Brodie Kostecki is eyeing greater luck on Sunday at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint after a bruising Race 17.
Starting outside the top 10, Kostecki vaulted to sixth on the opening lap of the race, which was won by Cameron Waters.
However, contact with Todd Hazelwood at Turn 11 inflicted steering damage on the #99 Boost Mobile Erebus entry.
In response, Kostecki made contact with Hazelwood at Turn 12, which saw the Erebus driver slapped with a 15-second time penalty.
Shortly after, Kostecki was bowled wide at the same corner by Shane van Gisbergen, who was handed a 15-second penalty of his own.
Kostecki dropped to 14th, and crossed the line 22nd and a lap down.
“I got a really good start, I was able to just fill a hole that everyone seemed to leave open and no contact through Turn 2,” said Kostecki, who was unhappy with Hazelwood’s Turn 11 move.
“So it was a good start, got through clean and then just got used as a brake going into Turn 11 by the #14 and just broke the front steering and it all went downhill from there.
“Got a 15-second penalty after I bumped him going into the next corner after he used me as a brake… I’m all for hard racing but just a bit strange to me.”
Critically, with an eye on Sunday’s two races, Erebus opted to keep Kostecki on his first set of tyres until he stopped on lap 36.
“I had a fair bit of damage and just ran around on tyres for the whole race and tried to save some tyres for tomorrow,” he said.
“Tomorrow is a new day so we’ll get the cars fixed up and go again.”
The 23-year-old made clear that he’d not appreciated Hazelwood’s Lap 1 antics.
Cars will return for two ARMOR ALL Qualifying sessions from 10:25m AEST.