Stewards busy after action packed races
V8 Supercars officials were left to investigate a litany of incidents following a pair of action-packed Super Sprint races at Hidden Valley.
After dull 60km sprints at Symmons Plains, Barbagallo and Winton, the category introduced a set of soft tyres for the second heat this weekend.
It was the hard tyre encounter, however, that saw the most carnage, including a controversial late-race clash between the Holdens of James Courtney, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander.
While confirmation of any penalties is not expected until Sunday morning, an interim stewards report issued after Race 13 revealed that the following incidents were being investigated.
– Jamie Whincup Car #1 and Fabian Coulthard Car #14 at Turn 1
– Craig Lowndes Car 888 and Todd Kelly Car #7 at Turn 5
– Jason Bright Car #8 and David Reynolds Car #55 at Turn 14
– Jason Bright Car #8 and Andre Heimgartner Car #111 at Turn 1
– James Courtney Car #22 and Shane van Gisbergen Car #97 at Turn 1
– Jamie Whincup Car #1 and Will Davison Car #9 at Turn 6
– David Wall Car #34 and Will Davison Car #9 at Turn 5
– Will Davison Car #9 on Todd Kelly Car #7 at Turn 6
Race 14 meanwhile saw Rick Kelly handed a drive-through penalty for his punt on fellow front-row starter Fabian Coulthard at the first corner.
A second opening lap incident involving Andre Heimgartner, Will Davison, Jamie Whincup and Nick Percat was also investigated, with no breach of the rules established.
Race 14 winner Craig Lowndes suggested that the lack of grip off line played a role in the chaos.
“It is difficult off line, no doubt,” said Lowndes, who spun on the way to an 18th place finish in Race 13.
“When you’re trying to brake down the inside of someone you’re off line and the cars move around quite a lot.
“If you go off line you pick up some dust and it takes a couple of laps to clean up the tyres and get going again,” he added.
“Hopefully as the weekend goes that might clean up.”
Second place finisher Chaz Mostert added that drivers have become extra eager to make early places before the races settle into a rhythm.
“The only time you can pass someone is in the first couple of laps before everyone’s tyres even out,” he said.
“There are a lot of people out there taking some big risks to get a position here and there and there are some people making some mistakes.”
Unusually, there had been no issues arising from any of the practice or qualifying sessions leading up to Race 13.