A massive pile-up involving almost half the Supercars field has caused millions of dollars worth of damage and suspended racing at Symmons Plains.
Will Davison was injured and a further 11 cars suffered major damage in a crash Rick Kelly described as the worst he’d been involved in over 16 years in the sport.
Wet weather caused the concertina-like crash on just lap two of a scheduled 120-kilometre race at the Tasmanian circuit.
A dozen drivers – including Garth Tander, James Courtney, Scott Pye and Rick Kelly – were caught up in the mayhem on lap two.
After a 45-minute delay, the race was restarted and Shane van Gisbergen was astonishingly awarded a race win despite just two laps under the safety car.
It’s understood he – and the rest of the field – will not be awarded championship points given the farcical restart.
The result is the Kiwi’s third win from three races in a perfect start to the series.
But for 11 drivers that failed to finish the race, it was a nightmare.
Spray from the wet Tasmanian track impeded drivers as they headed down the straight in front of the crowd at over 200 kilometres an hour.
The conditions made it difficult to discover the origins of the crash, but contact between Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly looked to be a key component.
Contact on Tander by Cam Waters then spun the Wilson Security Racing driver around, creating bedlam.
“I’ve got no idea (what happened) … I’m not blaming anyone at this stage,” Tander said.
“Someone hit me in the rear and I went sideways. Sideways there is not good because the whole field is coming at you.”
Of the impacted 12 cars, 10 were Commodores and two were Altimas, though Simona De Silvestro was able to wriggle free and finish the race.
Team owners and drivers were distraught from the garage.
“There are five million dollars of motor cars sitting there,” ex-driver Mark Skaife said on the Fox Sports broadcast.
“This is like a wrecking yard. Staggering damage.”
The cars of Tim Slade, Nick Percat, Tim Blanchard, James Moffat, Alex Rullo, Will Davison and Taz Douglas also sustained major damage.
The majority of the impacted dozen won’t be able to compete in the rest of the Symmons Plains meet.
There was no podium presentation but van Gisbergen finished ahead of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
Pole sitter Scott McLaughlin was jumped off the line and decided to pit with the safety car, finishing 13th.