The biggest victims of the carnage at Hidden Valley are counting the cost of the chaos in the first race of the Darwin Triple Crown.
Anton De Pasquale failed to finish in his Shell V-Power Mustang, while Shane Van Gisbergen could only manage 13th after a pitstop mishap in his Red Bull Ampol Commodore cost him a near-certain victory.
Their team mates, Jamie Whincup and Will Davison, paid the price for poor efforts in qualifying and were only 12th and 14th.
“Firstly, the car was awesome today. I had really good pace, and I knew that our race pace was great. Our start was awesome, and I managed to get out in front coming into turn one,” said Van Gisbergen.
“The first stint was good, and the car was awesome, but then we had an unfortunate pit stop incident which costs us 30-seconds and ultimately cost us the win. It’s a real shame because we had the quickest car today, but we’ll work on all the positives and use them to our advantage tomorrow.
“I think we’ll be fine tomorrow. We just missed a really good opportunity today with all of the cars caught up at turn one, and I could have got a lot more points today.”
Despite the relatively poor finish, SvG still leads the series with a 188-point margin over Whincup in second.
For De Pasquale, who qualified on pole position, there were few positives as his crew set to work on repairs to his fast Ford.
“Today started off really well. We made it through qualifying and into the shootout where I managed to put it on pole,” he said.
“Then what can I say about the race? It was over before it started. I just got hit from behind and that was the day done.
“I’m really disappointed but I know the crew will do an awesome job overnight getting the car ready for tomorrow, and we’ll go again.”
It’s a similar story for Davison.
“There’s not a lot to say about today other than I’m glad it’s over because it was very obviously disappointing,” he said.
“It was a very strange qualifying session; the track was massively slippery out of the gat, and we just missed out on that first segment with the track evolution. It was frustrating not to be able to really get a good read on the car.
“In the race, I tried to steer clear of the carnage and the car was fast, but I got stuck in dirty air and there’s not much you can do from there. But the good thing is we got a new day tomorrow.”
Whincup is also happy to try again in the two Sunday sprints.
“I got into turn one, there was an incident, I got hit up the ass and off I went – that was the end of my day,” he said.
“It was a rough day, unfortunately. We’ve had a quick car all weekend, but we didn’t do a good job when it counted right at the end of qualifying.
“ I wouldn’t say we were in the shrapnel, but we weren’t on the front row, and when you’re not on the front row you’re vulnerable to incidents which is exactly what happened.
“I was dead-last, so to get up to 12th is a great result considering our start.”