V8 Supercar endurance driver Tony D’Alberto joins Motorsport.com as part of our comprehensive post-event coverage, offering his expert take on the crash and bash from each wild weekend of racing.
First of all, let me say it’s great to be on the Motorsport.com team. As someone with more than a couple of V8 Supercar miles under my belt, I’ll here to look into all the big crashes and door-to-door combat following each V8 Supercars event.
So, let’s take a look at what happened at Barbagallo Raceway.
Reynolds v Courtney coming over the hill
During Saturday’s first race, David Reynolds got a good run on James Coutney coming down the back straight, and stuck his nose down the inside – and I don’t think James saw him until they made contact. I would say Reynolds was just out of his vision, because as soon as they made contact James moved across and gave him room.
For me, he wasn’t deliberately squeezing him out… but it was high-speed contact, and Reynolds was lucky he could keep it on the black stuff. We saw what happened in that part of the track a few years ago when Scott Pye went into the dirt there, and almost rolled the car.
It’s not a nice place to be going off, but I don’t think it was intentional from James. It looks like James was battling with the car in front, and I think Reynolds took him by surprise. If you’re not right beside the car, particularly on the driver’s side, your mirror actually misses the car. The way James quickly moved back across the road suggests it was a surprise to him.
Lee Holdsworth’s roll-over
That was such a strange scenario. Every time I’ve been down that part of the track, if you lock a tyre it’s generally an inside front. To lock a rear like that, I don’t really get it. I know the tyre went down, and I don’t know when it happened, but something must have been going wrong for the rear to spin like that.
It could be that he was distracted by trying to go around the outside of Garth Tander. That could have caused Lee to just miss his braking point, I’m not too sure.
But there wasn’t much in it. If the marshals had rolled it back on its wheels, he would have amazingly been able to keep going. There was barely a scratch on the car.
It was strange. I watched the on-board, and he down changes… and the rear of the car just locks. Unless he had his bias all the way to rear, which you wouldn’t do, it’s hard to say.
He did brake very deep, and it’s a unique corner in that you don’t brake for long. You brake, and then turn in because you’re washing speed off in the bowl. So Lee didn’t have much time to do anything once he hit that pedal.
Coulthard’s Red Flag
His off at turn six was a lot more traditional than Lee’s, a normal front-inside tyre lock-up.
I think the red flag came out too quickly. Yes he touched the tyre wall, but it wasn’t a massive shunt. I’ll tell you now, finding reverse in a V8 Supercar isn’t easy. He didn’t have time to even try.
If he’d been stuck in the fence, clearly in reverse with his wheels spinning going nowhere, fair enough. But by the time they showed the red flag, he’d already started driving out the other side.
So for me it was too premature. Obviously it was the right call if he was stuck in the fence, but they had to wait a tiny bit longer. Maybe they were a bit on edge after the Holdsworth incident. But he was dealt a pretty poor card there.