Erebus Motorsport’s Luke Youlden has taken victory in the opening Race to the Grid co-driver encounter that was red flagged following a huge crash involving Todd Hazelwood.
Youlden produced a lights to flag victory from pole position from Prodrive’s Richie Stanaway and Shell V-Power Racing’s Alex Premat.
However, the race was brought to a premature end following a spectacular crash for Hazelwood in the #4 Brad Jones Racing entry on the penultimate lap.
Tekno Autosports’ Jonathon Webb appeared to suffer a lock up which resulted in contact with Hazelwood at Turn 6, that sent the car backwards into the barriers at speed.
The car launched into the air before encountering a series of barrel rolls before coming to a rest.
Such was the severity of the impact the roof and several body panels were ripped off the chassis.
Hazelwood managed to climb from the wreckage under his own power.
“It is not an easy thing to stand there and watch. I mean, it is a huge accident,” said a clearly upset Brad Jones.
“I think it is pretty simple to see what happened. That is unfortunate, that is a very fast part of the race track.
“You know, its a 20 lap co-driver race, a bit opportunistic to be driving into a hole that really wasn’t there.
“It is unfortunate, a lot of damage, thankfully Todd is fine but you know, I don’t think the car will be very good.
“I feel like that is probably one that could have been avoided pretty easily, but you know that is racing.
“We will get the car back, we will strip it off and have a bit of a look at it. But that is as bad of an accident as I’ve seen.”
Prior to the red flags, Youlden had made no mistakes from pole as he led the field into Turn 1 with Premat following suit.
Once into his rhythm the experienced co-driver leapt into a confutable 1.5s lead from Premat while Richie Stanaway joined breakaway of three at the front.
Stanaway, driving the #6 Cameron Waters Prodrive Ford, jumped from sixth to third on the opening laps as he dispatched Tony D’Alberto (#12 Shell V-Power Racing), Steve Owen (#55 Prodrive) and Dean Canto (#5 Prodrive).
Youlden’s lead was cut to 0.6s as Premat upped his challenge by the halfway mark of the race.
Stanaway went with Premat before passing the Frenchman at Turn 1 in the latter stages of the race for second.
After losing out to Stanaway at the start, Canto brought the Ford home in fourth.
Paul Dumbrell in the #88 Red Bull Holden endured an eventful race to fifth ahead of Steve Owen.
D’Alberto was seventh in front of James Golding (#33 Garry Rogers Motorsport), Chris Pither (#99 Erebus Motorsport), who leapt from 18th to ninth.
Dean Fiore (#23 Nissan Motorsport) completed the top 10.
The race proved to be a disaster for Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 Red Bull Holden with Matt Cambell at the wheel.
Starting from 16th, Campbell made a slow start and was then tagged into a spin at Turn 4 by Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Taz Douglas.
The incident was investigated by the stewards.
The primary drivers will take over the cars for the second Race to the Grid encounter (1615 AEST), which will determine the starting order for Sunday’s 500km race.
VIDEO: Hazelwood’s huge crash
— Supercars (@supercars) September 16, 2017
|1||Erebus Penrite Racing||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||17||19:55.1855|
|2||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Alexandre Premat||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||19:55.5800|
|3||Monster Energy Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||19:56.2776|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||19:59.0330|
|5||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:06.1316|
|6||Supercheap Auto Racing||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||20:08.4423|
|7||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||20:09.0449|
|8||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:09.3429|
|9||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:10.2650|
|10||Nissan Motorsport||Dean Fiore||Nissan Altima||17||20:10.9596|
|11||Preston Hire Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:11.7105|
|12||Mongrel Boots Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:12.0537|
|13||Sengled Racing||David Wall||Nissan Altima||17||20:12.9613|
|14||TeamVortex||Steven Richards||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:13.3831|
|15||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:14.5981|
|16||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:15.3309|
|17||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Richard Muscat||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:15.8891|
|18||MEGA Racing||Garry Jacobson||Ford Falcon FG/X||17||20:17.4761|
|19||carsales Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Nissan Altima||17||20:17.7899|
|20||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:19.3904|
|21||Freightliner Racing||Ashley Walsh||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:21.4296|
|22||Team CoolDrive||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:23.0654|
|23||Team Harvey Norman||David Russell||Nissan Altima||17||20:23.2508|
|24||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:24.3247|
|25||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Matthew Campbell||Holden Commodore VF||17||20:24.8620|
|DNF||Plus Fitness Racing||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VF||1||1:20.1239|