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By Dan McCarthy

Todd Hazelwood and Mark Winterbottom both crashed and ended up in the gravel trap at Turn 1 after the end of the final race at Sydney Motorsport Park, and unsurprisingly the two had different views on the incident .

The 77-lap, 300km Supercars Championship encounter ended in a three-lap sprint to the finish in very wet conditions. In the closing stages, former champion Winterbottom held off former Super2 series winner Todd Hazelwood by 0.12 seconds on the line.

However, the cars would only go 300m further down the road as the pair had a hard contact at Turn 1 after the race and both were stranded in the gravel pit.

Hazelwood explained his side of the story, stating that he lost control of his ZB Commodore moments after crossing the line, causing him to make a career out of Winterbottom’s side.

“I just aquaplaned through the straight here,” Hazelwood recalled. “I had a decent run from the last corner to the front straight.

“Frosty and I went side by side and he hugged me against the wall, which I have no problem with, it’s a tough race, but then I just hit a puddle, reached a white line and I practically raced from the finish line until turn 1 I was locked in and just a passenger.

The South Australian linked it to something you would see in NASCAR with multiple drivers crashing at the start and finish line.

“It was either tow trucks or ladies, I guess, if you call it full NASCAR style,” he smiled.

“Obviously I ran to the car just to apologize and obviously he was very animated as I probably would be in his place. I just wanted to get in and apologize.

“Wild Race!”

Unsurprisingly, Winterbottom takes a very different view of the incident, he believes it was Hazelwood’s mistake and not aquaplaning that caused the incident, calling the post-race actions stupid.

After the race Winterbottom was visibly frustrated with Hazelwood and Neil Crompton asked him if he wanted to box.

“I wouldn’t mind actually and we’ll film that if you like,” Wintoerbottom said.

“What do you do when someone does something stupid and then they come up and say sorry, they’re looking at you, what do you do?”

“It’s the biggest crash I’ve had in my career, after the flag, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it.

“He hit me at 240 km/h in the back at turn 1, around 200-300 meters after the flag. What are you saying? I do not know what to say.

Team 18 owner Charlie Schwerkolt also said Hazelwood could have avoided the crash.

“A bit of a rocky ending for poor old ‘Frosty’ (Winterbottom) over there at the finish line, Todd made a mistake and didn’t back down I think and decided to take him out after the line”, Schwerkolt said.

It wasn’t the only post-race incident, third-placed Anton De Pasquale slammed into the concrete wall on the inside of the final corner on his lap.

Race car driver Dick Johnson lost control of a drift while returning to the pits having fun with Brodie Kostecki.

For more motorsport news, see the current issue of Auto Action.