An investigation into the multi-car crash on the opening lap of the final SkyCity Triple Crown V8 Supercars race in Darwin has found no breach of the rules was established.
The incident which left seven drivers unable to continue because of the damage appeared to start mid-pack when Scott McLaughlin was sandwiched between Jason Bright and Tim Slade. With the three cars jostling for position, Slade’s Heavy Haulage Australia Racing Mercedes was sent into a spin causing a chain reaction of accidents behind and slamming Dean Fiore’s Dodo Insurance Racing entry into an earth-filled tyre and pitching the Commodore on its side.
Despite no penalty being applied, McLaughlin suspected his bad start which led to his Fujitsu Racing GRM Commodore being swamped off the startline may have led to the incident.
“I lost my start page, the whole dash that shows throttle percentage and all of that stuff,” said McLaughlin on the V8 Supercars website.
“I was flying blind at the start. I got a really bad start and that’s what triggered it I think, because everyone swamped me. I was sandwiched the whole way around the turn and I honestly had no way to get out of it.”
Having watched the replay, Tim Slade agreed with the Stewards’ decision.
“From the replays I’ve seen I don’t think anyone did anything wrong, it was just one of those situations where there were three cars wide and one car hit another and I got turned around,” said Slade.
“It’s just a shame to have to end a good weekend like that.”
However, tweeting from Singapore Airport en route to France where he will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour race next weekend, Jason Bright said: “Race 19 a racing incident? You have to be kidding me!”
Two points deductions were also handed out over the weekend, both during the 60/60 race on Saturday. Alexandre Prémat was deducted 15 championship points after making contact with Tim Slade and Jonathon Webb’s Tekno Autosports Commodore in the first half. While in the second half Craig Lowndes contact with Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander also led to the loss of 15 Championship points for the Red Bull Racing Australia driver.