TOUGH WEEKEND FOR BRIDGESTONE-SPONSORED HRT
The penultimate round of the V8 Supercars Championship at Melbourne's Sandown circuit was all going so well for Garth Tander - until the opening lap of Saturday's race.
Driving a Bridgestone-backed Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore, Tander was dicing with Ford's Paul Dumbrell on the opening lap of Saturday's event when the Falcon's exhaust tip touched the Commodore's right front tyre.
The tyre deflated, causing Tander to crash into the tyre barrier at 265 kilometres per hour. Amazingly, he walked away unhurt.
"Dumbrell went off at turn one then came back on at turn three pretty aggressively and dangerously," Tander said.
"I saw him coming off the grass and gave him room, but he just turned into me and something cut the tyre. You can't really feel the tyres going off at speed, but up the back straight I heard it go and got on the brakes as soon as I could, but that was it."
Amazingly, the Holden Racing Team managed to rebuild Tander's car in time for Sunday's race.
Tander came home a creditable 17th after starting at the rear of the pack, but the race was again halted by an accident at the same corner where Tander went off. And, unfortunately for the Holden Racing Team, it was Tander's teammate Will Davison who ended up flying backwards into the wall after tangling with the Commodore of Michael Caruso.
Sunday's race was won by Ford's James Courtney, who extended his championship lead over Holden's Jamie Whincup to 53 points ahead of the season-ending Sydney 500.
|1. ||James Courtney (Ford) ||2932 points |
|2. ||Jamie Whincup (Holden) ||2879 |
|3. ||Mark Winterbottom (Ford) ||2732 |
|4. ||Craig Lowndes (Holden) ||2567 |
|5. ||Garth Tander (HRT) ||2400 |