Liam Talbot says he feels ‘robbed’ after being taken out of contention for the Highlands 501 following contact on the opening lap of the Australian Endurance Championship finale.
The Walkinshaw Porsche driver made substantial side to side contact with the BMW of Dylan O’Keeffe in the Bus Stop chicane, damaging the steering on the former’s car which he shares with John Martin.
The collision also caused a power steering leak on Porsche, which ultimately proved terminal for Talbot and Martin before they had completed one lap.
The none classification also obliterated the pairing’s chances of winning the Australian Endurance Championship title, as they entered the weekend within touching distance of the accolade.
Talbot says the running Le Mans start caused congestion in the pit lane, which contributed to the incident, while explaining that O’Keeffe turned into the side of him at Turn 4.
“We just feel quite robbed at the moment, but we’ll have to come back stronger and harder next year,” Talbot told Paddock Pass Media.
“The first incident was the Le Mans running start which caused a lot of chaos, and then basically you can have a good top ten result in the Shootout, but you can’t get out of pit lane because of all the cars in the fast lane.
“That put us on the back foot, and then there was a Lamborghini holding us up and then Dylan O’Keeffe went one way I went another, and then the BMW has just turned in on me.
“It’s a bit of a shame he didn’t cooperate and go two wide, or maybe he just didn’t see me which is even more disappointing.”
Talbot maintains that he and Martin were not in contention to win the championship at Highlands, even though mathematically there was still prospect of them taking out the title.
The Queensland based driver added that compulsory pit stop times hindered them, and claimed that the Tim Miles/Jaxon Evans Audi pairing had an unfair advantage with a shorter CPS time than he and Martin.
“It’s disappointing not to get the race result,” Talbot said.
“But we weren’t in the championship hunt, there’s no way we can touch the Audi with their handicap system they get a good free kick in the pit stops.
“We’ve got to hunt down 66-seconds over a race distance, which is unattainable for us.
“Realistically we were never in the championship fight, not even P2.”