Fans stunned after 'monstrous' Supercars smash: 'Out of control'

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·Sports Reporter
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Supercars driver James Courtney edured a scary and very unlikely crash at the Darwin Triple Crown in Hidden Valley when his car was tipped off the circuit, only to spin back on at the next corner. Pictures: Channel 7
Supercars driver James Courtney endured a scary and very unlikely crash at the Darwin Triple Crown in Hidden Valley when his car was tipped off the circuit, only to spin back on at the next corner. Pictures: Channel 7

Supercars veteran James Courtney has walked away from a monster crash in the first of two Supercars races at Hidden Valley on Sunday for the Darwin Triple Crown.

The lap one chaos saw Courtney, as well as Scott Pye, Thomas Randle and Todd Hazelwood all retire from race two, with Courtney in particular sustaining heavy damage.

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The drama erupted as the tightly-bunched pack thundered towards the hairpin at Hidden Valley, with Courtney turned into the grassy infield.

With grip practically non-existent on the grass, Courtney slid helplessly into a tyre barrier in the middle of the infield, which bounced him back out onto the track on the exit of the hairpin.

This predictably wreaked havoc on the field, with many drivers unaware Courtney was parked up on the inside exit of the corner.

The safety car briefly came out before the race was red-flagged to clean up the racing line and repair the tyre barrier Courtney had hit.

Former Supercars driver and veteran commentator Neil Crompton said it was a nighhtmare scenario for drivers.

“You never want to see a car out of control spearing across the grass like that,” Crompton said.

“James Courtney appears rotating on the grass violently, so somewhere along the line he’s been given a hand.

“He goes through the gutter and rotates into the middle of the pack and completely skittles a bunch of cars.”

Courtney, speaking to Channel 7 once he'd made it back to the pits, couldn't believe how unfortunate he and the team had been.

He said he had been a victim of the tightly bunched pack on lap one.

“I was on the inside ... someone checked up (on the brakes) and had a wobble, someone got in the left rear quarter (panel) and I was a passenger from there,” he said.

“I don’t really know who I backed into. It was pretty crazy, unfortunately with the momentum we had.

“(The car) looks really sad. I doubt we’ll get to go out again.”

De Pasquale claims early chocolates in Darwin Triple Crown

Ford's Anton De Pasquale broke through for his first Supercars win of 2022 with Shell V-Power teammate Will Davison helping him to victory on Saturday.

In his 500th Supercars race, Davison was able to keep Shane van Gisbergen at bay as the rampant championship leader charged home in the first 38-lap race of the Darwin Triple Crown.

De Pasquale held the lead since mid-race after Davison started from pole but van Gisbergen never gave in to finish less than two seconds away from his 10th win of the season.

Van Gisbergen flew past Chaz Mostert with three laps remaining but Davison played the team role perfectly as the defending champion was unable to pip the Dick Johnson Racing pair.

But the start of the race did not go to plan for Davison and De Pasquale with the teammates coming together after being at the front of the grid.

Anton de Pasquale won race one of the Darwin Triple Crown, his first race win of the 2022 Supercars season. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Anton de Pasquale won race one of the Darwin Triple Crown, his first race win of the 2022 Supercars season. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

They made contact with each other but both drivers attempted to play down the incident.

It was the ultimate response from DJR after Davison and De Pasquale both failed to finish higher than eighth during three races at Winton last month.

"We sort of got tangled all the way through, but we both came out the other side so hopefully it's all good racing and it came off as good race to watch," De Pasquale said.

"It's awesome to have both of us up here on the podium."

After starting from fourth, van Gisbergen appeared a certainty to prevail before a poor pit-stop costing him about four crucial seconds.

De Pasquale's eighth career win ensured he closed the gap in the championship standings to sit 272 points behind van Gisbergen.

"We tried three tyres to do something different and try to get the fastest lap," van Gisbergen said.

"Unfortunately our pit-stop didn't go that well and just ran out of laps to make up ground.

"We were never going to pass these guys, they're two good drivers, their cars are good so we thought we'd try the three tyres."

With AAP

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