‘Driving like absolute losers’: Heavy crash headlines wild Bathurst 1000 opening stages

The 2022 edition of the Bathurst 1000 began in typically dramatic fashion, with three safety cars brought out within the opening 20 laps. 

Drivers were warned of the wet and muddy conditions at Turn 1 but a stern message from Race Control couldn’t prevent an opening lap incident. 

Despite starting in pole position, James Moffat (Cameron Waters’ co-driver) quickly lost places after he stalled as lights went out at Mount Panorama.

All the cars then safely made it around the first corner, but the carnage occurred on the way up Mountain Straight. 

Jamie Whincup slammed into Jack Perkins, causing the pair to spin.

Dale Wood was unable to avoid the incident, making contact with Perkins on the straight.

Zak Best was also impacted as he tried to navigate the chaos but ended up in the wall. 

The race restarted on Lap 5 and it didn’t take long for another crash to occur.

Zane Goddard went for an overtake on Greg Murphy at The Chase but locked up, sending him across a muddy wet patch.

He lost control and re-entered the race track dangerously, hitting Dale Wood.

Matt Campbell then made heavy contact with Goddard, sending his Penrite Racing car into the barrier.

Most of the field avoided any further collisions, except for Mark Winterbottom and Tony D’Alberto, who clipped each other as they attempted to avoid the mayhem.

Unsurprisingly, the impacted teams and drivers were less than impressed by the incident. 

Chris Wood’s primary driver Andre Heimgartner didn’t mince his words in his response to the crash.

“It’s like these people don’t realise it’s 161 laps and they’re driving like absolute losers,” Heimgartner said.

“Hopefully they get their s*** together and we don’t have more safety cars and don’t ruin more cars.

“Because Tickford, us [drivers], put in so much effort.

“And then for everyone to take everyone out like that … that last one was pretty wild.”

Goddard’s primary driver James Courtney was frank and apologetic when asked about the incident.

“[Goddard] was just maybe a little bit too eager too early,” Courtney said.

“It’s pretty disappointing, we’ve all worked so hard.

“I feel sorry for everyone.”

The third safety car of the race was brought out on Lap 17 when Jack Kostecki found himself stuck in the mud near the same section of track as the Goddard incident.

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