Slade the trigger for Kelly, Lowndes tangle

Lowndes during his Race 12 spin

Lowndes during his Race 12 spin

Rick Kelly’s punt on Craig Lowndes on the opening lap of Race 12 was the result of contact from Tim Slade, says the Nissan driver.

Supercars Driving Standards Observer Jason Bargwanna investigated the Turn 5 tangle post-race, with an outcome yet to be confirmed.

The Freightliner Holden driver, however, appears likely to receive a penalty after initiating the contact with Kelly’s Nissan.

Initially unsure of Slade’s involvement, Kelly waited to rejoin behind Lowndes before apologising to the Triple Eight driver post-race.

After further reviewing footage, however, the former two-time Bathurst winner is confident that he’s in the clear.

Lowndes, Slade and Kelly eventually finished the race 11th, 13th and 15th respectively.

“Slade gave me a touch-up into Turn 5 which unsettled the back of my car and caused the contact with Lowndes,” Kelly explained to Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously I slowed down once Lowndes had started to rotate and Slade hit me a second time due to my reduced speed.

“It wasn’t huge contact from Slade that started it but it was enough to start the whole thing off.

“It’s a bummer. Slade is a very good and fair driver and I’m sure he didn’t want to be involved in it either.”

While Slade did not comment on the incident, Lowndes said he was relieved not to be tagged by others as he spun in front of the bulk of the field.

“After I spun I was just trying to roll off the track to get out of the way,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com.

“I was thankful that we didn’t have any other contact because there was clearly a chain reaction going on behind.

“It was a pity because we had a good, consistent car that looked after its tyres.

“We managed to get back to 11th so that was a positive.”

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