Tempers flare after Courtney, Mostert contact

James Courtney. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

James Courtney and Chaz Mostert have found themselves at odds after their last corner, last lap clash in Race 7 at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

Neither driver would stand on the podium after contact between the pair resulted in Courtney spinning and backing into the tyre barrier while Mostert was penalised for his role in the incident.

In the end, the #500 Flex Power Tools Ford Mustang was classified ninth while the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Holden Commodore wound up 22nd with a post-race pit lane penalty equating to 43 seconds being added onto Mostert’s time.

In a race shortened by one lap due to time certainty, Courtney fought hard to keep Mostert behind him on the 19th rotation of the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

Mostert got to Courtney’s outside at the penultimate turn, the 2010 champion leaving him as little room as possible on corner exit.

Mostert would drop two wheels onto the grass and cross the line into pit entry before the contact with Courtney.

Speaking after the race, which was won by Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen, the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner was critical of the manoeuvre.

“Well, I’m not a lawnmower there Larko, so I think if Courtney goes and looks back at it, I’m not here to do the lawns around the grand prix,” said Mostert, speaking with Supercars presenter Mark Larkham.

“You have got to give respect out there to get it back. When you constantly play the old 1984, or whatever age he is, game out there, you have got to give some room.

“Even if the guy goes to the outside, we’re side-by-side, you can’t just run them on the grass or that’s what results in the last corner.”

By contrast, Courtney felt Mostert had overstepped the mark.

The incident ultimately starved him of his first podium of the season.

“It’s disappointing,” said Courtney.

“We race pretty hard, and I like to race hard and fair, but I felt that was a bit outside the boundaries there.

“Last lap, we have been pushing really hard and to get the podium taken away from us was pretty disappointing.

“I think he would probably agree when he sits down and cools down… just disappointing.”

Courtney and Mostert will go head-to-head again in Race 8 this afternoon at 14:20 local time/AEST when the pair will start sixth and seventh respectively.

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