Contents of explosive Bathurst cheating texts revealed
A SARCASTIC text message from a rival team boss sent to Scott McLaughlin and questioning the validity of the DJR/Team Penske driver's Bathurst 1000 win has ignited a bitter new Supercars feud.
The Daily Telegraph has exclusively obtained the message that Walkinshaw Andretti United team principal Ryan Walkinshaw sent to McLaughlin following a verbal altercation at the Sandown 500 earlier this month.
"It is so unfair they caught you guys for cheating,'' Walkinshaw wrote in a text message sent to Scott McLaughlin.
Claimed to be a "bit of banter'' that was sent as a response to a comment made by McLaughlin earlier that day, the Ford driver replied by declaring he was glad he knocked back an offer to sign with Walkinshaw Racing in 2016.
"I made the right decision by not signing with you in 2016,'' McLaughlin wrote.
Walkinshaw on Friday fronted up to set the record straight following a claim that he had not abused McLaughlin.
The allegation emerged after Holden driver Nick Percat took to social media to compare McLaughlin's controversial Bathurst victory to disgraced cyclist Lane Armstrong who was stripped of seven Tour de France titles.
The duo's outburst comes in the wake of The Sunday Telegraph's explosive expose on McLaughlin's Mustang - which was infamously penalised in the Bathurst 1000 for an engine breach - being the most scrutinised car in V8 history.
The story revealed that McLaughlin's car was checked 325 times during the year. Chaz Mostert was his nearest challenger on 198.
As the teams prepare for the final race of the season the toxic fallout from Scott McLaughlin's Mount Panarama triumph refuses to go away.
"It is disappointing that it is the end of the season and with so much good going on in the sport we are here putting focus on a bit of scuttlebutt between people in the Supercars paddock,'' Walkinshaw said.
"To make it clear we are all a big family here. We race hard against each other, but 99.9 per cent of the time we work closely with each other for the betterment of the sport.
"But like every family we have disagreements, and this is massive mountain made out of a mole hill.''
Walkinshaw admitted to sending the text message that has caused the controversy as a square-up for a comment made by McLaughlin during the final day of the Sandown 500.
"Scott said some negative things about me at Sandown and I sent him a bit of a jokey response in return,'' Walkinshaw said.
"There was no malice in it from either side and I took it as a bit of a joke. I have spoken to him since and we have put it behind us. We are both moving on because we are adults.''
McLaughlin refused to comment about his text message exchange with Walkinshaw on Friday.
DJR Team Penske officials are privately fuming over the text message exchange.
"I have gone on the record several times this season (in support of DJR Team Penske) saying the Holden teams should shut up and just go racing,'' Walkinshaw said.
"I have been supportive of DJR Team Penkse on a number of occasions. I have also gone on the record to try and protect people like Scott from appalling online trolling.''
Walkinshaw also congratulated McLaughlin on his season and declared his championship win as deserved.
"I wish Scott all the best, he's a good bloke, and I hope he manages to find some time to enjoy his championship, which has been hard fought and well deserved.''
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