Motorsport: Scott McLaughlin can't see point in no points

By Eric Thompson

Scott McLaughlin during the V8 Supercars test day.
Scott McLaughlin during the V8 Supercars test day.

Kiwi Scott McLaughlin kept his Volvo out of trouble despite heavy rain and fuel stop dramas and consistently picked up points at the Adelaide opening round of the V8 Supercars season.

"Everyone had a bad race over the weekend at some stage," said McLaughlin. "We probably had the most consistent weekend and are fourth in the points.

"Form-wise, you got an idea how fast everyone was because qualifying was all done in the dry.

"However, on Sunday the rain threw a bit of a curve ball at everyone. Being consistent over the whole weekend was a good indicator for the rest of the season. At times last year we were fast but not reliable. Now we're fast and reliable even in the wet with water splashing the electrics.

"If the race had gone the full distance I reckon we would have been in the best position of all them all."

On a day of where just about everyone up and down pit lane were scratching their heads trying to figure out who finished where, Lucas Dumbrell had his first race win.

The wheelchair-bound team boss of the single car Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport outfit has been holding its own against the big boys for years. However, the signing of the well-respected Nick Percat has given the team extra oomph, and coupling that with a smart fuel strategy saw LDM notch their first win.

Adelaide wasn't an indicator of how the season will pan out and nor will this weekend's second event as the support class for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. With no championship points on offer, some team managers will no doubt be playing the long game and prioritising having a straight car when leaving Melbourne.

You can say all you like in the pit garage and try and reign a driver in, but without exception every person behind the steering wheel when the lights go out will want to beat everyone else on the grid.

"At the end of the day it's a race and when the visors come down we'll all be taking it seriously. We all want to win and that's what I'll be out to do.

"Points or no points it's not going to make any difference how I race.

Others might be different but not me.

"The car feels good and we're slowly putting the nail in the coffin of our engine dramas. I don't want to jinx anything early in the season but I reckon we'll go all right.

"We'll be trying a few new things this weekend and we'll give it our best shot. I'll be staying out of trouble as I want t be the master of my own destiny, not the result of someone else's," said McLaughlin.

The CEO of V8 Supercars, James Warburton, has made it obvious he's not keen on racing at Phillip Island when there are no championship points on offer. Due to machinations of the F1 world, V8 Supercars are not allowed to use the weekend for points gathering.

Warburton was even quoted as saying the category might pull the pin when the contract is up for renewal at the end of 2018.

McLaughlin has a strong opinion on what he thinks about putting it all on the line and coming away with no points at end of the day.

"The risk is always there [crashing] whether there are points on offer or not -- that's racing. It's fantastic to be racing here and putting on a good show for the sponsors and fans, but it's bulls**t we're not racing for points.

"I think the Grand Prix needs us more than we need them and it's frustrating we race for no points. We're racing just about every second weekend now and the crew could have had a weekend off," said McLaughlin.

Two 30-minute races were held yesterday with another at 5.20pm today and fourth tomorrow at 2.20pm with the F1 starting at 6pm.

- NZ Herald

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