A legal threat to stop Shane van Gisbergen racing might not have fazed the Kiwi star but the fallout over his controversial V8 Supercars team switch has clearly been felt by fellow drivers.
Compatriot Fabian Coulthard accused van Gisbergen of being a liar ahead of this weekend's V8 Supercars season opener in Adelaide following his messy departure from Ford's Stone Brothers Racing (SBR).
Van Gisbergen took to the track in practice sessions on Adelaide's tough street circuit on Friday after reports emerged his former team would stop him competing.
The 23-year-old driver sensationally walked away from a recently renewed three-season deal with SBR and ''retired'' from V8s late in 2012 citing a lack of motivation.
However, he again shocked the touring car community by signing up for family-run Holden team Tekno Autosports in 2013, much to SBR's dismay.
SBR - now owned by Mercedes' Erebus Motorsport - claimed van Gisbergen's Tekno Autosports deal contravened the terms of his release and there were reports they were seeking an injunction to enforce a one-year, non-compete clause.
Coulthard further stoked up the debate on Friday when he claimed fellow V8 Supercars drivers questioned van Gisbergen's controversial switch.
''Amongst the drivers, we don't really appreciate being lied to,'' he told New Zealand's Radio Sport.
''It was generally thought that he (van Gisbergen) was having an issue and was going to have a year off and then come back in 2014.
''But to go about it how he has gone about it, I think he probably could have gone about it in a slightly better way with the lying.''
When van Gisbergen's Tekno Autosports deal was announced, SBR team boss Ross Stone said: ''SBR is considering its legal position and whether it is worthwhile holding (van Gisbergen) to his promises''.
The V8 Supercars season opens in Adelaide with two 250km races this weekend.
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