A Channel Seven graphic revealed well over half the Bathurst 1000 grid has had some form of issue with their cars.
By lap 62 only seven cars that started the race were unscathed.
Incredible, by lap 103 that number had whittled down to just three cars.
Horrible weather conditions played a major part, while Supercars great Russell Ingall pointed the finger at inexperienced drivers who were “dead-set scared”.
“A lot of it was dumb driving to be honest,” Ingall said. “That’s the problem when you’ve got relatively inexperienced drivers in with good drivers. That’s the downfall. That’s why the bigger teams snap up the Garth Tanders and the Fabian Coulthards of the world.”
LAP 120/161 BATHURST SET FOR THRILLING FINISH
Buckle-up racing fans, things got very interesting!
As Shane van Gisbergen looked set to run away with the race with 41 laps to go, a safety levels the playing field.
Todd Hazelwood slammed into the barrier on turn 2 as leader van Gisbergen whizzed past.
“We have got trouble!” yelled the Channel 7 commentary team. “Is he going to be able to get out here at Turn 2? Do we have another Safety Car? This is the change that we needed to make things liven up at the back… Hazelwood is in the wall.
It’s a huge blow for van Gisbergen who had 17sec and 25sec leads on his nearest rivals.
“This is going to be out of control. Shane van Gisbergen will be going, “Oh, my God.”! I had 17 seconds to Kostecki. 25 seconds to Mostert. Very good for Waters, this … absolutely got them out of jail. The rest of them are all pit because they are in them are all pit because they are in the window.”
LAP 103/161 MURPHY’S LAST DRIVE?
Kiwi supercars legend Greg Murphy may have just stepped out of V8 Supercar for the final time after main driver and fellow New Zealander Richie Stanaway for the final push at Bathurst.
“I don’t really know (if it’s his last time),” Murphy said.
Unfortunately Murphy’s final spin round ended with a spin of his own when locking up while sandwiched between two rivals at turn 2.
“I think old mate was pretty desperate, personally. But I don’t know. I haven’t seen the replay. I thought like it was pretty much in the rear corner but I’m not sure.”
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LAP 92/161 PERCAT PISSED – TANDER LEADS
Nick Percat unable to hide his frustrations in the garage. Here’s what he had to say about the latest incident on his car.
“It’s a real kick in the guts to the team, it’s the best car I have ever had here,” he said.
“When I went back to second at Forrest’s Elbow it mistimed the gear change. From then on I’m trying to recover it and keep it off the wall but not to be today.
“But yeah, filthy with myself, because it’s…I’ve come here a lot and it’s the second time I’ve had a car in the fence, in 11 years. So not happy.”
ROOKIES CAUSING MAYHEM
Two-time Bathurst winner Russell Ingall says inexperience in the face of the biggest race of the year is what caused the carnage in the opening stanza of this year’s Great Race.
“I said the co-drivers would make a big play in this and they did. That was co-driver mania,” Ingall told News Corp.
“It really emphasised the strategy of the race, because you almost have to put your co-drivers in at the start … but the risk is, in the biggest race of the year, half the co-drivers are rookies and in their heads I think some of them were deadest scared.
“Lo and behold, it was bloody mayhem. It’s taken a lot of the potential podium getters out of the race before 20 laps (completed). Some of the stuff going on was just bad. There’s no other word for it.
“A lot of it was dumb driving to be honest. That’s the problem when you’ve got relatively inexperienced drivers in with good drivers. That’s the downfall. That’s why the bigger teams snap up the Garth Tanders and the Fabian Coulthards of the world.”
LAP 81/161 COULTHARD LEADS
It’s all gone a little tame at Mount Panorama after the carnage of the first third of the race.
RUSSELL INGALL’S TAKE
With the sun now shining down on Mount Panorama Ingall says the race is set up for the Walkinshaw Andretti United combination to make the race their own.
“Now that the lunacy has stopped it’s going to come down to the second factor, which is who has the best dry setup,” Ingall said.
“During the week because of the rain, no car, team or driver got laps in the dry so what we’ll see now is who has guessed the best dry setup.
“From what I’ve seen so far, the Mostert car I reckon has speed to burn. They’ve bolted on the setup from last year (which won) and that was a smart move because that car was a jet last year.
“It looks to me like Mostert is doing it easy at the moment. He’s cruising, not taking any risks. He knows if he gets in front he’ll sprint away.”
Ingall feels Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander may not have the pace in the car required to see off the Walkinshaw Andretti United combinations, with Nick Percat also looking strong in the sister setup.
“The Mostert-Coulthard car is number one by a longshot. If they don’t have any dramas, if they don’t do something dumb and crash it, if they get in front no one will see them,” he said.
“Shane – the car doesn’t look quick. It looks like he’s battling with it a bit. I think no dry running has hurt the Triple Eight cars. They just don’t look speedy and you’ve got to have speed. That’s been a bit of a surprise.
“Just looking at the cars there’s so many wrecked cars with tape hanging off of them, it looks like a demolition derby and we’re only 60 laps in.”
100 LAPS TO GO – TANDER LEADS
Incredibly, only seven cars that started this race are yet to have had some kind of bingle.
LAP 57/161 KOSTECKI LEADS
Some significant damage to cars so far this afternoon and what would we do without duct tape?
Check out the state of these cars – Jack Smith’s and Todd Hazlewood’s – and just how much tape is involved.
And just for good measure we have a 6th safety car with Jones beached at pit entry.
LAP 49/161 VAN GISBERGEN LEADS
There was a heart-in-the mouth moment for Ford star and pole sitter Cameron Waters after his co-driver James Moffat got spun at the Cutting.
Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki tagged Moffat on the inside going around the corner, forcing Moffat’s car to turn.
But, luckily, Moffat was able to avoid hitting the outside wall and was able to continue, but has been pushed back in the field.
Waters held his breath as he watched from the Tickford Racing garage.
Race control deemed there was no case to answer for the incident.
LAP 42/161 – HAZELWOOD LEADS
Percat into Blanchard and we have another safety car with the latter firmly embedded into the wall after the blind approach at the Dipper.
Tim Slade’s co-driver ran off into the tyre barrier on the outside after getting a nudge from Nick Percat turning around the corner.
It prompted the fifth safety car of the day so far and a flurry of pit stops for driver changes.
Race control confirmed shortly afterwards there would be no further action.
Strategies starting to be split with a handful of cars missing the opportunity to go into the pits under SC.
As an aside how’s this move from Van Gisbergen. NUTS
34/161 ANOTHER SAFETY CAR – WATERS LEADS
A fourth safety car was deployed at the Bathurst 1000 after Dick Johnson Racing’s Alex Davison ran off the track and slammed into a tyre barrier.
Davison, co-driving for brother Will, ran off the track at the Chase and skidded across the mud at speed before crashing into the tyre wall.
He tried to drive his car towards the track, but became stuck in the mud.
He had to be helped out of the muddy trap and back onto the track.
Davison’s car was left covered in mud after the incident.
2019 had the most safety cars on record with eight sent out I believe.
Heartbreaking scenes from inside the garages at Bathurst with veteran driver Dale Wood in tears after his dream of winning ended prematurely.
Wood (co-driver for Andre Heimgartner) was one of two cars taken out by Zane Goddard in a bad re-join to the track.
“This whole build-up is about this one moment, going racing,” Wood said.
“I felt like we had a very good opportunity with this team and for it to be over so soon, it’s gutting.
“This is what you wait all year for, this is what you work towards, for it to be over so soon, I’m absolutely spewing.”
Goddard was later seen in the garage apologising to Wood.
THE ACCIDENTS UNTIL NOW
The Supercars field had just started their run up Mountain Straight after the first turn on the opening lap when a mid-pack tangle saw Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup and Erebus Motorsport’s Jack Perkins both spin dramatically, causing plenty of collateral damage.
Perkins, co-driving for Will Brown, was sent back to the pits to repair damage, while Whincup was able to continue.
But there were plenty of others caught up in the drama.
Race officials deemed the incident to be a racing incident and said there would be no further action taken.
As soon as the race resumed on lap four there was another massive incident.
Zan Goddard (James Courtney’s co-driver ran off the track at the bottom of the Chase and when he returned to the track collected David Reynold’s Grove Racing co-driver Matt Campbell, forcing another safety car.
Campbell had nowhere to go when Goddard speared back onto the track.
LAP 22/161 VETERAN LASHES OUT
Four-time Bathurst champion Greg Murphy described the chaos at the start of the race as madness after he handed the car over to Richie Stanaway.
Out of retirement to driver an Erebus Motorsport wildcard at Bathurst, Murphy said
“No one has learned,” Murphy said.
“It’s just madness, complete madness.
“You need to have eyes in the back of your head.”
Happy to report Matt Campbell is out of the medical tent and has spoken to the media after that early shunt.
“Little bit sore,” he said. “A shame to in our day like that. Never had an impact that big before either so feel for all the guys. Luckily we’ve got car 10 up the front. I think I will be pretty sore tomorrow morning.
“Obviously coming out of The Chase I saw Goddard going off but when you see a car going off you expect him to rejoin a lot later closer to the wall but he’s come straight across.
“I couldn’t see anything being close to the cars in front. He’s clipped Woody and I have had nowhere to go. I have been hard on the brake.
“You can’t do anything in that situation. Big shame.”
Another safety car and a plethora of driver changes in the pits.
So truly questionable exits in the pitlan too. Really average driving.
Car 97 – Tander – under investigation for an unsafe release.
Greg Murphy is leading the race.
Lap 14/161 STANDINGS 1-10
In all, there are now four cars – Wood/Heimgartner, Goddard/Courtney, Campbell/Reynolds and Best/Randle – in the garages with damage.
To add to the drama rain has started falling in sections of the track.
The Supercars doctor reported Campbell had suffered a sore ankle, groin, neck and wrist in the incident but was otherwise not seriously injured.
The medical team said Goddard and Wood were unhurt in the incident.
Wood was seen in tears in the garage after the incident.
The incident forced a warning from race control to “re-enter the circuit in a safe manner”.
The race resumed again on lap 11 and stewards confirmed the incident would be investigated at the conclusion.
LAP 8/161 ANDRE HEIMGARTNER LETS RIP
Frustration and anger from the Kiwi driver who hasn’t even stepped foot in a car.
“As most said through these interviews it is like these people don’t realise it is 161 laps and they are driving like losers,” he said.
“Hopefully they get their shit together and we don’t have more Safety Cars and ruin more cars.
“Tickford, everyone puts in so much effort and for everyone to take everyone out like that, and especially the last one, it is wild.
“I will be surprised if my car isn’t seriously damaged and will need to be rebuilt on the G. That is not what everyone needs.”
Winterbottom also struggled to contain his anger.
“There is always something, isn’t there?” he said.
“I can’t believe there are so many crashes at this time of the morning.
“Anyway, you keep going. We will keep trying to fix it on the run.
“We will charge on through and still unbelievable how many cars are written off with 155 laps to go. We might win. We might be the only one left on the track at the end.”
LAP 5/161 SAFETY CAR IS IN
Holdsworth leads and there will be no further action on any of the cars caught up in the first lap carnage….in fairness there is not one single culprit.
AND MORE CARNAGE! Collision on the exits of The Chase. Zane Goddard has driven back out on the road with dirty tyres and clean bowled a heap of cars including Winterbottom and Campbell.
Goddard is to blame for this one an that is particularly ordinary driving.
I tell you James Courtney’s face right now. Shattered,
“Maybe a little bit too eager too early, it’s disappointing. I’m sure Zane didn’t mean any of that,” Courtney said.
“We’ve spent millions of dolalrs to get to this point and put in so many hours. Crashes happen, we press on.”
FIRST LAP CARNAGE:
All cars came through the first turn but carnage folowed and Jack Perkins looks to be the main casualty and after 10 seconds into the race we have a safety car.
The car is in all kinds of trouble.
“They have made it 10 seconds into the race before we had trauma,” Neil Crompton said on commentary.
“This is going to be one of the storylines of the day. The minute you are off the asphalt here there will be absolutely in grip. For Jack Perkins, what a disaster.
“They have deployed the Safety Car already on lap 1. No surprise. We had 10 of them in 2006 and a pile of Safety Car laps. I am betting we will see a lot of them today.”
Mark Winterbottom was also caught up in the mess with the nose of his vehicle totalled.
Will Brown in the Boost Mobile garage said: “Bathurst hasn’t been kind to us over the last few years. It is obviously wet out there and they are all racing.
“Who knows whose fault it was. Everyone was crossing the water and a few tagged together. I think we will be out for a couple more laps from what the boys have been saying.”
11:17 LAST MINUTE WARNING
Warning from race control as the drivers take to the line – beware turn one.
“Important note to all teams, the circuit is wet on driver’s right through the exit off turn 1. Please advise your drivers, please.”
Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Russell Ingall says the unpredictable wild weather that’s forecast for Mount Panorama could persuade some teams to flip their strategies and consider start the Great Race with their co-drivers.
While teams normally prefer to start and finish the 161-lap with their main drivers, Ingall said the changing conditions will make some teams re-think their plans.
With the race expected to start in relatively fine conditions before the thunderstorms rumble in later in the day, Ingall believes the smart teams could switch the order so the senior drivers are behind the wheel doof their drivers around depending on the conditions at the time.
“The best strategy you can have is to actually let your co-driver start because you want your main driver to finish,” he said.
“Those sorts of guys don’t get phased too much about the inclement weather, whether it’s wet, dry or anything in between.
“So that’s why I always lean towards the co driver side. There might be some teams that start their main driver.”
But Ingall, who teamed up with Larry Perkins to win the Bathurst 1000 in 1995 and again 1997, said there was also a risk attached to switching drivers because the senior racers would try to put any less experienced rivals under pressure.
“They won’t hesitate in boxing up any newcomers because they know they can intimidate them,” Ingall said.
“They’ll be on the radio saying the car in front of you has got so and so in front of you.”
11:10AM RAIN DROPS ARE FALLING
Reigning champion for a few more hours Chaz Mostert expecting the otughtest of tests today.
“Look, it will be a tough day.
“It will be tough for all teams, drivers, even the fans. It depends what the clouds do throughout the day.
“It has been a rough week for our fans in the mud out there. I want to thank them all for coming out and making them all for coming out and making the show as fun as it is.”
Former North Melbourne coach and “long-time race-head” David Noble is an interested observer in the Dick Johnson Racing garage for the Bathurst 1000.
Describing himself as a long-time race fan with a Mustang parked in his garage, Noble is a guest of the Ford squad for the race.
Noble has connections with the DJR commercial team from his time at the Brisbane Lions.
DJR is celebrating its 1000th race in Supercars this weekend.
Decked out in the DJR red, The ex-Kangaroos coach said he was excited to experience the Great Race for the first time.
“I know a couple of the guys in the commercial space, I worked with them at the Lions,” Noble said.
“I’ve never been to a Bathurst before and I spoke to (them) 12 months ago and they said you should come up, so here I am.
“I’ve been very privileged to be able to have access here and just have a look at what goes on … I’m extremely lucky to be here.
“(It would) be nice to see a dry race. Everyone likes it a little bit damp because it just brings so much difference into it with safety cars.”
Noble described himself as as long-time race and Ford fan.
“I’m a long-time race head. I remember the old days when the races started at 8am; jarmies, ugg boots. The race took so long to get done,” Noble said.
“I’ve always loved cars, I’ve got a couple of oldies myself. I have got a Ford Mustang, I have got a ‘65 in the garage.
“I just loved Dick’s story, the whole journey of what he has done and the investment that he has made in the fans. It’s great.”
Noble said he was hoping to see the DJR drivers get up at Mount Panorama.
Will Davison will start from fifth for the 1000km race, while his teammate Anton De Pasquale will start from 11th on the grid.
“It seems like they’ve had great pace all year, Will has had quite a few poles through the year so that has been really impressive,” he said.
“A bit of luck in the first part and the still be there with 20 or 20 laps to go, who knows?”
9.00am – SUN’S OUT, SPEEDS HEAT UP
Supercars drivers have been met with improving track conditions for their final warm-up ahead of the Bathurst 1000.
Dick Johnson Racing star Will Davison emerged on top of the timesheet for the 20-minute session as the team’s made their final preparations for the 1000km race.
Davison was fastest ahead of last year’s winner Lee Holdsworth (Grove Racing), who will line-up at the front of the grid alongside pole sitter Cameron Waters for his final Bathurst as a full-time Supercars driver.
In an indication of the improving condition of the track, Davison’s warm-up time (2:22.45) was faster than what Waters produced in the wet qualifying on Friday, which delivered him pole after the shootout was cancelled.
But pace was not a focus for the teams in the warm-up as they focused on getting the cars race ready with pit stop practice and driver changes ahead of the race.
Davison, driving with brother Alex, will start Sunday’s race from fifth.
The drivers then made their way around the track for the drivers’ parade.
8.15am – RAIN EASES, CARS HIT TRACK FOR FINAL WARM-UP
Supercars have hit the track for their final warm-up ahead of today’s Bathurst 1000 after the dramatic call to cancel the top-10 shootout due to extreme weather on Saturday.
Heavy rain continued to fall overnight in Bathurst but it has cleared to a lighter drizzle this morning.
Sunday’s 1000km race is due to start at 11.15am as scheduled.
Organisers assessed the track overnight to clear debris from drains where they could to help improve drainage after the torrential rain that has hit Bathurst over the past two days.
The Superutes support category has already been on track on Sunday morning and finished under the safety car after Craig Dontas put his ute into the wall at Reid Park.
The warm-up will run for 20 minutes.
FROSTY’S BIZARRE GIFT FOR SUPER FAN
Sport stars, they’re asked to do all kinds of things for the fans.
Mark Winterbottom is the clubhouse leader at this year’s Bathurst for the wackiest request after a supporter presented him with his prosthetic leg at a signing.
Incredibly, thousands of Supercars fans have braved incredibly wild weather to stick around at Mount Panorama for the Great Race.
Torrential downpours caused havoc on Saturday with Super2 race cancelled due to the condition of the track.
Praising the resilience of the fans Winterbottom said: “The fan base we have for our support is unbelievable.
“The rain would send most people home from most sports. They’re not just watching in the rain, they’re camping, living through this.
“So when we’re saying it’s hard work, we’re in this driver’s room and people out there are getting soaked.”
Winterbottom was then pushed for a wacky fan story which is when he shared the fake leg anecdote.
“We have all signed something out there,” he said.
“I’ve signed a leg — prosthetic leg before, which the guy gave it to me and I was like are you sure you wanted it signed?
“It was his pride and joy. That didn’t sound right.
“It meant a lot because he’s gone through the disability but that was his pride and joy.
“These guys have signed eye balls and all sorts of stuff.”
Away from the wacky fan requests, the weather forecast for Bathurst race day is looking significantly better than Saturday when rain was so heavy the track was deemed unsafe and forced the cancellation of the top 10 shootout.
While rain is expected on Sunday the volume will be nowhere near the deluge of Saturday.
Cameron Waters will start from pole position after he set the fastest time the previous day.
“I’m disappointed to be honest, I really love the shootout around here, it’s pretty special to get the place to yourself for a lap,” Waters said.
“But the rain was crazy and you saw the rivers and everything going on, it was going to be a bit of a safety thing.
“I’m disappointed, but awesome to be starting on pole. It’s cool to be starting on pole again around here.
“I was ready to go, I put my suit on and I was listening to music and I saw the lap that the guys did around the track and I thought we were going to get going.”
Originally published as Bathurst 1000 2022 live updates as crashes cause havoc in early stages