Fabian Coulthard apportioned over-exuberance for a mistake while fighting for his first win of the Supercars season in Race 14 at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Having qualified second for the penultimate race of the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown, Coulthard started from the clean side of the road.
The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver got a better launch than that of team-mate Scott McLaughlin and duly took the holeshot into the first turn.
Coulthard pitted on Lap 5, handing the lead to McLaughlin who in turn pitted a lap later.
Despite coming into the lane a lap earlier, McLaughlin was able to return to the track in the effective lead of the race.
As he sought to reel McLaughlin in at Turn 1, Coulthard locked up his inside front left wheel and went off the road and lost second place to Whincup.
“In all honesty, I probably got a little excited,” said Coulthard of the Turn 1 misdemeanour.
“I was trying to get one up for the boys, one for the Dads out there.
“I just locked a little bit of a left front brake and you’re on the absolute threshold anyway of braking as late as you can and the last thing you need is a slight lock-up.
“There wasn’t too much smoke so it probably looks a little bit worse but that’s the way it is.”
Coulthard lamented the mistake, which ultimately meant he couldn’t compete with McLaughlin who streaked away for the win.
Instead, the Kiwi was left to fight with Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Jamie Whincup, who held on to second place.
“Unfortunately it got me today,” Coulthard said of his cold tyres as he returned to the track.
“There is a braking imbalance from cold tyres on the right opposed to the left so, look, you live and you learn.
“To salvage a podium out of today is probably not too bad but I would love to have got the win.
“We were pushing very hard and we got a fantastic start but, for whatever reason, it wasn’t to be.”
With finishes of sixth and third in the two races, Coulthard remains firmly in the fight for the Darwin Triple Crown trophy.
The round points standings are led by Anton De Pasquale while Coulthard lies second. James Courtney sits third with McLaughlin fourth.
“That’d be fantastic but let’s not forget how Scott won the Triple Crown this time last year,” said Coulthard.
“That was an amazing achievement being able to win quali and then win all the races. It’d be nice to win that trophy but I think it’s a little easier way to win it.
“That would be the icing on the cake to get that trophy but we’ll just take the race as it comes. We’ll and do the best we can and if it’s good enough to take it home then so be it.”
Coulthard will start Race 15, the final race of the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown, from sixth on the grid. Team-mate McLaughlin will start from pole position.