No joy for HRT in Bathurst 1000 While victors Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup were lifting the Peter Brock Trophy on the podium at the Supercheap Auto 1000 today at Bathurst, the Holden Racing Team was well and truly packed ...
No joy for HRT in Bathurst 1000
While victors Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup were lifting the Peter Brock Trophy on the podium at the Supercheap Auto 1000 today at Bathurst, the Holden Racing Team was well and truly packed up.
Both the team's Commodores were eliminated before the first pit stop, with pole man Mark Skaife eliminated on the first lap on the run up Mountain Straight.
After getting away slowly from the start with a slipping clutch, Skaife was limping up the Mountain when hit from behind by an unsighted Jack Perkins.
The contact shoved the #2 Holden into the left hand side concrete wall before it bounced back across the road into the right hand side barrier.
The car was severely damaged and Skaife left to rue a Bathurst crown that got away, particularly after the HRT Commodore topped the timesheets on each of the three days of practice and qualifying.
The news got even worse on lap 25 when Jim Richards crashed out in the #22 Commodore he was sharing with Ryan Briscoe.
Starting in his 35th Bathurst classic, Richards was suffering from an understeering car in the first stint and hit the wall on the exit of the Dipper, which catapulted the car into the wall on the opposite side of the track.
Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"It's the most disappointing thing to have ever happened in my career. Of all the weekends where we were in such good shape to win ... I can't remember a year at Bathurst where we were so strong or the expectations so high. The clutch was slipping and it was doing it in fifth gear so it was doing it like you wouldn't believe. Jack Perkins couldn't see me over the crest of the hill on Mountain Straight. He's a good young guy and it certainly wasn't his fault so he didn't need to apologise like he did. But I don't think I've ever wanted to win a race so badly in my whole life."
Garth Tander (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"It's definitely the most disappointing day of my career. It was over before it ever began. But there's nothing you can do about it. I'm glad that Rick (Kelly) had a solid result so he can now be given every opportunity to win the championship. The car had no problems in the warmup and was spot on. There were no problems at all. This one hurts."
Jim Richards (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"It was getting harder and harder as the stint went on. I was getting more and more understeer as the stint went on and I was having it in places that I've never really experienced it before. I don't think the tyre burst, but it just didn't have the grip and was losing it more and more each lap. It was driver error. I was trying to keep the pace up but I hit the right hand wall on the exit of the Dipper and it went back into the wall on the left."
Ryan Briscoe (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"If we got a Safety Car on that lap Jim crashed then I was going to jump aboard for my first stint. But unfortunately it was Jim that brought out the yellow! It's such a shame. Jim has done a great job all weekend and proved he's still quick enough to run with the good guys in this category. But he just got caught out. It's a shame but that's the way it is. It gives me all the more reason to come back for 2007."