Coulthard disappointed by Whincup decision

Fabian Coulthard says he's disappointed that Jamie Whincup escaped a post-race penalty for their pitlane scuffle in Darwin.

Coulthard disappointed by Whincup decision

The pair made light contact during their stops in today's third race at Hidden Valley, Whincup pulling out of his bay right as Coulthard was trying to get into the bay in front.

TV footage clearly showed Coulthard hitting the brakes as Whincup came into the fast lane, which helped avoid heavier contact, but also cost him precious time in his battle with Chaz Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen.

Coulthard ended up finishing behind both of those drivers, which left him locked on round points with race winner Whincup.

Whincup was therefore handed the Triple Crown prize on a countback.

Motorsport Australia officials looked into a potential unsafe release after the race on the request of DJR Team Penske, but, as first revealed by Motorsport.com, decided not to take further action.

"Following a request from DJR Team Penske, after the race the race director conducted a review of car #88, Jamie Whincup, exiting its pit bay and car #12 Fabian Coulthard entering its pit bay during their pitstops," read the stewards statement. 

"The race director determined the matter did not warrant referral to the stewards as no breach of the rules could be established on the available evidence."

When asked if he was disappointed by that outcome, Coulthard said: "Absolutely. How much contact is too much contact, first of all? You've got team members, you've got lives, things like that.

"I could have gone and drilled him much harder, but then it becomes a safety issue. I had the presence of mind that I wanted to have straight wheels on my car, because I had the rest of the race to go. 

"But yeah, the question comes back to how much contact is too much contact?"

When posed with Coulthard’s question over contact in the post-race press conference, Whincup joked: "I suppose if the car barrel-rolled over the pitlane and up into the crowd, that would be probably too much..."

On a more serious note Whincup said he wasn't aware there was an issue with Coulthard at the time, although he did know clearing the #12 would be crucial in terms of getting out ahead of Scott McLaughlin.

"No I don't think it was a thing," he said. 

"[I had] no idea what was going on, strategy-wise. We were racing #17 pretty hard, it was going to come down to the pitstops. So we made sure we weren't going to get baulked by car #12. 

"We knew it was going to be close, but we certainly weren't just going to hand them the win on the plate. We were going to attack as hard as we could, and that's exactly what we did."

 
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