V8 Supercars feud as van Gisbergen flips bird
A feud has erupted between New Zealand V8 Supercar drivers Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen.
The drivers clashed in Sunday's race at the Perth 400 as McLaughlin tried to overtake Van Gisbergen.
McLaughlin claimed Van Gisbergen gave him "the bird" on the straight.
After the race, Van Gisbergen was called an ''a*******'' and accused of bad sportsmanship by McLaughlin.
McLaughlin qualified well for the race, but had trouble with his door and needed a long pit stop. He also took on more fuel, which put him back down the pack, where Van Gisbergen was.
"We got caught up in stuff that we shouldn't have," McLaughlin told v8supercars.com.au.
"That's pretty much what happened and we came up to people on worse tyres. I think Van Gisbergen was on a bad set of tyres and we were a lot faster.
"I've always tried to race that bloke pretty clean and with respect because we've got like a little Kiwi code going on, and I would say he was very unsportsmanlike towards myself and he let a lot of other people through, and nice without touching them. And then when it came up to me, he was an a*******.
"What happened - I don't know what his deal is.
"I've never tried to upset him in any way, but we've moved on.
"I saw him after the race and we'll move on from this, but I had to go say something to him because I was a bit upset.
"I'm not trying to have a whinge or anything like that, but I just don't rate unsportsmanlike conduct, I guess."
McLaughlin said Van Gisbergen told him the reason why they clashed was because they were both racing on the same lap, battling for position.
"I said, 'I know mate, you were on the same lap as me, I was racing you hard, but I just don't understand why you have to wreck both our races for the sake of [it]', and then he drives past me down the straight and he's pulling the bird at me," McLaughlin said.
"I just find that absolutely appalling, to be honest. What can you say?
"I've always been taught by my family to be respectful to other people and when [there's] an unknown reason for someone to do that to you, is pretty average I reckon."
After this bustup, McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen will be watched closely next time they are near each other on a track, but the 20-year-old said he hoped this was not the start of something that got bigger.
"I don't want a rivalry with him," McLaughlin said.
"I understand - we're all Kiwis and we all want the same thing. But when you go out of your way to stuff someone over for no apparent reason, and then go down the straight and pull the bird at them, obviously you're aiming to stuff their race
"I've always given him respect and room on the track. There's biff and barge, but we always race pretty cleanly ... I sound like a sook, but it's just one of those things."
McLaughlin finished 17th and Van Gisbergen 20th.
Van Gisbergen spoke to v8supercars.com.au before speaking to McLaughlin but did not mention any incidents.