Waters, DJR in war of words over qualifying clashes

Cameron Waters makes contact with the Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang of Will Davison. Picture: Fox Sports

Cameron Waters makes contact with the Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang of Will Davison. Picture: Fox Sports

Cameron Waters and the Dick Johnson Racing camp have traded barbs after he hit both of the Stapylton team’s Ford Mustangs in Supercars qualifying at Symmons Plains.

Chevrolet Camaros continued to dominate but the Ford competitors were hardly helping each other out during the 15-minute Sunday morning sessions at the Ned Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.

Waters was on to move up the order late in Qualifying for Race 11 when he got into the slipstream of the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang up the back ‘straight’.

Anton De Pasquale had a small moment when they arrived at Turn 6 which caused Waters to make nose-to-tail contact and most likely cost him a chance of improving his starting position for the first race of the day.

Qualifying for Race 12 ended in similar circumstances, with the #6 Monster Energy Mustang pilot finding himself following Davison up Symmons Plains’ back straight.

With Car #17 breaking the headwind for Waters, who was quickest to the second sector, he closed in on Davison and was forced to make a pass at Turn 6 if he wanted to go on with the lap.

The Tickford Racing driver did go for the inside move but made side-to-side contact with the red-and-white Mustang and was unable to better his existing qualifying time in the end, leaving him third on the grid.

“It was all going on,” said Waters after the two sessions.

“It’s just hard because everyone’s trying to get a tow and there’s people playing games, and it just creates so much congestion out there, so it’s always going to happen, you’re going to have things like that.

“I was on good laps every time and caught a DJ[R] car both times, so I don’t know if they were making mistakes…”

He added, “I’m not sure if they made mistakes or they were just generally that slow.

“But, if they’re that slow, I feel really bad for their drivers.

“But, I’m on a good lap, and I had no choice but, you know, get it done, and it is what it is.

“It probably cost myself a few spots costs, cost obviously those guys a few spots, but I was lucky I was third in that one.

“If I got that last lap, I probably would have been on pole, which would have been nice, but it is what it is.”

DJR Team Principal Ben Croke had a different opinion.

“It’s not the smartest thing that he’s probably ever done,” said Croke of Waters.

“If him out on track or his team can’t manage the gap to the car in front in qualifying, then just to run into the car behind because he’s frustrated or whatever, it’s probably not really appropriate.”

Davison said, “I wasn’t looking in the mirror, I’ll give you the tip, but it is what it is.

“The second lap didn’t go to plan so I was on my best lap, for sure, so we would have jumped up a long way further than we were.

“But Cam obviously got a monster tow up the back straight and he does that, he follows very close to maximise his tow down the back straight.

“But obviously, I can’t disappear, so he tried to pass me and I just felt a big whack.

“So, annoying, but I get it from both sides.

“I’m sure he’s annoyed too but that’s the nature of 25 cars out there and there’s not enough room, so you’ve got to pick your gaps because you want a tow.

“But, you know if you get too close, you get more straight line speed but the cars in your way in the braking zone, so it’s always a compromise.”

Waters qualified 10th for Race 11, behind Davison in seventh and ahead of De Pasquale in 19th.

In the subsequent session, Davison ended up 24th, and De Pasquale 17th.

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