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Coulthard on Pukekohe rollover: "What could I have done?"

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Coulthard on Pukekohe rollover: "What could I have done?"
By:
Nov 4, 2017, 6:39 AM

Fabian Coulthard says he's comfortable with the decisions he made in the moments before the rollover that's potentially cost him a shot at the 2017 Supercars title.

Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford, David Reynolds, Erebus Motorsport Holden crash
 Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
 Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
David Reynolds, Erebus Motorsport Holden
David Reynolds, Erebus Motorsport Holden

The DJR Team Penske driver went from being just 17 points off series leader Jamie Whincup to a whopping 137 points arrears after rolling during today's opening race at Pukekohe.

Charging back through the Top 10 after a strategic call to take on more fuel at his first stop dropped him down the order, Coulthard tripped over David Reynolds in the latter stages of the race, the Erebus driver recovering from a tussle with Chaz Mostert.

The impact sent Coulthard into the sand and onto his roof, taking him out of the race and leaving him with an uphill battle in the title fight, with just 450 points left on offer from the remaining three races.

Looking back on the crash, Coulthard says he doesn't regret the decision to try and pass both Reynolds and Mostert in one go.

He also said that not feeling to blame for the incident makes it easier to deal with the unravelling of his title charge.

"What could I have done? I could have done the half-arsed approach and just followed people, but I'm not about that," said Coulthard.

"I'm a racer. There were two easy passing opportunities, and the racer in me said 'look let's do it, let's go'.

"With Chaz trying to redress and two cars rolling slowly, that was my opportunity to go. I took the opportunity, and unfortunately Reynolds got me in the right rear and I was a passenger from then on in.

"What can I do? If it was my fault and my situation, I guess I'd evaluate it differently. When it's not your fault, what could I have done?"

 

Questions over redress

Coulthard added that he felt Mostert's decision to try and redress the 'bump-and-run' on Reynolds was the wrong one, given how much traffic was behind the pair.

"What caused it in my opinion? Chaz and Reynolds made contact, and Chaz knew he made contact and needed to redress it.

"Putting the onus on the driver sometimes works, but when there's five other cars behind it, the redress doesn't work. You can be on both sides of the coin; sometimes the redress is a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. Today it was a bad thing.

"My understanding that if it's a two-car battle, and you're not going to impede other cars behind, then the redress is safe. But in that instance there was more than just Chaz and Reynolds involved. It's pretty black and white."

While Coulthard felt it was a redress from Mostert, Reynolds was under the impression that Mostert was stuck in neutral following the contact, hence his slow exit from the hairpin.

"I spoke to him and he said he got stuck in neutral and he couldn't get going," explained Reynolds.

"So that's why it looked like he was trying to let me past, but he actually wasn't."

While not wanting to go on the record about the incident, Mostert clarified to Motorsport.com that it was a combination of both – he was wrong-footed with his gearing as he looked to recover from the clash with Reynolds, and then elected to try and let the Erebus Commodore through as he'd lost time anyway.

Reynolds felt he was hit by Coulthard

According to Reynolds, the subsequent contact with Coulthard in the wake of being dive-bombed by Mostert was out of his control.

"I saw Fabian coming on at a rate of speed," Reynolds explained.

"I tried to let him through so I could assume the position behind him. I'm not sure what happened, but I was on the extreme right of the track trying to let him through and he must have thought he was clear. We both crashed, it f***ed his car and f***ed my day."

Mostert, meanwhile, did take full responsibility for the initial contact with Reynolds, and apologised to his rival after the race.

"He just said 'I'm sorry'. What more could he do? It takes a good person to come down and apologise for a f*** up."

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