Former Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has crashed out of the Bathurst 1000 on lap 33, bringing his and racing legend Craig Lowndes’ hopes of victory to a bitter end.
Whincup was attempting an overtake on the Holden Commodore of Penrite Racing’s Brodie Kostecki around Griffin’s Bend, taking the outside line into the Cutting in a bid to seize fourth place.
'SEX SELLS': Renee Gracie slams Supercars' attitude to women
'BALLS UP': Supercars champ in high-speed Bathurst crash
But the seven-time Supercars champion and four-time Bathurst winner took too much speed into the corner, locking his brakes and sliding helplessly into the wall, doing significant damage to the right hand side of the car.
Whincup and Lowndes were out on the spot, with the safety car bunching up the field before the race was restarted on lap 35.
Motorsport fans were shocked by the sight of the experienced veteran Whincup crashing out so early into the race.
Fox Sports commentator Mark Larkham said attempting to pass Kostecki around the outside was a ‘massive mistake’ - and plenty of fans on social media agreed with him.
Aussie supercross superstar Chad Reed said it was a ‘rookie error’ from the 37-year-old Whincup.
“Wow!! Rookie mistake from the champ ! Rare to see Jamie that impatient especially there,” he wrote on Twitter.
🔥🔥🔥 Whincup and Lowndes are gooooone! Not even a quarter way through #Bathurst1000— Phil Staley (@Phil_Staley) October 18, 2020
Gutted absolutely gutted for Lowndes and Whincup. #Bathurst100— Netball Tweets (@Netball_Tweets) October 18, 2020
Whincup and Lowndes were the second driver pairing to retire from the race, with Rick Kelly and Dale Wood’s Castrol Racing entry forced back into the garage with mechanical issues a short time earlier.
The Triple-8 Commodore started ninth on the grid, after Whincup finished 10th in Saturday’s top 10 shootout, gaining a place thanks to a grid penalty for Nick Percat.
Macauley Jones hit with Bathurst 1000 red flag
Macauley Jones’ Bathurst 1000 got off to the worst start imaginable, after he was forced to pit after the first lap because the driver’s side door on his Commodore wouldn’t stay shut.
Jones, the son of former Supercars driver turned team owner Brad Jones, also copped a 15-second time penalty for not immediately coming into the pits after being shown a mechanical black flag.
Race commentators and former drivers themselves, Mark Larkham and Neil Crompton, were stunned to see the problem rear its head in the race.
Brad Jones Racing had been battling the issue all weekend, but evidently failed to find a solution that worked in the race, fitting a new door in the pits on lap three.
“All weekend, it’s haunted them,” Larkham said.
“Seriously, we had a little bit of fun with that over the weekend, but that’s just unbelievable.
“This is a cruel game, really. This is such a cruel sport.”
Holden legend Mark Skaife couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Oh my God,” he said in commentary. “That’s unbelievable.”
Jones and co-driver Tim Blanchard started from 17th on the grid, but their unscheduled pitstop and subsequent penalty dropped them to the back of the field.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.