Waters apologised for dirt-slinging Shootout gaffe

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Waters apologised for dirt slinging Shootout gaffe

The Tickford ace came under fire following the single-lap dash for pole after it came to light that he dragged dirt onto the track at the esses on his in-lap.

Chaz Mostert, who was next up in the Shootout, had a huge moment when he got to that part of the track on his hot lap, while Shane van Gisbergen also lost time in the second sector on his pole-winning effort.

Following suggestions from rivals that it was a tactical move, Waters had to front driving standards advisor Craig Baird to explain his actions.

He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

Expanding on the matter after yesterday’s race, Waters said it was a simple lapse of concentration and in no way tactical.

He also said he apologised to both Mostert and van Gisbergen once he’s seen the footage.

“On my in lap, I was just kind of fat-arming it and over Skyline I took too much kerb and grabbed a bit of the dirt,” Waters explained.

“I didn’t really think anything of it at the time because I was too busy looking at the crowd.

“Then I went up and saw Bairdo after and he showed me the footage. Straight away, I felt really bad and I sent Chaz a message and before the race I apologised to Shane as well.

“That’s not what I’m about, I just wasn’t really thinking. I was just fat-arming it at the time.

“I didn’t get pinged for it because there’s nothing in the rule book, and I didn’t intentionally do it. I don’t want to see these boys shunting on something that I’ve intentionally done.”

Waters added that he would support the introduction of a rule to penalise drivers for impacting track conditions on their in-lap during a Shootout, regardless of intention.

“I actually said to Bairdo that there should be a rule in there because obviously what happened to me and the other boys, it’s a disadvantage for those guys,” he said.

“I think there should be a penalty for sure if you do that.

“Obviously, that’s different to if you do it on your [timed] lap. If you intentionally do something like that after, to hinder someone else, I think that’s… yeah, that’s shit.”

Mostert, meanwhile, joked that Waters’ speedway programme was to blame.

“I think he spent too much off-season on the dirt, obviously,” said Mostert.

“Look, it is what it is. Like he said, he sent me a text and you know drivers generally don’t intentionally do it but, at the time, it was a pretty big moment.

“I’d rather any other corner around Australia and any other track instead of there.

“It is what it is, we’ll move on and we’ll get on.”

Detailing the moment he hit the dirt, Mostert said he feared he’d have a similar crash to the one that took Walkinshaw teammate Bryce Fullwood out of the Bathurst 1000 last October.

“I rolled out on my warm up lap and you scout the lap, see what’s happening with the track,” said Mostert.

“I committed to come down the esses and as I came down through the esses there was dirt all over the inside of the left-hander in the middle there.

“When I hit it, my knackers went straight to my throat. I kind of locked both fronts and thought I was about to crash like Bryce did at the end of last year.

“I wobbled through the right-hander and just picked it up through The Dipper there, but a big scary moment that was something I didn’t expect.”

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