Kelly can't see McLaughlin & Premat losing Bathurst trophy

Kelly can't see McLaughlin & Premat losing Bathurst trophy

"We'll just go about our business the same; attack qualifying, try and get a great qualifying spot and just a smooth race".

"That auto (Coulthard) has been the sacrificial lamb all year (for DJR Team Penske)", he added.

And the Ford gun admitted he didn't care what category Penske had in mind for him in the United States, saying he'd "race a wheelbarrow if I need to".

McLaughlin also expressed sympathy for van Gisbergen in an interview on New Zealand radio.

While McLaughlin earned kudos for fighting off Holden's Shane van Gisbergen to emerge King of the Mountain, his Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard was slammed for his actions during a late safety vehicle period. "We had a great auto all day and unfortunately for him there is a bit of conjecture there, but he drove a great race and I feel bad for him, that's for sure", McLaughlin told Radio Sport.

DJR Team Penske team boss Ryan Story insisted on Sunday there was a problem with overheating in Coulthard's auto at the time of the controversy.

Coulthard said he was a passionate racer who loved the sport and felt he was being used as a "scapegoat" for how the race ended.

"You need about a 40-second lead, roughly, and when you see the difference in times you can do, we were doing, I think, 1.8 faster than McLaughlin at some stage just before the yellows".

McLaughlin and co-driver, the Frenchman Alex Premat, started from pole position in their DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang and were the combination to beat for most of the race.

McLaughlin is not set to be stripped of his maiden Bathurst victory but governing body Confederation of Australian Motor Sport have confirmed the 2019 Bathurst 1000 results remain provisional until the hearing.

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"We'll obviously review. I think we should have made it earlier", he said.

"Everyone had a chance, and the two top duelled it out in the end and the outcome was what we wanted".

Coulthard's actions also avoided double stacking or waiting behind his teammate McLaughlin in the pits.

As it turned out the former was the more effective strategy, Whincup dropping to fourth thanks to a Lap 151 stop, while a pair of late cautions helped McLaughlin save enough juice to make it to the finish. I'm so proud of everyone.

The second DJR Team Penske vehicle of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto finished sixth ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards, Scott Pye and Warren Luff, Rick Kelly and Dale Wood with Lee Holdsworth and Thomas Randle rounding out the top 10.

Supercars great Larry Perkins took aim at the Shell V Power Racing Team which he claims exercised "disgraceful" sportsmanship.

Leading Ford drivers Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert - looming in third and fourth respectively - appeared threats but came into contact, ploughing into the gravel together on lap 124 to prompt a safety vehicle and end their title quests.

It marked the first Bathurst win by McLaughlin's DJR team since 1994.

McLaughlin extended his series lead over nearest rival van Gisbergen to 622 points.

A total of 201,975 people flocked to Mount Panorama over four days.

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