Supercars series leader Scott McLaughlin has kept his Bathurst 1000 title but Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard has paid a heavy price for his controversial safety car tactics at Mount Panorama.
There were fears McLaughlin was at risk of being stripped of The Great Race victory after officials charged his Ford outfit with breaching team orders regulations after Coulthard dramatically slowed down during a safety car period and held up the field behind his teammate.
‘THAT’S MATCH-FIXING’: Holden driver’s fury over Bathurst ‘disgrace’
But Confederation of Australian Motor Sport announced on Sunday that Team Penske would be fined $250,000, with $100,000 suspended, Coulthard demoted from sixth to 21st in the Bathurst results and 300 points from the teams' championship tally after they were found guilty of an FIA International Sporting Code breach.
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.
Penrite Racing boss Barry Ryan has since said McLaughlin should be stripped of the title for his team’s ‘blatant cheating’, while Holden driver David Reynolds described the team’s actions as ‘match-fixing’.
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.
Mustang driver receives disgusting death threats
The reigning Supercars champion hit out at the sickening treatment of Coulthard, revealing his DJR Team Penske teammate has received death threats in the aftermath to the controversy.
In a disturbing twist to the ugly furore, McLaughlin says Coulthard has been the target of vile social media abuse.
“He’s struggling,” McLaughlin told The ‘Loud Pedal’ Podcast on Thursday.
“It’s been bloody hard for him, for the team, for Alex (Premat) and I too, it’s not the place we want to be in. As we always do, we’ll stick together as a team and get through it.
“But what I’ll say is social media is out of control. So-called fans sending him death threats to drivers like Fabian is pathetic.
“People sending that kind of bulls**t to real people who have families, who have real lives, to deal with it … for me, it’s unacceptable.”