James Courtney refrained from blaming the aggressive Surfers Paradise kerbing for his late-race exit at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Courtney had command of the race in the #22 Holden Racing Team Commodore when the steering broke on lap 86 of the 102-lap encounter.
After co-driver Greg Murphy was unloaded into the wall by Paul Dumbrell in Saturday's opening race, the exit from Race 31 with victory in sight was particularly hard for the #22 crew to shoulder.
“We had an issue on Saturday (the Murphy crash) and we didn't get the best out of it in qualifying this morning,” Courtney reflected to Speedcafe.com.
“We had a few little issues that lingered from the fix overnight and we sharpened that up.
“Robbie Starr and the boys did a good job in giving Murph and myself a toy to play with today.”
Courtney would not be drawn into any excuse as to the reasons behind the steering failure.
“Yes, the kerbs are aggressive and we are carrying a lot more speed over them this year,” he said.
“It was fun to drive around whereas when we had the tyre bollards here it was annoying.
“The cars have a lot of attitude which is great, it looks good on TV but I don't think we can blame this one on the kerbs.”
Courtney took solace from the fact that his car had displayed competitive pace throughout the weekend.
“The good thing is we are in the right part of the field when these things are happening,” he said.
“A couple of years ago we were wobbling around the back. To go out in the lead at least we've got the car speed.”
Murphy elected not to play the blame game but was gutted by missing out on his first win in the category since his clean sweep at Pukekohe in 2005.
“There was a few issues with the steering and then obviously it gave up the ghost,” Murphy said.
“Is it (kerbs) the reason why our car broke? I'm not sure.
“The team don't deserve to come away without a result. This is totally soul destroying.”