It was the moment everyone had been waiting for as teammates and championship rivals Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup tangled at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
Whincup was swiftly dealt a pit lane penalty after turning van Gisbergen around as the Kiwi quickly rejoined at eighth and sped up through the field in the remaining laps.
Whincup had pace on his teammate, diving from a long way back at the hairpin on the #97. He dropped back through the field after rejoining and is now a lap down.
While the incident won’t hurt van Gisbergen’s championship – particularly with Whincup way down the order – it will affect their shots at the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.
Team boss Roland Dane seemed relatively calm despite the clash within his camp.
“My heart rate’s pretty good to be honest – the reality is Jamie lost the rear, Shane left door open for him but Jamie was probably coming from a tickle far back,” Dane said.
“It happens, you’re not going to race side by side forever without having something happening sooner or later.
“It wasn’t terrible, I’d be more annoyed if they were in a position where they could be beaten for the championship, and they can’t be.
“It is what it is we had some good racing yesterday and hopefully have more today but it’s one of those things, I’m not going to cry about it.”
Mark Winterbottom leads the race from Scott Pye.