'I went sh*t': Rivals in nasty practice collision at Bathurst 1000

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·Sports Editor
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Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade, pictured here after colliding at Mount Panorama.
Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade collided in the opening practice session for the Bathurst 1000. Image: Supercars

Tim Slade and Shane van Gisbergen have collided during the opening practice session for the Bathurst 1000.

Ford struck the first blow at Mount Panorama on Thursday as Cameron Waters was fastest during the first practice session.

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The Tickford driver showed why he is a leading contender to claim a debut victory at Bathurst by handling the circuit with aplomb.

“The car was pretty good, not 100 per cent happy with it, but good to start the weekend in P1,” Waters said.

However it wasn’t all good news for Ford, with Slade turning in a rusty first-up performance and conceding he made a mistake in tangling with van Gisbergen.

Slade’s Ford Mustang spun out when he made contact with van Gisbergen, who was coming up the inside around a corner.

“It was a bit of an awkward one,” van Gisbergen said afterwards.

“I could see he was pretty slow. I was on a lap but bailed out, gave him some space and just waiting for him down the hill.

“And then as we got to the Elbow I made my intention clear to pass him down the inside, he went wide, saw me and he just came across and I went ‘sh*t’.

“I got into the brakes to try and pull out of it but couldn’t.

“It’s all good, he was just trying to do laps to get going. He was super-slow and I thought he’d seen me and obviously he hadn’t.

“I feel for these co-drivers, they haven’t done many laps and it’s going to be tough for them. It sucks for us to lose track time, we were working through a good program.”

Slade admitted he was at fault, saying: “I’d just jumped in the car, we obviously haven’t done any real miles this year so everything feels very foreign.

“I wasn’t even looking in the rear-view mirror so my bad. It’s just lucky there was no damage and we managed to press on and get some laps at the end of the session.”

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Boosting 26-year-old Waters’ chances is being teamed up with two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Will Davison.

Last winning the great race in 2016, Davison was left without a full-time drive this season after his team, 23Red, pulled out of Supercars once the coronavirus pandemic hit.

He did race at the Adelaide 500 and will be one of the only co-drivers to have race experience this year after the traditional lead-up enduro events were cancelled.

Jamie Whincup also got another star pairing off to the right start, with the Red Bull Holden star finishing second.

Cameron Waters, pictured here in action during the first practice session for the Bathurst 1000.
Cameron Waters drives the #6 Monster Energy Racing Ford Mustang at Mount Panorama. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

His co-driver, semi-retired Supercars legend Craig Lowndes, will get his first practice session in later on Thursday.

It was an electric first session for Tickford, with veteran James Courtney the third-fastest around Mt Panorama.

Erebus favourite David Reynolds and Ford veteran Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top-five.

Scott McLaughlin, who has already wrapped up his third straight championship, started strongly before handing over the reins to co-driver Slade with about 15 minutes to go.

with AAP

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