Gracie: I didn't deserve a penalty

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 12/07/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

While Fujitsu Racing's Renee Gracie didn't mean to end Aaron McGill's race yesterday, she believes she didn't deserve the penalty shewas handed.

The stewards deemed Gracie was driving carelessly after making contact with McGill at turn two yesterday, imposing a loss of 25 series points on the rookie.

The incident ended both cars' races and while Gracie was left with a broken steering arm, McGill sustained heavy damage to his ex-Perkins Commodore.

It was the first time Gracie had been involved in an incident that left a competitor's car beaten up, and while she was disappointed that she was issued a penalty for the incident, she said she'd takeit on the chin.

"I copped a penalty, but I don't think I deserved it because I didn't purposely take him out," Gracie told v8supercars.com.au.

"It's my first penalty, I'm not going to argue it, I'll just take it.

"He was around backwards because of me, but it could have been avoided.

"I went and apologised to Aaren and he said he was all good. I offered to help him with the repairs even though I'm not that mechanically inclined! But luckily for me I didn't get much [damage]."

The 20-year-old said both sheand McGill misjudged the situation as it unfolded, with Renee sticking to her racing line as McGill turned into the corner, causinghim to spin.

"McGill was a fair way out wide and really hanging left because we was letting Brett Hobson past in front of me.

"I misread how close we really were because he was so far left and in the back of my mind I thought maybe he's got damage and that's why he was leaving the door open.

"I didn't think he would tuck in as quickly as he did, I thought he might have seen me and I did my normal race line, so I didn't expect him to shut the door but I also put myself in a bad situation.

"It's one of the those things where we both misread it and we could have done better, but it's just a racing incident unfortunately."

The Dunlop Series usually follows a race format where the race results from the first race determines the grid order for the subsequent races.

However this weekend, the field will qualify again today for race two - a lifeline for Gracie after yesterday's DNF.

"Thank god!" Renee said of the opportunity to have another go at starting further up the field.

"I picked a good race day to have a DNF I think - I'm really lucky actually because any other race meeting I would have been down the back [due to the format].

"[Today] we can just forget about it all and start all over again. We've realised what we need to do to get better, so I think [today] we're going to be pretty strong hopefully. I think I've got a little bit left in the tank as well and I think we can go faster."

Gracie will qualify for race one today at 9.15am.

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