Courtney apologised to Hazelwood for clash

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 7 Days ago
  • By Mitchell Adam

James Courtney sought out Todd Hazelwood to apologise for their first-lap clash in Sunday's second leg of the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint.

The pair qualified a Hazelwood-led eighth and ninth, but contact at Siberia sent the youngster's Matt Stone Racing Commodore into the gravel.

Courtney was handed a 15-second penalty for the incident and his day got worse with a pair of right-front tyre failures at Turn 1 to eventually finish last and two laps down.

The Mobil 1 MEGA Racing driver found Hazelwood post-race to apologise for the clash he felt "pretty bad" about.

"I was just dropping off some stuff for Jon [Webb at Tekno] to take home to Queensland and ran in and saw Todd on the way back, I just said to him '100 percent my fault'," he said.

"We were sort of racing at the start and pushed me out onto the dirt and stuff, and when I came back I just snagged a front [brake] and touched him.

"Disappointing, but it may have been even more disappointing if we didn't get that penalty and were running in the front and then had [the tyres] go.

"All-in-all, a lot to work on and think about before Perth."

Hazelwood was seventh on the road at the time of the incident but fell well behind the pack while getting out of the gravel.

He recovered to take 16th, one spot behind Courtney's team-mate Scott Pye.

The second-year driver upstaged MSR supplier Triple Eight at times during the Phillip Island weekend, and started 10th and finished 11th on Saturday.

Courtney's tyre woes followed a failure at Turn 1 in Saturday's race, which he finished 22nd and a lap down.

That was initially suspected as being debris-induced, but further analysis will follow back at the team's Melbourne base.

"We've got to go and look at it," Courtney said of the failures.

"[Saturday] we thought it was debris. [Sunday], we had quite a bit of high-speed push and when you've got push at that speed it generates a lot of temperature.

"All three, exactly the same spot where they went. We'll have a good look at all that sort of stuff and get on top of it.

"We had a tyre drama at Tassie as well, so something has carried over.

"It's disappointing, we had some good speed when the tyre was together.

"All-in-all, it wasn't a great weekend for us."

Courtney and Hazelwood leave Phillip Island 13th and 18th in the championship.

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