18 September 2023 |

Mineeff reflects on costly Soutar incident

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series stars Lachlan Mineeff and Zac Soutar have ‘agreed to disagree’ following their Race 3 incident at Sandown International Raceway earlier this month.

The duo were involved in an entertaining battle for the final spot on the podium before contact between the two resulted in both their races ending abruptly.

An immediate puncture to the front left tyre of Soutar’s Gen 2 Audi forced the Victorian to pull to the side on the main straight, before Mineeff suffered a similar fate seconds later on the penultimate lap.

Following the incident, Purple Sector’s Mineeff had no regrets making the move with a potential podium finish on the line.

“I had a lot of pace on Zac (Soutar), I was all over him in the corners and then when we got to the straight, we had nothing to play with,” Mineeff said.

“I saw he made a mistake at Dandenong Road and we were able to get up alongside him, when we came into the final complex, I put on a move that I have done multiple times across the weekend – but in this instance we came together.

“I certainly don’t regret the move that I pulled, and I think the officials agreed with that. We are in a great position in the standings and now we have fallen back a number of spots.

“The move wasn’t that high risk, but you live and learn. In hindsight, I might have adjusted what I had done but it’s something I feel like I had to go for with the podium on the line.”

For Mineeff, the result is all the more disappointing after a personal-best second place in qualifying earlier in the weekend, which was then followed by an impressive podium finish in Race 2.

But despite the outcome, Mineeff and Soutar were able to discuss the incident post-race without malice, ultimately agreeing to focus on the upcoming Kumho TCR World Tour rounds.

“There is always heat in the moment, we spoke about it post-race and I think we just both agreed to disagree,” Mineeff explained.

“There are always going to be different perspectives of it, and at the end of the day it’s a terrible situation for both of us and there is no real winner.

“It’s a hard and awkward situation, Zac and I get on really well on a personal level and at the end of the day we both didn’t finish, and nobody walked away with any points.

“It is what it is. I treat every competitor the same once the helmet is on, there are no friends out there and I would race anyone else just as hard.

“It’s my first DNF from circuit racing from car-to-car contact, so I am very disappointed but I’m ready to move on.”

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will next feature at Race Sydney on 3-4 November and it will be the first of two Kumho TCR World Tour rounds down under.