There was no finger pointing after Jamie Whincup sensationally defied his Holden team’s orders and bombed at the Bathurst 1000 for the second straight year.
Unfortunately for Whincup, that will come later.
Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes revealed team boss Roland Dane would have been too livid to speak to Whincup on Sunday night after yet another Mount Panorama gamble went horribly wrong.
Whincup’s V8 Supercars series defence appears in tatters after his disastrous 18th placing in a Great Race that again promised so much more.
He sits in eighth place in the drivers’ standings with four rounds left.
Whincup was placed second at Mount Panorama when he was sensationally dropped to the back of the Bathurst field with 20 laps left after being penalised for overtaking a safety car.
Whincup admitted he ignored Dane’s orders and remained on the track instead of pitting during a fateful fourth safety car period after Ford’s Scott Pye crashed on top of the mountain.
It wasn’t a good look after Whincup brushed team pleas to conserve fuel, only for the V8 star to run out of petrol on the final lap while leading Bathurst last year.
“He won’t deal with it right now,” Lowndes said of Dane’s reaction to Whincup’s latest gaffe.
“He will deal with it when we get home and he won’t be pleased.
“We can only see what’s in front of us – the team has a different set of eyes.
“(But) we all abide by the orders of the team, he will have to have a good reason why he did that.”
Whincup later insisted that he saw a green light on the safety car when he passed.
“I stayed out. I didn’t want to queue up behind Lowndesy (in the pits) and when I came up the hill I saw the green light and thought ‘happy days’ and went straight past – that’s the way it goes.”
However, he may have to give a better explanation than that once he is in Dane’s sights.
In keeping with Whincup’s lousy Bathurst campaign, he led by more than 30 seconds but dramatically lost it during a lengthy pit stop on lap 106 to address a throttle drama.
Lowndes emerged with the lead in the pit-lane frenzy that followed the fourth and final safety car, setting up a final 20 lap sprint finish.
Whincup looked set to join in on the final push for a podium sitting in second – then came the horror news he had earned a drive through penalty for passing the safety car.
“I didn’t know he was getting a drive through until after the re-start (after safety car),” Lowndes said.
“It’s a shame because we had two strong cars up front.
“You never know what the outcome could have been – we could have had a one-two (Bathurst finish).
“But to pass a safety car, that’s a huge infringement.”