Pole-sitter Will Brown says a double downshift is what caused him to run off and lose a podium position in the final laps of the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
He held that position until a wobble on Lap 154 pitched the #9 Coca-Cola Camaro into the run-off area at the end of the back straight and through the weeds, at which point Shane van Gisbergen made a decisive pass.
Brown remained fourth thereafter, but said he struggled all afternoon for tyre life.
“I was disappointed to lose the podium but probably disappointed throughout the whole race,” he explained on broadcast, post-race.
“I just didn't have the rear tyre life of the other guys. I tried going slow out of the pits, tried going a bit faster and all that, but I just couldn't hold onto the rear tyres.
“Made a mistake with about five laps to go up the top of the hill; got a double downchange.
“I thought I missed a gear and went down again and lost the rear.
“So, completely my fault, really sorry to the boys, they worked really hard.
“[I] would have liked to get them a podium after Tailem Bend and after pole position, but that's life.
“It was really cool to see Brodie get second and it seemed to be a good race.”
Co-driver Jack Perkins led a total of 24 laps during his two stints from the start of the race, after which Brown took over in second place before letting team-mate Brodie Kostecki by on Lap 119 for strategic reasons.
In fact, while neither he nor co-driver David Russell led at any stage, nor were they any lower than third, in at least in effective terms, for the latter two thirds of the 161-lap race.
“Definitely disappointed, but P4's still great; there's a lot of people that would have loved to finish P4,” said Brown.
“So, still stoked with that, but it's just what could have been. We'll bounce back and looking forward to Bathurst.”
Perkins would later remark, “It's a weird feeling to say we're disappointed with fourth but what it all means is, Bathurst is looking really good for us.
“Great job by the team [at Sandown]; pit stops were great, obviously Brodie and D-Russ were second.
“So, we're going to get it at Bathurst.”