Supercars rookie James Golding says he felt lucky to be alive after a high-speed accident that triggered an early red flag in the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
The right-front tyre on Golding’s Volvo deflated at the end of the back straight on the opening lap, pitching the 20-year-old off the road and into the tyre barrier at approximately 150km/h.
Golding walked away from the accident, which triggered a Safety Car and eventually a red flag as extensive repair work began on the wall.
The puncture appeared to have been caused by minor Turn 1 contact between James Golding and Jack Perkins’ Holden Racing Team Commodore.
Monitoring the tyre pressures from the garage, engineer Manuel Sanchez had informed Golding of a potential tyre issue moments before the crash.
“That was a really big one,” said Golding after being given the all-clear at the medical centre.
“It’s the biggest I’ve ever had. I’m really lucky to still be here.
“I didn’t get the greatest start and then had to shuffle with a few people into Turn 1.
“I was heading up the back straight, braked as normal and then it was just red lights (lock-up lights on the dashboard), straight ahead and I was just trying to stay alive.
“It was really sudden. It happened so quickly you couldn’t think anything before it happened.
“I got a bit of head spins when I stopped but after that I sat down and it was all good
“I’m just really disappointed for all the team.
“This is the stuff you live for and to miss out on a big race like this is really unfortunate.”
Golding had earlier today taken a second career race win in the Dunlop Series, where he also competes for GRM.