Chaz Mostert has accepted the blame for the late-race melee that ended with fellow Supercars title contender Fabian Coulthard’s Falcon on its roof, admitting he “ballsed it up”.
Mostert was running sixth at Pukekohe and looking to make a move on David Reynolds at the hairpin on lap 57, but clattered into the Erebus Commodore and forced it wide.
The pair were then slow on the corner exit, which invited Coulthard to try to pass them.
However, on the run to Turn 10, Coulthard’s right-rear corner hit the left-front of Reynolds’ Commodore, sending both cars off with Coulthard’s Falcon rolling after hitting the tyre wall.
Mostert was handed a drive-through penalty that dropped him to 23rd in the order, and he went to apologise to Erebus and Shell V-Power Racing post-race.
It cost Coulthard and Mostert one place each in the title fight, with the former now third and 137 points adrift of leader Jamie Whincup, and the latter fifth and 210 points from the pace.
“It’s not what you want,” Mostert said.
“You go out there, you try to race hard, try to make passes, but I just absolutely ballsed it up.
“It’s hard on the drivers that are in the car, but it’s especially hard on the crews that have to repair them.
“Definitely with Fab’s car and Davey I didn’t want to see that happen. Absolutely ballsed it up today.”
Mostert said he was momentarily in neutral on corner exit, rather than purely trying to redress the incident as Reynolds got back onto the racing surface.
“I thought [Reynolds] was still on the track on the outside there,” he said.
“I thought I was still in second gear from when I locked the rears all the way back there, but I had neutral on the exit, then had to bang first.
“I probably made it a lot worse than it had to be, I didn’t want to see what happened out there.
“It’s all on me. You don’t want to see any cars taken out, especially when you make a mistake pushing on the limit.”
Reynolds’ Commodore clouted the tyre barrier but he was able to get back into the race and finish 24th, one lap down.
The Bathurst winner had worked his way into fifth from ninth, after qualifying was washed out and the grid was settled by practice results.
“We were trucking along in P5 there,” he said.
“Chaz tried to pass me in the hairpin, obviously must’ve stuffed up, speared into the side of me, and then we sort of ran around together on the outside.
“I got going again, saw Fabian come up to my door at a rate of knots and drilled me and put me in the fence.
“Not much I could’ve done about that.”