Chaz Mostert has apologised to Tickford Racing teammate Cameron Waters and boss Tim Edwards after causing a costly accident at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The duo were ordered to fuel-save when Mostert attacked the back of the Monster Energy Mustang heading into The Chase on lap 123.
Waters moved to the inside to defend third position on the road, only for Mostert to lock up and send both cars spinning into the sand trap and out of contention.
Both were assisted back onto the track, Mostert finishing 16th after a drive-through for the incident and Waters 21st and last, some 13 laps down.
Mostert approached Waters upon race finish before promptly leaving the track.
“Obviously I’m shattered,” Mostert later said via a team statement.
“You know, it’s the biggest race of the year, the event we look forward to most, and the race we want to win most.
“It was so tight up the front all day, we were just setting up for the last stint, had a good run on Cam, and just got crossed up and we hit.
“I didn’t need to pass him, shouldn’t have tried, and it ruined both our races which is the worst part.
“I’m really sorry to Cam and the whole team, we should be celebrating a podium or two right now, but we’re empty handed.”
An emotional Waters said of his chat with Mostert, who he also clashed on-track with at Pukekohe last month: “He saw me and apologised.
“He even said that there’s no words he can say that will make up for it and that’s right. But he was man enough to come and say it so that’s good of him.
“But I’m still disappointed at this stage and it’s still pretty raw.
“I got back to my camper van and necked a beer. That kind of took the edge off it but it’s still stinging. It’s just really disappointing for all of the guys.
“There’s 70 people that work for us to get these cars on track and it’s our jobs to get the best results we can and to have something like that happen, it’s just stupid.”
Waters said he was surprised by the collision.
“It was all a bit weird for me to be honest, like I saw him coming behind me, motoring up on me when we were meant to be fuel-saving so I kind of knew straightaway that he wasn’t fuel-saving and what his intentions were, so I blocked,” he said.
“I held my line, there’s nothing more to that.”
Lee Holdsworth and Thomas Randle ended up Tickford’s top finisher in 10th.