Holden’s motorsport boss has apologised to fans for an “embarrassing” first race of this weekend’s V8 Supercars round in Darwin.
Simon McNamara made the apology on Twitter after Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander and James Courtney finished 20th and 23rd respectively in Saturday’s opening sprint at Hidden Valley.
Courtney had qualified fastest to start from pole position.
The pair were in a tussle for fourth and fifth place when they came together – for the second time in as many rounds – following a safety car with less than two laps remaining.
Fellow Commodore driver Shane van Gisbergen was also caught up in the incident and finished 12th.
“Sorry @HoldenMsport race fans for what we can only describe as embarrassing,” tweeted McNamara.
“The Lion does not roll like that.”
None of the three took blame for the crash, which van Gisbergen labelled “not very nice”.
Stewards will investigate the incident post-race, although former champion now commentator Russell Ingall doesn’t think there was anything in it.
“A message to @v8supercars Officials and driving standard observers. Nothing to look at with race 1. Just hard racing,” he wrote on Twitter.
It was a similar story in race two last round at Winton, where Courtney took out Tander on the first lap.
The accident swept up stablemate Lee Holdsworth and Courtney was duly handed a drive-through penalty.
Tander and Holdsworth both had to retire, while Courtney finished 23rd.
Courtney declared after that round he was not going to soften his aggression.
“I do whatever it takes to win and sometimes you have to be a little bit more aggressive,” he told the V8 Supercars website.
“But it has to be calculated and sometimes you make mistakes like I did at Winton when I took Garth out and that obviously wasn’t the right thing to do.”