for this year’s Supercars championship
Boasting the best time in qualifying in the third-last event of the season, McLaughlin lost control of his Mustang through a couple of chicanes and sped into the fence, before the car flipped onto its side and slid perilously across the track.
It eventually came to a stop against the wall on the other side of the road, with McLaughlin fumbling with his harness as he tried to get himself out of the car that took him to a controversial Bathurst victory two weeks ago.
Van Gisbergen was the first person on the scene, pulling up in his Number 97 Holden before getting out and running over to his compatriot’s car as medical officials arrived.
McLaughlin eventually clambered out of his vehicle with some help from the officials and climbed down into the waiting arms of van Gisbergen, who helped the limping and clearly shaken driver to a medical car.
The gesture of sportsmanship came in the midst of hte championship contest between the pair.
McLaughlin is currently atop the standings for the 2019 season after holding onto his Mount Panorama title despite some major punishments for his team over its tactics in the race, with van Gisbergen sitting in second, 613 points behind after finishing second ahead of McLaughlin in the first 300-kilometre race of the weekend on Saturday.
With two races left after the Gold Coast event, McLaughlin could have wrapped the title up today. Instead, he will watch the second of the Surfers Paradise races from a more stationary seat.
“The minute you take it half throttle, that’s when bad things happen,” he said on Saturday.
But any thoughts of championship points appeared to be put aside as van Gisbergen rushed to his friend’s aid during qualifying for Sunday’s shootout, which McLaughlin is unable to take part in after this crash.
“It’s a pretty bad incident, but fortunately Scotty is alright so he could jump out of the car, that’s the main thing,” McLaughlin’s co-driver, Alex Premat, said.
“It’s bad ending the day like this, but it’s motor racing. He did the best at what he could do, we didn’t see what happened because we didn’t have so much onboard.
“It’s very unfortunate, but all that matters is Scotty is out of the car.
“We need to see when the car is back here what we can do, how bad it is, but the whole team will be making sure everything is back together, either today or [the next event] at Sandown.”
McLaughlin passed a concussion test and was cleared to drive, but the car could not be repaired in time for Sunday afternoon’s race.