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Fullwood stoked despite losing potential win

A PENALTY which cost Bryce Fullwood a second career podium did little to dampen his spirits after a stunning day at Albert Park.

In the frantic finish to Race 3 on Saturday, it was overlooked just how close Fullwood came to a maiden Repco Supercars Championship race win.

Fullwood qualified third and held position behind the Erebus Camaros of Brodie Kostecki and Will Brown throughout the opening stint.

Brown effectively fell out of contention when he needed to pit a lap earlier than other frontrunners to avoid having to double-stack behind Kostecki, elevating Fullwood to second.

And the #14 Brad Jones Racing driver pounced, closing up to the back of Kostecki with a blistering in-lap to give his renowned pit crew a real chance of taking the lead in the lane.

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan admitted post-race it would have been a tight rejoin if not for the problems which befell Fullwood.

The 2019 Super2 Series champion was released into the path of Declan Fraser’s Tradie Mustang, earning a penalty and costing time as they sorted themselves out.

Fullwood ended up emerging in third behind Will Davison, who also picked up a 15-second penalty for an unsafe release – the duo dropping from the podium to outside the top 10.

Bryce Fullwood. Pic: Ross Gibb

Fullwood could have been excused for dropping his bottom lip at the turn of events, but was impressively upbeat.

“Honestly, I’m stoked. We had the speed to be there, we deserved every bit of it, we were actually quite fast,” he said.

“That (release) could have been the move for a trophy or if we had have played it safe we might have lost a trophy.

“(Our car controller) was beating himself up about it but I told him I don’t want him to do anything different next time.

“There’s going to be more opportunities and one day that’s going to pay off for us.

Engineer Phil Keed (right) hugs Fullwood. Pic: Supplied/Pace Images

“Sometimes I make the mistake, sometimes the boys make the mistake – and I must admit 95 percent of the times it’s me making the mistake and not the boys,” he added.

“There’s no ‘i’ in team here; I’m really happy, that doesn’t define our day whatsoever.”

Completing a mixed Saturday for BJR, Andre Heimgartner finished fifth and Jack Smith 18th, while Macauley Jones was wiped out on Lap 2 – an incident for which Grove Racing rookie Matt Payne profusely apologised for.

Heimgartner and Fullwood will start fourth and fifth respectively for Race 4 this morning.

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