Scott McLaughlin has labelled his relationship with David Reynolds as a “good rivalry” despite an ongoing war of words between the pair.
A collision on the first lap at the rain-hit Townsville 400 sent the duo to the rear of the field in Race 18, with McLaughlin recovering to 11th while Reynolds languished down in 20th, some four laps off the pace.
Opinions were split on who did what to who – McLaughlin labelled Reynolds a “desperado” after the attempted overtake, while tensions flared in the pits when Reynolds’ girlfriend “yelled” at McLaughlin.
Reynolds later played down the drama, saying it’s “not interesting” if he just follows the runaway championship leader around.
“Dave says he wants to be friends with everybody and all of that sort of stuff, but he’s competitive, we’re all competitive, we all want to beat each other,” McLaughlin said.
“In this sport you’re going to get to a point where you don’t like someone, you can’t like everyone, that’s just BS… it’s a rivalry, it’s a good rivalry.
“I didn’t need to risk anything. Dave obviously thought he could make an opportunity there which he could have done somewhere else, he had a pretty quick car. But he ruined it for himself.
“I don’t disregard hard racing, I think that is awesome. Him having a go and me and him banging doors, I don’t mind it.
“We certainly won’t be going down the pub and having a beer, that’s for sure.”
McLaughlin went down to see Reynolds in the Penrite Racing garage twice post-race, the first confrontation seeing the championship leader copping a mouthful “left, right and centre by the whole garage pretty much”.
He denied he had bad blood with Reynolds, who remained adamant McLaughlin moved under brakes.
“Of course he wasn’t happy, which I can understand,” Reynolds said on his own podcast, Below the Bonnet.
“His day hasn’t gone his way, so he’s looking for someone to blame. He’s trying to blame me and I’m saying, ‘I’m trying to blame you, you moved under brakes, you’re not allowed to’.
“I said ‘go have a look at the footage and come back’… then Scott comes and he’s got the footage in his hand and he was trying to tell me he didn’t move, which is complete horses**t.
“It might have been a foot to half a metre… it was all I didn’t need to happen, is someone to move under brakes.
“If he’d come up to me and said ‘I’m so sorry man, I was pulling out to pass [race leader Cameron] Waters’ I would have gone ‘okay, you were trying to make a move and you didn’t see me, completely understandable’.
“But Waters was so far in front of us that that wasn’t a possibility.”
Stressing he hadn’t moved under brakes, McLaughlin acknowledged he and Reynolds didn’t see eye-to-eye over the incident.
“I was overly cautious, bit of water, I was worried about the wet lines and all that sort of stuff, backed off a little bit and Dave probably saw an opportunity,” McLaughlin said.
“I’m always going to think I’m in the right and he is going think he is in the right.
“I believe he made a gap, he didn’t actually go for one. It shows when he’s hit my rear wheel there… he hasn’t gone up beside me or anything like that.
“He says I moved, I don’t believe I moved, if anything it was a millimetre, which sometimes when you brake pretty hard, things move around, especially in those conditions.
“Rivalries are good for the sport… this has been a massive talking point for a lot of people.
“For me, I’m still leading the championship, that’s what I’m worried about. Davey’s probably hurt himself more than it’s hurt me.”