Disastrous opening race for Team Betta Electrical at Symmons Plains Today's opening V8 Supercar race at Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit has proved disastrous for Team Betta Electrical after an incident on the first lap of the race forced ...
Disastrous opening race for Team Betta Electrical at Symmons Plains
Today's opening V8 Supercar race at Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit has proved disastrous for Team Betta Electrical after an incident on the first lap of the race forced Jamie Whincup out of contention for the weekend and saw Craig Lowndes relinquish his championship lead due to a lengthy unscheduled pitstop.
After qualifying outside the top ten for only the second time this year Lowndes started Race 1 from 11th on the grid behind team mate Jamie Whincup.
Both drivers got off to a clean start but approaching the hairpin Whincup was tapped from behind causing him to spin off the track at 200km an hour hitting the retaining safety wall and severely damaging the car. Whincup's spin produced a dense dust cloud which created further havoc for following cars with Lowndes involved in some minor collisions in the ensuing chaos.
As a result he was forced to pit at the end of lap one to replace a front splitter losing two laps in the process. With no real chance of making up ground Lowndes and his #888 Falcon rejoined the race and circulated to finish 27th ensuring some collation of points.
"It was just one of those incidents that were unavoidable," Lowndes said. "Both Murph and I moved left to try and keep out of Jamie's path and I put a wheel out on the dirt and spun creating another dust cloud."
"I was very lucky no one gave me a good whack, once I stopped I found myself in a precarious position but thankfully the other drivers realised what had happened and backed off."
"It was disappointing to concede so many points but we are not out of it yet and with 854 points still up for grabs anything can happen," Lowndes added.
With damage to the chassis Jamie Whincup's Bathurst winning car will now sit sidelined and the Triple Eight Race Engineering crew will prepare his old car for transportation to Bahrain on Wednesday.
"I am very disappointed," Whincup said. "The car has some substantial structural damage and we won't be able to fix it in time for tomorrow's races."
"I pride myself on looking after any car that I race so I am shattered at the state of our Bathurst winning car."
"That was without a doubt the biggest hit of my career," Whincup added.
Race 2 for the V8 Supercars gets underway at 11.00am with the Race 3 to commence at 3.30pm.