Red Bull Racing Australia boss Roland Dane has labelled young factory Ford ace Chaz Mostert an "idiot" and warned he could suffer payback after clashing with his driver Craig Lowndes during the hectic Race 19 at the SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin 400.
Dane's outburst will undoubtedly inflame Ford Performance Racing fans, who have quickly warmed to the 22-year old Ford Falcon FG II driver and his race-winning pace.
Dane was venting his frustration after Lowndes qualified on pole at Hidden Valley for Race 19 in his Holden Commodore VF and looked a strong chance to further erode the 65 point Championship lead of Mostert's teammate Mark Winterbottom.
Instead, Lowndes ran into the back of Mostert, punctured his left front tyre and was forced into the pits. Winterbottom won the race, Lowndes finished 17th and the points lead blew out to 161.
"Craig would have won that race today if he hadn't had that coming together with Mostert," declared Dane.
Lowndes, who started the race on worn Dunlop hard tyres, was fighting his way back through the pack on new softs when the incident happened. Mostert was defending on older tyres.
Dane said his issue wasn't with the clash that led to the puncture, which he described as "50-50", but Mostert's aggressive defence of his position at the previous corner.
"I think the corner before Mostert had driven him off the road and that will come back to haunt him because drivers remember those sorts of things," Dane told v8supercars.com.au.
"In my experience the drivers, all of them, when somebody does that it will come home to roost, and that was just a blatant bit of driving off the road. The actual bit of contact a corner or so later I'd say was 50-50.
"Craig could have hung back a bit but he was frustrated because the idiot had driven him off the road at the corner before."
Dane rejected the suggestion Mostert was defending his position so stoutly out of loyalty to his team leader Winterbottom.
"No, Chaz is not the sharpest tool in the shed and I think he just didn't think about how it could have hurt him as much as anyone else. He was frustrated because his strategy wasn't working and it didn't work."
By contrast, Dane dished out rare praise to the FPR crew and Winterbottom for being able to win the race from 10th on the grid using only two sets of soft Dunlops, rather than also having to spend a period on used hard tyres as both RBRA cars did.
"They had a good strategy, they exercised it well and Winterbottom drove a very good race," he admitted.
"All credit to them they managed to run the whole race on two sets of softs but we didn't think that was really realistic."
Dane conceded the RBRA Commodores weren't quite as effective on soft tyres as hard tyres, but insisted that deficit only applied to Winterbottom and his FPR Falcon.
"Yes, there is a tiny little bit we need to find on the soft tyre to beat him, but we are pretty sure we know (how to get it)," he said.
The next Championship event, the July 4-6 Castrol Townsville 500 - Driven by TAFE Queensland follows this year's SuperStreet format, with two 125km races on Saturday, and a 250km mini-marathon Sunday, following an ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout. For 2014, the weekend's racing is conducted solely on hard tyres.
That's good news for RBRA as the team was poor in Townsville last year when the event comprised both hard and soft tyres.
"Last year certain things were going on that maybe I should have been more aware of and certain other things were going on in the team and we weren't as focussed as we should have been and we paid the price," said Dane.
"It's a whole other year so if we screw up it will be for very different reasons. So I am not worried about that."
The 2013 Sucrogen Townsville 400 was the last event attended by then RBRA team manager Adrian Burgess before the news broke he was shifting to Walkinshaw Racing in 2014.