SOMERSET Rebels newest recruit, Rohan Tungate finished in fourth place in the Australian Championship, which was eventually won by ex-Rebel Brady Kurtz in a dramatic final round at Mildura, Victoria.
After a first ride win, Tungate was left to rue a tapes exclusion in his second ride, which severely dented his chances of a direct seeding through to the 'A' Final - but as it was, he came back strongly to finish on 11 points and a place in the 'last chance saloon' 'B' Final.
All was looking good for the Somerset rider as he took the lead from the off - which would have seen him through to the 'A' Final and a tilt at the Championship crown - but a fall as he took to the fourth bend on the opening lap, saw him excluded from the re-run, which was won by Kurtz and took him through to the 'A' Final alongside Justin Sedgmen, Max Fricke and Sam Masters.
Drama then ensued as Kurtz was excluded for a tapes offence, but despite this he was still awarded a point for his qualification through to the 'A' final.
With Kurtz's exclusion, it did mean, however, that Sam Masters could take the title by winning the Grand Final - but he could only manage third place behind Sedgmen and Fricke, whose second place finish in the Grand Final saw him pip Tungate for third place in the final overall standings.
Tthough by virtue of his top four finish, Tungate does qualify for a place in the 2016 Speedway Grand Prix qualifiers, the first round of which will be held in May.
Afterwards a disgruntled Tungate said: "The referee definitely got the call wrong when he threw me out that one race for touching the tapes.
"I think everyone in the place could see it was the guy next to me who touched them first.
"The ref wouldn't even talk me and after watching a reply of the incident afterwards, I didn't move first and I was literally playing catch up all night with the other guys scoring points around me.”
"I had a decent start in the 'B' final but just rode too hard going in to turn three on lap one and it spat me off in to the fence.
"I feel pretty gutted about the whole thing to be honest and the Grand Prix spot is small consolation for me right now.”