Anton De Pasquale reckons the 30-second penalty that cost him a race win in last night's Supercars All Stars Eseries opener was too harsh.
The Erebus driver and experienced sim racer crossed the line first in a thrilling second race at Phillip Island, having barged part long-time leader Jack Le Brocq at the final corner on the final lap.
However the forceful move was quickly deemed illegal by driving standards advisor Craig Baird, who slapped De Pasquale with a 30-second penalty that dumped him down to 13th.
That didn't go down well with De Pasquale, who says there were worst crashes in the field that should have caught the attention of the DSA.
“I think a 30-second penalty is a bit harsh for having a dip," he said. "I had overlap so I can’t disappear on the apex.
"I tried to put a good show on for everyone and ended up in the stewards' room. It’s pretty ironic I got the first penalty in the Eseries after I saw a few cars getting rolled and stuff like that..."
It was a largely miserable evening for pre-season favourite De Pasquale. After taking pole in both qualifying sessions he was run wide in the first race and finished eighth, then penalised in the second race, before being fired into the wall by Chris Pither in the finale at Monza.
As a result he's just 16th in the standings, already 171 points behind early leader Scott McLaughlin.
While admitting it was a frustrating hit-out, De Pasquale is confident the driving standards will improve as more driver acclimatise to sim racing.
"By the time the last race came on and there were first lap crashes, it kind of ruined the race a bit," he said.
"It could have been an awesome race, but as we go on it should improve as more drivers get more practice and keep it on the track. I think the racing will just get better.
“I had a good time, although it’s not fun racing anywhere when you get crashed out and penalised, that’s pretty frustrating. But overall it was cool and we’ll come back and have a better week next week.
“I think it was received really well by the fans. It’s always good when people are watching and all the teams and drivers are getting behind the series.
"I’m looking forward to next round, I know Silverstone and Barcelona and I think most of the guys will know what to expect.”
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