Winner McLaughlin shaken by Christchuch New Zealand terror attack
|By Andrew van Leeuwen
||Friday, March 15th 2019, 09:48 GMT
Scott McLaughlin says he had 'goosebumps' on the podium after winning today's Supercars race, due to the tragic terrorist attack in his home city of Christchurch in New Zealand.
Multiple mosques were violently attacked in the city today, with the death toll currently confirmed at 49 while 20 others are reported as being seriously injured.
Having grown up in Christchurch, reigning Supercars champion McLaughlin - who has won all three races in the series so far this year - admitted news of the tragedy hit him hard ahead of today's Albert Park race in Melbourne.
Winning, however, gave him a unique opportunity to pay tribute to his hometown, with the New Zealand national anthem played during the podium presentation - something that doesn't happen at the rest of the Supercars rounds.
Adding to the special moment was having team-mate and fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard alongside him, thanks to their Penske one-two.
"Me and Fabs [Coulthard] are Kiwis, I'm from Christchurch originally," McLaughlin said.
"I found out about the whole thing after quali - it was a bit of a shock to the system.
"Even hearing the New Zealand anthem tonight was pretty special and gave me goosebumps.
"I send big love to them over there. It's a small town, it's hard to believe something so bad could happen there.
"That win was for New Zealand. Stay strong everyone."
Coulthard added: "It's been a dark day for our country today, and we raced today in their honour.
"Our thoughts are with everyone in Christchurch. This result is for them."
Shane van Gisbergen also paid his respects to his homeland, labelling his costly engine failure 'insignificant' in the wake of the shootings.
"[The race] it's pretty insignificant," said the Red Bull Holden driver.
"I've been thinking about that all day. I've got a lot of friends down there and thoughts go out to all the families."
After McLaughlin's Thursday victory, three races remain as Supercars supports the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.