Massive shunt halts Supercars race in Tasmania
The first Supercars race in Tasmania has been cut short by a huge crash that wiped out a third of the field.
It all started when Cam Waters and Garth Tander seemingly got together on the run to the hairpin, following some contact between Fabian Coulthard and Todd Kelly.
The tangle pushed Tander into a spin, and with spray and sunshine putting visibility at a premium chaos ensued.
In total, the pile-up took Tander, Rick Kelly, Scott Pye, James Courtney, Nick Percat, Tim Slade, Taz Douglas, Alex Rullo, James Moffat, Tim Blanchard, Will Davison, and Simona de Silvestro out of the race.
Davison copped the worst of the impact, hitting Rick Kelly’s spinning Altima head-on. Both drivers extracted themselves from their respective wrecks unaided, although Davison was then treated by medical staff on the scene.
“It’s a big mess,” said Moffat.
“I can’t make too much judgement because I don’t really know what happened. I think I clipped one of the BJR cars and it pulled the left front out, and at that point I had no brakes. I got hit pretty hard. It felt like we might have been at Parramatta Raceway for the demolition derby.”
Scott Pye added: “I don’t really know – you can’t see that much because of the spray.
“We saw a bit of debris kick off, so the few of us at the back, myself, James [Courtney], Lee Holdsworth, we just rolled out of it. I went to the right, I was just cruising along, and the next thing Garth has come backwards across the track in front of me. And someone must have been trucking on behind me, because they’ve hit me pretty hard from behind and shoved me in everything.”
Tander said: “I have no idea. I could see something was happening with [Fabian] Coulthard and Rick [Kelly], I think it was, and Waters was involved in that. I could see all that over to the left, so I stayed tight on the exit of Turn 3 to get the run down the outside.
“Someone has come out and hit me in the rear and then I was sideways, and sideways there is not good because the whole field is coming over you. It sounds like there was two or three seperate things going on. A lot of big hits.”
Waters, meanwhile, said his contact with Tander was down to the incident between Coulthard and Todd Kelly.
“We were racing around Turn 3 and I saw Fabian and Todd [Kelly] get into each other,“ said the Prodrive driver.
“Everyone braked in front of me, and then I tried to avoid all the crash. It all happened that quick. It’s a pretty bad start to Tassie.”
Van Gisbergen declared winner
The race was eventually restarted behind the Safety Car, but never went green. The race was called after just a couple of laps, with Shane van Gisbergen deemed the winner ahead of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
“First and foremost it’s good to hear everyone is okay,” said van Gisbergen.
“That’s a hard one. On that first lap I followed Chaz to the hairpin. The sun was out, there was a lot of spray, and I could hardly see – and that was only one car. I can see it wouldn’t have bene easy to avoid.
“I don’t really care about [winning the shortened race]. I just hope we can have a good field tomorrow, everyone can fix their cars, and everyone is okay.“
Scott McLaughlin should have been second, but accidentally drove into pitlane rather than pulling up on the main straight. As a result he was classified 13th.
Supercars Australia later decided that no championship points will be awarded for the race, although van Gisbergen's victory will stand in the record books.
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About this article
|Location||Symmons Plains Raceway|
|Author||Andrew van Leeuwen|