Standing on the Townsville podium seemed to be within reach for Fabian Coulthard today after an excellent qualifying performance, but it was not to be.
Starting from P8 the Lockwood Racing driver completed his first stint on hard tyres before pitting for softs on lap 17. He came out behind Rick Kelly, whose tyres were several laps older, and appeared to make a clean pass before Kelly made contact with Coulthard’s left-rear tyre.
The impact saw Coulthard in the pits for 13 laps. He re-joined but stopped on track with 14 of the 72 laps remaining.
V8 Supercars will be back in action from August 3-5 for the Coates Hire Ipswich 300.
“I think I gave Rick [Kelly] enough room, but I’m not going to give him three-and-a-half car widths to make him comfortable! He’s collected me and taken out my left-rear wheel. There wasn’t a hell of a lot I could do.
“I expected a bit better race craft from him than what he delivered, but then I’m sure he’ll think it’s my fault. We’ll see.
“We had a good enough race car to run in the top five today. Our race pace on the hard tyre was a lot better and we were trucking along OK on the soft. If yesterday is anything to go by we would have had good tyre life as well so we were looking very good.
“Our qualifying was very good today but we should have been there yesterday as well. Our rolling lap was good enough for P4 yesterday but we got the tyre focusing wrong. That was a lot better today.”