A practice crash has ruled the factory Nissan GT Academy Team Kelly GT-R out of the Highlands 101 this weekend.
GT Academy winner Matt Simmons, who was set to share the car with Supercars star Michael Caruso, ran wide at the Southern Loop during practice for the joint Australian GT Championship/Australian Endurance Championship round at the New Zealand circuit.
The resulting impact with the wall did enough suspension and drivetrain damage to rule the car out for the rest of the weekend, which means the team’s short Australian Endurance Championship stint is prematurely over.
“It’s devastating for the team who have worked hard to get the car ready for this race,” said Simmons.
“I was going through the Southern Loop and the car felt no different to any other time I’d been through there. The back of the car just stepped out and I caught it, but by that time I was on the dirty line of the track and I was a passenger.
“It was a hard hit, but I’m okay. It’s just a massive shame that we are not able to repair it.
“These are lessons that I learn in my development that will only make me stronger for next time.”
The Objective McLaren of Tony Walls has also been withdrawn, after a first-practice crash that resulted in the session being red flagged.