A "disgraceful" act failed to take the shine off Supercars series leader Scott McLaughlin's maiden Bathurst 1000 win for his Ford outfit DJR Team Penske.
While McLaughlin earned kudos for fighting off Holden's Shane van Gisbergen to emerge King of the Mountain, his Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard was slammed for his actions during a late safety car period.
A then third-placed Coulthard controversially slowed down to back up the rest of the field as top two Jamie Whincup and McLaughlin raced to their garage for a pit stop to get much-needed fuel during a safety car period with 26 laps left.
At the time Coulthard looked to have ensured a two horse race between Whincup and McLaughlin for the title after his go slow approach during the yellow flag ensured a 13-second gap between a hard charging van Gisbergen and the race leaders.
It eliminated van Gisbergen's 10-second fuel advantage on McLaughlin and Whincup.
While two more safety cars emerged to dramatically change the course of the race, Coulthard was slammed for his lack of sportsmanship.
He copped a drive through penalty for his actions and finished sixth.
But he also appeared to lose a lot more than grid positions after his actions were branded "disgraceful" by Supercars legend Larry Perkins, who texted on-air reporter Neil Crompton during the race to express his disappointment.
Van Gisbergen clearly also wasn't impressed.
"We got held up in the safety car by someone, it made it tough (to win)," the Kiwi said.
"I don't want to say anything but it was pretty obvious what happened.
"It is what it is. That car (Coulthard) has been the sacrificial lamb all year so deal with it."
Coulthard's team boss Ryan Story insisted there was a problem with overheating in the car.
But Coulthard could be heard on the team radio to "slow down" repeatedly at the time.
Coulthard said he took it slow because he was unaware of the location of the incident which had caused the safety car.
"I just got told they didn't know where the incident was and to take extreme caution," Coulthard said.
Majority owner of Coulthard's team DJR Team Penske, American motorsport great Roger Penske, shrugged off the incident.
"Look I am not sure if that made the difference to who won the race," he said.
"We can look at it and talk about it but it is secondary as far I am concerned when you think about it.
"Everyone had a chance, and the two top guys duelled it out in the end and the outcome was what we wanted."
Australian Associated Press