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HomeNewsBathurstWinterbottom's cruel last-lap DNF explained

Winterbottom’s cruel last-lap DNF explained

TEAM 18 has been left heartbroken by an “unforeseen fuelling issue” that ruined both its cars’ races at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Amid the fanfare around Shane van Gisbergen, Richie Stanaway and Triple Eight’s victory, there was mystery around what happened to teammates Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye.

Entering the closing stages, Winterbottom and Pye were running solidly in 11th and 14th before unexpectedly pitting on laps 160 and 159, respectively, of 161.

Pye eventually came home a lap down in 17th, while Winterbottom was not classified given that pit exit closed the moment SVG crossed the finish line – leaving his crew to push it back to the garage, past the jubilant scenes at Triple Eight.

It is understood Team 18 will launch an investigation into what went wrong, having been blindsided.

Either way, it was a brutal end to their Bathurst campaign, with emotions running high.

The team has not yet commented on the matter, beyond Winterbottom taking to social media.

“I know you’ll be thinking, wait he was 11th with one lap to go how did he DNF?” Winterbottom wrote.

“With 3 laps to go my pit for fuel light came on, I was called in for fuel on the last lap, but the leader crossed the finish line before I exited pit lane so the light went red and pit lane closed.

“As I didn’t complete the last lap I wasn’t classified a finisher.

“As for our week, my crew did a brilliant job of preparing the car and executing an enormous amount of changes, but in this sport if one person makes a mistake it is very costly.

“It feels cruel for us all to have raced all day and not come away with a finishing position. Thank you (Michael Caruso) love racing with you mate.”

Two rounds remain this season, at the Gold Coast and Adelaide.

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