Will Davison has been stripped of his V8 Supercars pole position at Symmons Plains, handed a two-spot grid penalty.
The Tekno driver set the fastest time of the weekend, taking just 51.0177 seconds to complete a lap of the tour’s shortest circuit ahead of Sunday’s 200km race.
But he lost the chance to sit on top on the front row after stewards decided he blocked James Courtney while the Holden Racing Team driver was on a hot lap.
Davison was warming up his tyres and failed to move aside for Courtney in a potentially dangerous racing incident just after the pit-lane exit.
The penalty puts Saturday’s pole-sitter Mark Winterbottom on pole once more, with Shane van Gisbergen joining him on the front row.
Davison – who was told the news in his team’s garage after celebrating his first pole of the season – was distraught to lose his reward for “something so silly as that”.
“I don’t feel anything because I didn’t know he (Courtney) was there,” Davison told Fox Sports.
“I had three cars come out of the pits behind me slowly … I had no idea James was on a lap.
“We got pole, we had the fastest car.”
Courtney, who will start from 19th place in the gird, said the incident didn’t impact his qualifying.
“It didn’t really cost us much. The car’s nowhere near where it should be,” he said.
“We’re wobbling around at the back.”
Winterbottom looked stunned as he collected his second $1000 pole winners cheque of the Tasmanian meet.
“That’s weird,” he said.
“(I was) genuinely P2. That’s unfortunate for him.
“In my head I’m P2 but it’s an easy grand.”
Sunday’s 200km race begins at 2:05pm.