'The idiot took him out': string of enormous crashes overshadow Bathurst 12 Hour
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Day two of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has been overshadowed by a series of high-speed crashes — plus an appearance from some local kangaroos.
The on-track appearance of a group of kangaroos in early practice provided some much needed light relief following a few incidents during Friday's running and the morning's practice sessions. The most notable of these were crashes involving the KCMG Nissan GT-R of Josh Burdon and the HubAuto Corsa Ferrari 488 of Daniel Serra — both of which have since been withdrawn from the event with excessive damage.
Oliver Jarvis also had an early shunt in his M-Sport Bentley Continental GT, but the car has since been repaired.
The biggest crashes were reserved for qualifying one and two. The first big incident occured at McPhillamy Park, when Cameron McConville made light nose-to-tail contact with Sam Shahin, sending the latter's AMG GT3 into the outer wall. His car bounced off the wall into the middle of the road, where after being avoided by a couple of cars it was glanced by MARC Mustang driver Tyler Everingham.
Everingham skidded across the track and into the concrete wall at Skyline as a result; his Mustang taking on big frontal damage. It's expected that neither Shahin nor Everingham's cars will be repaired for tomorrow's race.
“I’m more concerned firstly with how Sam is right now, but he got out of the car, looks though he might have been a bit winded, but looked fine,” said Shahin's car operator and Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Roland Dane. “The next thing is the idiot who took him out, McConville. He should have retired years ago and that shows it.”
“Look, I feel sorry for Sam, he’s a great guy, honestly did not mean to touch him,” said McConville, replying during the telecast. “I went to go under at the Grate, I had my flashers on and he turned across. I got out, didn’t want to make contact.
“Then we came out of Skyline and as I went to pull left to pass him he just hit the brakes. I thought I thought ‘Why are you brake testing me there?’ but I went to go right, he went right, so as I’ve pulled left he’s just touched the brakes and unfortunately just collected the back of him. Absolutely feel terrible for those guys.”
The next big crash came in qualifying two for factory Aston Martin driver Marvin Kirchhofer. After impacting the wall at Sulman Park, he ran wide into Reid Park — spinning 180 degrees on the wide line before slamming the wall and flipping into a barrel roll. Thankfully he emerged unscathed, having been assisted by marshals and Honda driver Renger van der Zande, who stopped at the scene. Like the Shahin and Everingham incidents, Kichhofer's Aston Martin isn't expected to start the 12 Hour.
The last of the big shunts was a solo spin at McPhillamy Park. Lamborghini driver and former Supercars driver Dean Canto looped into the sand trap; making it all the way to the tyre wall on the other side of the sandtrap before getting air borne and oddly landing on top of the concrete wall.
Qualifying ended up being topped by defending champion Matt Campbell, over Maro Engel, Alvaro Parente, Raffaele Marciello, and Earl Bamber's co-driver Laurens Vanthoor were the top five, ahead of Joao Paulo Lima De Oliveira, Scott Dixon's teammate Jake Dennis, Marco Mapellli, and Shane van Gisbergen are the top 10 ahead of this afternoon's top 10 shootout.