Defending Tyrepower Tasmania champion Will Davison had to be taken to hospital after an incredible 12 cars were involved in one of the worst crashes in the history of Virgin Australia Supercars Championship this afternoon.
On only the second lap of the race the 12 Supercars ended up a mangled wreck strewn right across the front straight of the tight circuit.
The cars and drivers involved in the crash were Davison, Simona de Silvestro, Rick Kelly, Garth Tander, Tim Slade, Nick Percat, Tim Blanchard, James Moffat, Scott Pye, James Courtney, Alex Rullo, Taz Douglas.
Kelly, who’s car was destroyed said he’s not quite sure what caused the incident to occur.
“Definitely the biggest hit I’ve had in the 16 years I’ve been out there,” Kelly said.
“It’s one of those things where you’ve got to look at everything that’s involved. Certainly got run into the fence which certainly destroyed the left hand side of my car.
“Then we got hit again and from there I’m not sure got hit one or two times. Ended up back on the left and Will came barrelling down obviously unable to stop and hit on the left.”
Davison was taken to hospital for further tests after being badly winded and complaining of lower back pain after colliding head on with Kelly’s with around nine G-forces of impact.
Wet conditions mixed with a lowering sun made visibility tough for the drivers at Symmons Plains Raceway and the opening SuperSprint event of the year was suspended for almost an hour while almost $5 million worth of Supercars were cleared from the track.
Once the debris was cleared the remaining drivers returned to the track and the race finished under safety car after just one more lap with current Champion Shane van Gisbergen in first followed by Red Bull Holden Racing team-mate Jamie Whincup and Team Vortex’s Craig Lowndes.
Lowndes says it’s one of the biggest crashes he’s seen in 21 years of racing Supercars.
“Unfortunately Will has been taken to hospital, but to see all the drivers get out of the cars and walk away, being in accidents myself that’s a good sign, cars can be replaced but bodies can’t,” Lowndes said.
Van Gisbergen says he isn’t thinking about the result too much right now.
“No it’s not on the top of my priority list at the moment just happy everyone is okay,” he said.
“Hopefully we can fix some cars and the boys can look after that side of things, but as I said our team has three straight cars fast cars so we are pretty happy.”
Whincup said whatever the competition ruling is he will accept.”
“We are certainly not celebrating though, we are not up here celebrating one two three,” he said.
“It is what is we just did our job and I’m not sure what the officials will do about the points or anything like that, that’s not our concern.
“We just do our job and try and make the cars quicker it just highlights why we are here, we are here to race and we didn’t get an opportunity to do that today so looking forward to tomorrow getting in the car and having a battle.”
“I think we go by the rule book. The rule book is written properly and correctly to go against that would be wrong so whatever the rule book says, I don’t know what it says but whatever that is go by that.”
Scott McLaughlin, who started from pole and had been in second position, was forced to start from pit lane when he mistakenly came into pit lane instead of the starting grid following the crash.
Qualifying for Race Two is scheduled to begin at 11:30am AEST tomorrowmorning. The final race of the 2017 Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint is at 2:05pm.