Maro Engel has apologized to Shane Van Gisbergen following his outburst on TV following the Kiwi’s race-ending accident in last weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Van Gisbergen crashed out of the race, while battling for the lead in the final hour of the incident-filled race, leading to uncontrolled emotions in the STM/HTP Mercedes-AMG GT3 pit from Engel.
The inaugural FIA GT World Cup Champion was interviewed following the incident, after storming into the team’s transporter, where Engel shared harsh words about his co-driver.
“That’s not motorsport in my book,” Engel told Channel 7’s Mark Beretta. “I’ve got to watch out what I’m saying, but all I’ve seen this weekend is a lot of mistakes from Shane. It’s a tough one.”
Engel later apologized to Van Gisbergen for his actions, and too to social media to help set the record straight.
I’m a great believer in our team, he’s a great driver and I’ve apologised to Shane for my heat of the moment comments.
— Maro Engel (@MaroEngel) February 5, 2017
The No. 22 Mercedes-AMG of Van Gisbergen, Engel and Craig Baird had been in contention all race, with a fuel-only final pit stop having put Van Gisbergen in the lead in the final hour, only to make contact with a GT3-Am class Porsche with 30 minutes to go.
A drive-through penalty was issued for the contact, on the same lap the reigning Virgin Australia Supercars Champion crashed out at the top of the mountain, ending the team’s charge.
The No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of Toni Vilander, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup claimed the overall victory, by a one-lap margin following the Mercedes-AMG’s retirement.