Canberra driver Cameron Hill's hopes of claiming the Toyota 86 Series title have been dashed by a Mount Panorama mishap.
Hill realised a dream when he won a race in Bathurst but elation soon turned to despair after he was disqualified because a crew member touched the car while it was under post-race parc ferme conditions.
He soon dropped to fourth in the overall standings as series leader Jimmy Vernon took an unassailable lead heading into the final round in Newcastle, beginning on November 24.
Parc ferme conditions mean the cars are basically quarantined and examined for technical compliance with regulations and specifications relevant to their class.
Hill was at the podium when a crew member lifted the car bonnet, which was deemed as an interference, wiping out the 100 championship points he claimed for winning the race.
"Apparently one of my crew members, he's just a mate of mine, he's not a professional mechanic or anything, he went into the area to show a young friend of ours something about the car," Hill said.
"He lifted up the bonnet and was talking about the cars and dad said 'Oh no, close the bonnet, we're not allowed to touch the car'.
"An hour later I got told I was going to get disqualified, so it was pretty rough for a parc ferme infringement. We lost our race win and had to start last."
The disqualification in the opening race meant qualifying in pole position counted for little after he was bumped to the back of the field to start race two.
Hill made significant ground but failed to finish after he was caught in a multi-car crash, and finished 35th overall following a positive showing in race three.
The 20-year-old went to the stewards in a bid to have the sentence downgraded but the original decision was upheld, wiping out his championship hopes.
There is scope for another appeal but Hill says the team would need to put up about $4000 and call lawyers in on top of that - which is likely a step too far for a family-run outfit.
"It would just be a massive debacle. I don't know if it's worth it, it's 100 points and maybe second in the championship," Hill said.
"I'm not too worried about that, there's some people in the team that are looking at that avenue, I'm just refocusing my attention to organising next year, because this year is pretty much really done now.
"I've just got to make the most of what we've done and all the connections and networks we've built, and try to make something happen. I'm looking to move forward next year into another series."
Hill is eyeing the Supercars championship and will take the next step towards his dream when he leaves the Toyota 86 Series at the end of this year.
He could use the Porsche Carrera Cup, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Dunlop Super2 Series or the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series as his launching pad to the grand stage.