Let's get on with it: Red Bull

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/08/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Red Bull team boss Roland Dane is philosophical about Prodrive's protest lodged for unpenalised contact between Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom at Sydney Motorsport Park, saying it was all in the "heat of the battle".

Dane said his rivals should accept the umpire's decision and there was nothing in the contact between the two Championship front-runners.

"We've seen it on Sunday evening and I think the call was right, it's a racing incident," he told v8supercars.com.au.

"I don't see anything more to it, but if they do, they're entitled to pursue it."

He suggested another Prodrive racer, rookie Andre Heimgartner, played a part in the incident that ended with Winterbottom off the road at turn two.

The contact happened shortly after the race was restarted mid-way in the wet - and Dane believes Driving Standards Observer Jason Bargwanna was correct to let it go during the race.

"Craig was hit by Heimgartner ... and taken half off the track at the exit of turn one," the Red Bull boss said.

"Winterbottom took advantage of them having a kerfuffle and chopped in front of Craig on the exit of turn one on the run into two, which he didn't need to.

"But it is what it is - in the heat of the battle, in the wet, with less than stellar visibility when the race has only just restarted a lap earlier.

"Frankly it's never going to be perfect from anyone's point of view, especially in the middle of the pack."

Red Bull has been on the other end of a protest with Winterbottom - at Phillip Island in 2013, when he made contact with then-Championship leader Lowndes - but didn't get any joy with former DSO Cameron McConville after that incident.

Dane suggested that while it could be a hard pill to swallow, following the 'umpire's' decision was probably the best option.

"The reality is that we all struggle - all of us, whether it's me, Tim Edwards, or anyone else - from time to time with the opinion and the ruling of the umpire," Dane said.

"There's no question we all do and only the liars don't. But at the end of the day, we have to have an umpire and sooner or later, unless there's a gross miscarriage of justice, we are all probably better to accept it even though we don't think so at the time."

The drivers seem to be making the most of Bargwanna's 'rubbing is racing' policy, but this isn't the first protest a team has filed this season after a disastrous end to a potentially fruitful race.

At round two in Tasmania Erebus Motorsport protested a 'racing incident' involving Will Davison and Holden Racing Team's James Courtney - but the initial decision was not overturned.

Davison looked on-track to earn a podium finish for the developing Erebus team, but was punted by Courtney early in the race to rejoin deep in the pack. Plenty of scrutiny post-event showed there were mixed feelings about that incident and Courtney's innocence.

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