Rick Kelly: I just wanted that win so bad
Rick Kelly could only offer apologies to Fabian Coulthard after an opening corner clash in Race 14 which took the two front-row starters out of contention.
The Holden driver out-dragged the pole-sitting Nissan to the first corner, easing Kelly towards the inside of the track in the process.
Kelly proved unable to pull up his Altima on the dirty part of the circuit, locking a left-front tyre and tagging the back of his rival.
The incident added insult to injury for Coulthard, who had been knocked out of third by Jamie Whincup on the first corner of the opening race.
Having broken a 120 race pole drought earlier in the day, Kelly explained that he had been simply too eager to win.
“I’m disappointed, I just wanted that win so bad, I wanted to do everything I could to maintain a lead into Turn 1, but it just wasn’t there for us,” he reflected, having finished third in Race 13.
“I tried a little bit too hard, I was a little bit too far left, caught the white line with my left front tyre, it locked up and that was it.
“Lessons learned there for me, there’s no doubt, just apologies to Fabian (Coulthard) for making that mistake, and not only wrecking our race, but destroying his as well.
“It’s not what I wanted from that, but at the end of the day we are here to have a crack, and unfortunately it was just a little bit too much.”
Coulthard and Kelly went on to finish 15th and 21st respectively, with the latter serving a drive-through penalty.
Lamenting his fortunes in both races, Coulthard questioned whether Kelly had been sufficiently punished for his mistake.
“I was ahead (of the car that hit me) both times and I’ve been an innocent bystander,” he said of his double misfortune.
“I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say.
“I could see the (tyre) smoke from his (Kelly’s) car so I knew I was going to get collected but the penalties sometimes are fair and not so fair.
“He was running nowhere (after the contact) and gets given a drive through so I think he got off very lightly.”