Chaz Mostert has apologised for causing a controversial tangle with Cameron Waters that ruined Tickford Racing’s hopes of a podium at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The cars then made side-to-side contact, resulting both Mustangs spinning into the gravel trap and causing a Safety Car.
“Obviously I’m shattered. 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,” said Mostert.
“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.”
Tickford team principal Tim Edwards and Waters have both revealed that Mostert issued an apology for his actions post-race before promptly leaving the circuit.
“Chaz came and saw me straight after the race,” said Edwards.
“I think he wanted to be clear to everybody that he made a mistake and we (will) move on from it.
“As I say, there’s nothing we can do about it; it’s happened.
“What do you do when someone admits that they f****d up? You can’t chastise them.
“If there was some debate about who was right or wrong that’s probably where you need to sit people down and agree on a position.
“If someone makes a mistake then it’s just a mistake, isn’t it?
“You can’t put processes in place as such for that. It’s just one of those (things), made a mistake and unfortunately it took two of our cars out.”
Waters admitted he is still raw from the moment that denied him a podium shot but has accepted the apology.
“He saw me and apologised and even he said ‘there’s no words that he can say that could make up for it’, and that’s right, but he was man enough to say it,” said Waters.
“It’s good of him, but still disappointed, at this stage it’s still pretty raw.
“(We will now) head to the Gold Coast and try and get a surfboard.”
Edwards admitted it was gut-wrenching to witness his squad throw away a strong podium chance.
“The fact is if you came here with cars that were good for 10th or 15th, you probably didn’t expect to be on the top step or even on the podium,” he added.
“We came here with four fast cars; we demonstrated that on Thursday afternoon when they all pretty much did the same lap time in high threes.
“That’s probably what makes it more frustrating is that with fast cars we weren’t able to come away with at least podium. It’s just gut-wrenching.
“They were both told to fuel save and that’s what they both were doing.
“He just got overly aggressive. Obviously when you’re in that full fuel save mode, you are lifting off x number of metres before and were they all doing it at exactly the same point?
“No. He’s just kept his boot into it for two metres, five metres, 10 metres, whatever the extra distance was and all of a sudden he’s found himself banzai-ing down too hard upon Cam.”
Given the incident is latest of a string of clashes between the pair, having come to blows at last year’s Bathurst 1000 and at Pukekohe last month, Edwards says he won’t stop his drivers racing each other.
“You can’t (stop them racing each other) And he knows better than that otherwise…he knows he made a mistake,” said Edwards.
“I don’t need to tell him he made a mistake; he knows that. I’m sure he’ll try to avoid making a mistake in the future.
“No race driver deliberately does that — it’s just a mistake and he recognised it.
“Obviously everybody is disappointed but we’ll pick ourselves up during the week and we’ll have a debrief, a normal debrief on Wednesday and on Thursday we’ll be planning to get some surfboards in two weeks’ time because that’s what we do in this sport. No point labouring on it.”
After initially threatening the podium, Tickford was left with results of 10th and 11th for its Lee Holdsworth/Thomas Randle and Will Davison/Alex Davison entries.
Mostert and co-driver James Moffat were classified in 16th, while Waters and Michael Caruso were 21st.