Nick Percat has slammed Shane van Gisbergen for an “unreal” first lap incident that ended the Brad Jones Racing driver’s first outing in the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown.
Whilst battling around the fringe of the top 10, Percat ran slightly wide out of Turn 5 before receiving contact from van Gisbergen in tow.
That sent Percat into a spin and across the track, collecting his team-mate Todd Hazelwood in the process, who suffered damage but went on to finish down in 18th.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver was handed a drive-through penalty for the clash but went on to recover to 11th after two Safety Car interventions.
“That’s actually laughable,” Percat said after the incident.
“I’ve just seen what Shane did, unreal. He’s just having a Shane day where he doesn’t bleed out the throttle, obviously.
“It’s a shame, the R&J Batteries car is sitting here in the pits and Todd got caught up in that too, so… disaster.”
“It’s all pretty chaotic on Lap 1 but it would have been nice if Shane had just bled the throttle to not cause a car accident.
“We came into Turn 4, everyone’s on top of each other and you can see on the replay I’ve got a couple of wheels teetering in the dirt there and there’s dust.
“So I don’t know if that caused anything but it’s just annoying.”
The crash ended a string of strong results that had seen him move up to fourth in the drivers’ championship. He has since dropped to ninth.
Looking for a silver lining, Percat said he’ll be well placed for qualifying and the two 38-lap races that follow on Sunday.
“Hopefully it’ll be a nicer day tomorrow. We’ve got some more tyres up my sleeve, unintentionally,” he said.
The Percat incident was the first of two for Brad Jones Racing after Macauley Jones spun on his own and clattered the inside Armco barrier at Turn 5.
Jack Smith was the highest placed finisher for the team, claiming 12th in his Holden ZB Commodore.
The Darwin Triple Crown resumes tomorrow at 11:40 local time/12:10 AEST for a pair of qualifying sessions ahead of Races 14 and 15 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.