Enraged V8 Supercars title aspirant David Reynolds has declared rival Shane Van Gisbergen “dead to me” after the pair clashed on Phillip Island.
Reynolds saw his championship hopes all but dashed when the Kiwi driver nudged him several times and spun him out in Saturday’s first race.
It was a dramatic moment not only because it sent the Ford Falcon spiralling off the coastal circuit at high speed: it also sent Reynolds to the back of the field, where he finished.
Stewing on the clash all the way home, Reynolds didn’t hold his feelings back.
“He’s dead to me bro, he’s dead to me,” he told Fox Sports’ Greg Murphy.
Stewards will investigate Van Gisbergen’s actions, which Reynolds’ team boss Rod Nash called a “stupid driving desperation move”.
Reynolds said he didn’t expect an apology.
“He was drilling me … he might have got the tiniest overlap and I was turned around at high speed,” Reynolds said.
“It’s a really silly thing, really stupid.
“The good drivers in the field can pass you without crashing into you.”
Reynolds then made his point directly to Van Gisbergen and his team, leaping inside their team truck to remonstrate.
For his part, Van Gisbergen said he “wasn’t going to back out” after the pair clashed on the opening turn.
Reynolds’ natural drift into turn one edged the trailing Van Gisbergen onto the grass.
“He just kept running me across the road,” the New Zealander said.
“Sorry to end his race like that. Championship-wise I know he’s in a fight … but that’s not the point.”
After arriving on Phillip Island 239 points behind series leader Mark Winterbottom, Reynolds fell to third place on a day when he needed to make up ground.
Reynolds is now third in the title race, 277 points behind Winterbottom.
Craig Lowndes is now Winterbottom’s chief rival for the championship, 209 points adrift of the Ford man.