Shane van Gisbergen says he’s not sorry about the incident with David Reynolds in the closing stages of Race 25 that left the Erebus driver fuming.
Reynolds was tagged by van Gisbergen at Turn 8 with 11 laps to go, knocking the Penrite Holden into the outside tyre wall, dropping it from second to sixth.
Van Gisbergen was handed a 15 second post-race time penalty for the collision, relegating him from fifth to 16th in the final result.
Reynolds was furious post-race, slamming the reigning champion’s “very ordinary” driving, adding that “people have died for less”.
While van Gisbergen declined to comment in the immediate aftermath, he said this morning that there was “no point” apologising to his rival.
“It just happened. We had a few good battles throughout the day with Fabian [Coulthard] and Tim [Slade] as well, just trying hard and the same will probably happen today,” he said.
“There are zero spots to pass [in Newcastle] so you have to make one and try hard and I’ll be doing the same today, just a better job of it.
“There’s no point saying sorry because you’ve got to race hard and do a better job today.
“It ruined their race, but whatever, he left the gap and hesitated the lap before so I thought I’ll do it again and he just turned straight across.
“It could have been better on both our parts. I’m not sorry about it, it’ll probably happen again today.
“I’ll try harder and do a better job make it cleaner.”
The incident capped a horror day for Triple Eight as Jamie Whincup lost the championship lead after a lap one incident and Craig Lowndes crashed out of a likely podium.
Team owner Roland Dane lamented that “all three drivers screwed up”, declaring it “probably the worst day I can remember” for the squad.
“We just didn’t have the cars to fight yesterday,” said van Gisbergen.
“Obviously in qualifying we were really strong, we should have been up on the front row, that was a bit of a shame, and then we were just trying hard in the race.
“We all sort of struggled and had bad days. We’ve got to fix that and go again today.”