Shane van Gisbergen admitted blame for a botched race restart after an early safety car today at the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown.
The Red Bull racer was running second behind eventual winner Michael Caruso when he was pinged for overlapping before permitted on the restart.
While team boss Mark Dutton looked to have pressed the point with officials, van Gisbergen was ultimately called in for a drive-through penalty.
“On the restart I just misjudged the line and passed before the line,” van Gisbergen said.
“No one to blame but myself – we had a fast car today and didn’t make the most of it so I’m pretty annoyed at myself but will hopefully back it up tomorrow.”
Van Gisbergen broke the lap record with his qualifying effort earlier today and started on ARMOR ALL Pole Position, but was unable to get the jump on the Nissan Altima.
The quick Kiwi – who sits fifth in the title fight and 131 points behind new leader, teammate Jamie Whincup – believes his Holden Commodore is strong enough to challenge up the front again tomorrow.
“The car is really good so we’ve got to keep up with the track tomorrow and we should start up the front again,” he said.
“The car is amazing and we made some good headway this weekend so I'm feeling really good in the car just a silly mistake by myself.”
He finished 16th and ran long after his drive-through and stopping on lap 34 of 42.
The error meant another costly result for the talented Kiwi, who ran off on oil while in the lead in Tasmania and was unable to score any points from that race.