'That's match-fixing': Holden driver's fury over Bathurst 1000 'disgrace'

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

David Reynolds has blasted DJR Team Penske, describing their actions late in the Bathurst 1000 as ‘match-fixing’.

Officials are investigating Fabian Coulthard's driving during a safety car period late in the Great Race after sensationally charging his Ford outfit with breaching team orders regulations.

‘SOMETHING HE NEEDED TO DO’: McLaughlin hits back in Coulthard furore

Coulthard was initially slapped with a drive-through penalty after he dramatically slowed down and held up the field behind his Ford teammate Scott McLaughlin, who went on to claim his maiden Bathurst crown.

Fabian Coulthard held up the field. Image: Supercars

But Coulthard, who is third in the series standings, now faces a fine or loss of championship points after stewards ordered his DJR Team Penske team to face a hearing on the Gold Coast next week.

Officials will investigate whether Coulthard's actions influenced the outcome of the race after following team orders to slow down.

McLaughlin is not set to be stripped of his maiden Bathurst victory but governing body Confederation of Australian Motor Sport have confirmed the 2019 Bathurst 1000 results remain provisional until the hearing.

Addressing the furore on Tuesday, Holden star Reynolds didn’t mince his words.

“That’s called match-fixing,” he told Triple M Brisbane.

“They sacrificed one of the people in their team to get an upper hand for their other car.

“It affected my race because at that time we had enough fuel to jump Scott. They would have known that so they instructed Fabian to gold everyone back.”

Reynolds also dismissed DJR Team Penske’s claims Coulthard’s car was overheating.

“Not at all,” he said when asked if he bought that explanation.

“He was behind me a few laps later and he had that much engine power it was ridiculous.”

David Reynolds isn't happy. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Legend blasts ‘disgraceful’ act

Coulthard sparked an uproar over his actions on Sunday, with Supercars legend Larry Perkins describing them as "disgraceful".

Critics weren't happy when a then-third placed Coulthard backed up the field as top two Jamie Whincup and McLaughlin raced to their garage for a pit stop to get much-needed fuel during the safety car period with 26 of the race's 161 laps left.

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Coulthard's snail's pace under the yellow flag - in which drivers are not allowed to overtake - extended the gap between a hard charging Shane van Gisbergen and the leading duo from one to 47 seconds.

Coulthard's actions also avoided double stacking or waiting behind his teammate McLaughlin in the pits.

McLaughlin went on to hold out a fast-finishing van Gisbergen by 0.68 seconds to claim his first Bathurst crown.

Scott McLaughlin celebrates his Bathurst 1000 crown. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

DJR Team Penske team boss Ryan Story insisted on Sunday there was a problem with overheating in Coulthard's car at the time of the controversy.

Coulthard vowed to clear his name, saying he felt like a "scapegoat".

"For me, the Safety Car came out and I was told to slow up and take extreme caution," he told Motorsport.com.

"We had an overheating drama at the same time. I slowed up and did what I was told.

"I'm getting absolutely smashed for something I was told to do.

"I need to clear my name. It's not my style. I don't race like that, I'm a clean racer.

"To see what I'm reading, I'm getting pretty shafted for it. I'm the scapegoat."

with AAP