Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney has served it up to Craig Lowndes after trading on-track blows in Townsville’s V8 Supercars meeting.
Lowndes was the centre of attention in a hectic first race day; first clashing, then crashing before returning to finish race two against the odds.
The three-time champion looked to be carving a through the front of the field in cavalier fashion, but instead ended up in the pits and crashed on re-entry.
He emerged unhurt but had other causes for concern as he prepared to face the stewards.
“There was contact there, firstly with Garth (Tander) into turn one, then things went on with Courtney in turn 11, then I got turned around,” he said.
“They’re going to investigate everything but it was a crazy race, there were things going on everywhere.”
After qualifying on pole and finishing eighth, Courtney saw the “shenanigans” a little differently.
“I went to turn in and old mate CL came down, all locked up for the first time, ran into Garth and nowhere to go so touched me,” he said.
“I got taken out and slammed into the wall again… then I don’t know what he was thinking, he came from about 80 cars back all locked up and took the front of the car.”
Lowndes lost his chance to surpass Russell Ingall’s record of a longest streak without a Did Not Finish (DNF), and missed an opportunity to catch leader Mark Winterbottom in the championship race.
He is one of at least six drivers who will be unsure of their race points as stewards consider the incidents from a hectic day.
Lowndes, Tander, Courtney and Jason Bright were all involved in the opening lap fight, with Chaz Mostert and Lowndes both turned around.
Jamie Whincup’s race-one win took him to second in the title race, made all the more impressive after starting 10th on the grid.
After passing early leader Scott McLaughlin, he was never headed, winning from Tander and Mercedes’ Will Davison.
Race two packed less of a punch, delivering Holden Racing Team a belated one-two finish.
Tander stormed to a maiden championship win ahead of his teammate Courtney and Fabian Coulthard.
Lowndes finished sixth, one place ahead of Whincup.
Series leader Winterbottom endured a tricky day, turning qualifying positions of 17th and 19th into 11th and eighth-placed finishes to keep a healthy lead.