Scott McLaughlin on Mustang parity debate: "absolutely I'm frustrated"
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Once again, a Kiwi sits proudly atop the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship standings. Three of them in fact.
Scott McLaughlin has looked in a class of his own this season, with eight wins already after just 12 races. He leads teammate and fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard by 142 points (almost an entire race win worth in points), with Shane van Gisbergen the best of the rest in third — a whopping 322 points behind.
His domination has raised concerns all season about the parity between the new Ford Mustang platform and the existing Holden ZB Commodore and Nissan Altima platforms. The most recent twist in the story were the changes ordered of the Mustang by Supercars officialdom, which resulted in the two-door racing at last weekend's PIRTEK Perth SuperNight event with a trimmed down rear wing and undertray.
DJR Team Penske still wound up winning both races; McLaughlin and Coulthard claiming one a piece.
The parity discussion is one that we've covered in depth, and now McLaughlin himself has addressed the issue — doing so in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“I wouldn’t say personally, but yeah, absolutely I’m frustrated,” said McLaughlin.
“I’ve seen how hard everyone’s worked as soon as this [Mustang] thing was announced. They worked bloody hard on building the car from the computer screen to what it is now. We got through all the VCAT [testing] and all that sort of stuff and got to a point where it got all ticked off by everyone. And then eventually all this stuff happens.
“I understand there’s bits and pieces that went on, but whether you agree with it or not, you’ve got to deal with it. We’ve got to push on and Supercars have got to adjudicate where they need to.”
McLaughlin also added his view that the positive results are a reflection of the increased efforts by his DJR Team Penske squad.
“I’m probably more on the [team's] side, you look at it from a frustrating point of view because you feel like you’re just a good team, and we do feel like we are one of the best teams up there – and that’s where we feel the differences [are] rather than the actual car.”
“I think last year we were probably on the back foot a little bit in terms of overall car pace. I think that’s all sort of evened out now and we’re showing true potential. I feel like we really punched above our weight last year.”
With the series facing some backlash from fans over the pair of parity changes made to the Mustang, it's hard to tell whether a third adjustment is on the cards. But if Perth was anything to go by, it'll take more than another tweak to phase the defending series champion.