IT was a special moment when Scott McLaughlin peeled off a Supercars lap record during this year's Bathurst 1000 top 10 shootout, but he was stripped of it on Sunday after CAMS stewards revealed their decision regarding an engine breach.
McLaughlin clocked 2.03.3783 in his Ford Mustang to claim pole position and then went on to win the title alongside co-driver Alex Premat, by that stage his team had replaced the engine in question after engineers spotted an issue.
The engine was examined by Supercars' technical personnel and the valve lift in a number of cylinders was found to have exceeded the maximum permitted valve lift prescribed for car No.17.
While officials stated the breach was not deliberate, as the engine did contravene the regulation McLaughlin and Premat have been disqualified from Bathurst qualifying and the shootout, as such the former's record no longer stands.
It was a mark which fellow Supercars driver Chaz Mostert felt would have stood the test of time.
"As a fan on the fence you want to see cars going faster and faster every year, records getting broken. We're not going to quite have that any more," he said.
DJR Team Penske was also fined $30,000 for the breach, while after qualifying fifth for Sunday's Sandown 500, McLaughlin was relegated to the rear of the grid.
DJR Team Penske issued a statement apologising following the breach.
"The steward's report confirmed that there was clearly no intent from our team to circumvent the rules and there was no evidence that we benefited from any performance advantage as the engine passed the Supercars power tests on their dynamometer post-event, returning results that did not exceed the Accumulated Power Number nor the Engine Power Weighted Average Number," it stated.
"As the lift now measures a few thousandths of an inch high on a few valves, we can only conclude that either the engine wasn't measured properly when it was initially assembled or the damage that occurred in the engine contributed to a change to the maximum valve lift in the forward cylinders.
"We apologise to Scott, Alex, our partners and our supporters, and we will continue to focus on winning."
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