War of words after high-speed smash

  • 22/10/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Garth Tander believes Fabian Coulthard “practically took himself out across the front of my car” in the high-speed high impact accident in the closing laps at the Castrol Gold Coast 600.

The pair have had their share of on-track aggro – but today’s 265kmk/hour shunt on the front straight of the street circuit has left DJR Team Penske with a smashed up Supercar and Tander with a further 10-spot grid penalty after serving a drive-through penalty at the end of the race.

The 2007 Supercars champ gave his view on the incident post-race to Supercars TV.

 “He was just weaving side to side, so I tried to pass him one side, he shut down that side, I went back to the other side and actually got overlap on him and he came across the front of me,” Tander said. 

“The way I understand it is if you’ve got overlap you can’t just squeeze someone – he practically took himself out across the front of my car so we got a drive-through for it.”

He suggested Holden Racing Team would look at appealing the decision when learning he would be penalised further tomorrow. 

“You’re kidding? We need to go look at that. We might have to go look at that.

“We probably need to go have a hearing and have a chat about that so probably won’t comment any more.”

Team boss Adrian Burgess confirmed the team would “discuss it further tonight with the stewards”.

Coulthard described the accident as “unnecessary” and “easily preventable” saying he expected more from the former series champion and last year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup Champion.

“It was unnecessary. It was testament to what the boys have done with the safety cell and things like that. That has done its job and to walk away. I have had some big ones and that’s well up there,” Coulthard said.

“But the disappointing thing is that it was probably easily preventable, but at the end of the day I am in one piece and it would have been nice to finish in the top five from where we started, but it wasn’t to be.”

He believed Tander was being too aggressive fighting for a fifth place finish.

“You’ve got to go back a couple of steps and how did he get to that position. He was into my rear bumper throughout the last corner and without him doing that and unloading me and taking the drive off my rear wheels there would be no way he would be in the position he is in.

“So he can think what he likes, but at the end of the day I expected a little bit more from him. He is an experienced driver and it’s a little disappointing.”

The team will assess the car this evening to determine whether it can be repaired for tomorrow.

“It’s pretty sad a hit like that, but at the end of the day I got away with it, I am here and I am talking about it. I feel sorry for the boys, it’s a short turnaround between now and New Zealand and I believe the cars have to be in Melbourne on Friday so they are going to have their work cut out.”

DJR TP managing director also had some words for Tander, saying: “The disappointing thing is he was clearly faster than Fabian at the time. Fabian was struggling with his rear tyres. If he wants to send him, send him in a corner where it’s safe.

“Forget about the facts, it’s reckless driving, could there be a more dangerous place on the circuit to send someone. Are you kidding me?”

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