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HomeNewsPayne explains ‘pretty bad’ last-lap mistake

Payne explains ‘pretty bad’ last-lap mistake

GROVE Racing young gun Matt Payne scored a second-career podium finish in the Albert Park opener, but only after surviving a self-induced final-lap scare.

Payne fell from fifth to sixth off the start but then methodically picked his way through to third, only to fall off the road at the penultimate corner of the race.

Thankfully for Payne, the only driver to pass him as he scrambled back onto the circuit was Nick Percat, who had a five-second penalty for an early-race incident with Chaz Mostert.

“I knew it was going to be tough racing, like these boys, they fight for sheep stations,” said Payne of the 18-lap encounter.

“I probably made some wrong moves and then I made some right moves, but I came out in the end and made a pretty bad mistake at the (second to) last corner.

“I came in and I probably braked a little bit late and I grabbed the front (lock-up) and then I grabbed both pedals.

“I knew Percat had a five-second penalty, so I wasn’t stressed if he passed me or not, but when it was happening I was like, ‘what is going on? I’m in the grass!’

“But luckily we kept (the podium) so it’s alright.”

Payne’s Penrite Mustang. Pic: Supplied

Payne finished his rookie 2023 season with a sensational maiden career win at the Adelaide finale.

He started this year’s campaign with 10th and seventh place finishes, his weekend somewhat muted by qualifying 13th for both races.

“It’s nice to be able to run with the front guys,” he concluded of his day at Albert Park.

“Triple Eight, they have obviously got really good cars, so we just need to tune it up a little bit overnight.

“I think we can still find a little bit more time but it’s tough, it’s good competition. I really like the racing here, it’s cool, so just really happy.”

Teammate Richie Stanaway qualified eighth but finished 12th after losing places in a mid-race, mid-pack shuffle.

Payne and Stanaway are fourth and sixth in the standings respectively after three races.

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