Tom Chilton and Gabriele Tarquini have been to the stewards following their coming together at the end of Free Practice 1 at Vila Real
The two drivers were angry and blamed each other for the crash which caused significant rear-end damage to Chilton’s Chevrolet Cruze, and the front of Tarquini’s Honda Civic.
Tarquini ran into the back of Chilton’s Chevrolet at the first corner at the end of the 30-minute session, with Honda now rushing to repair the car for Free Practice 2 which takes place at 12:00 local time.
The Italian put the blame squarely at the British driver’s door.
“He was coming out of the pits, and I switched on the lights and he didn’t let me pass. He braked very hard on the line and when I saw him I tried to brake as much as possible, I locked up and hit him and have destroyed the car,” said Tarquini.
Chilton, however sees the fault as Tarquini’s, arguing that it’s also not the first time that the Honda driver has hit him in recent events.
“Gabriele hit me off at Turn 3 at the first lap at the Slovakiaring, and he hit me off the grid at Paul Ricard and didn’t get told off for it, and now he’s just hit me in Free Practice 1.
"That’s three times he’s hit me up the arse in three races and hasn’t been punished for it, and then he starts saying to the stewards it’s all my fault,” Chilton said in his response.
Explaining the incident, Chilton added: “I went out of the pit-lane with a new set-up change, and I was six or seven car lengths ahead of Gabriele. I was pushing flat out as I wasn’t going to get a flying lap as we were out of time, but my apex speed was the same as the lap before.
"The set-up change meant I ran out wide with understeer and was slower up the hill, but I did brake later than the lap before, but he hit me so hard there’s no way he could have made the corner,” the British driver concluded.
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes