Shane van Gisbergen has admitted too many costly mistakes drowned his chances of winning the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The Red Bull Racing driver found himself in the lead during the closing stages, working his way back from going down a lap, after co-driver Matt Campbell had multiple spins and off track moments.
As the safety car pulled in for the restart on lap 145, van Gisbergen blundered at the final corner in greasy conditions, running down the escape road and handing the race lead to Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat.
The Kiwi scurried back through the field in the following laps to recover to third, but had another off track moment at The Chase while trying to pass Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s Scott Pye for second.
The reigning Supercars champion then had to make a trip to the pits after skipping across the gravel trap and ripping the right rear tyre from the rim, eventually rejoining and finishing in fifth.
“We were pretty happy with our race car today, we did a good job the last few days to make it good and we had a pretty good opportunity to win today,” said van Gisbergen.
“Matty (Campbell) made a couple of mistakes, but rebounded really well every time and his pace was exceptional.
“Our car was very hard to drive and that caught him out a couple of times, but otherwise he did a really good job.
“At various stages we were competitive, then when we weren’t.
“We still fought back from it, but I just made too many mistakes at the end there, misjudging the conditions, being the pioneer at the end there and we threw it away.”
Campbell mirrored van Gisbergen, stating that a combination of his lack of experience at the Mount Panorama Circuit and in the wet conditions contributed to the difficult day.
“I obviously haven’t had much experience in those sort of conditions and especially around this joint, and on top of that these cars,” Campbell told Speedcafe.com.
“Interesting day but I think during my stints the car had some good pace but then also I made some mistakes.
“On my behalf that wasn’t good enough. It’s just one of those races, really. Bathurst threw everything at us today, and we just didn’t get there in the end unfortunately.”
Van Gisbergen still holds onto fifth in the Supercars Championship standings, closing the gap to 289 points behind series leader, who is now Fabian Coulthard after the previous championship leader Scott McLaughlin retired during the race.