Tasmanian Josh Burdon has walked away from a massive rollover today at Morgan Park during the first Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship race of the weekend.
The 18-year-old was a passenger as his R-Tek Motorsport Dallara was tipped into a series of three rolls – most of them a metre off the ground.
The rollover began as the field ran through Morgan Park’s super-fast Turn 1, with light contact from the front wheel of another car.
The safety standards of current Formula 3 cars were shown to full effect as Burdon climbed from the car under his own steam into the arms of waiting officials.
Burdon was uninjured in the crash and was released from the trackside medical centre soon after the incident.
“I just felt the hit as we all went into turn one and two and it went over,” Burdon said.
“It was over very quickly and the safety team and officials were on the scene really quickly to help me get out of the car and I have to thank them for being there before the car even stopped moving.
“I’m physically fine and will probably just be a bit sore tomorrow – but it’s pretty devastating to have this happen.
“It’s doubly frustrating because I felt I had learned a lot this weekend and we had turned a corner that would put me in a great position for the last couple of rounds.
“I really hope we can come back. I’m okay and very thankful with how safe these Formula 3 cars really are.”
While his #8 R-Tek Dallara was badly damaged the main carbon fibre safety cell was completely undamaged and team officials have indicated that the car can ultimately be rebuilt.
The crash could force an early end to Burdon’s hopes of winning the Forpark Australia F3 Scholarship, the under-funded racer now facing an expensive crash on top of being a round-to-round proposition.
“It’s pretty devastating as we’ve had a couple of crashes in the last three rounds and it’s very tough when you are already scrabbling to find the budget to race.
“We are racing with the V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains in November this year and we are going to everything we can so I can race in front of my friends and family then.”
After a lengthy Safety Car period to remove Burdon’s damaged vehicle from the side of the circuit, Chris Gilmour held out John Magro and Bryce Moore to win the race – his first in 86 races and nearly seven years.
The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will return for two further races tomorrow.