Veteran Kiwi racer Ken Smith suffered a high-speed shunt at Pukekohe in Lap 2 of the opening Formula 5000 race of the weekend when his rear wing failed.
Driving a Lola T332, Smith made strong progress in the opening lap to climb to ninth place, before the rear wing failure pitched him into Codie Banks’ Talon MR1A at Turn 1.
The 75-year-old started the race at the back of the pack after sitting out qualifying in place of protege Tom Alexander.
“According to Tom, who was looking at it, he thinks the rear wing on it broke,” said Smith.
“I was near level with him, and I knew he knew I was there, so I thought I’ll stay tight and of course away it went.
“That’s what I will say about starting off the back of the grid when you’re a lot quicker than some of the other guys.
“It’s not his fault, he was going alright, but it’s always the problem when you’re in a hurry to pass someone but because the wing broke I don’t know what it was going to do. It was going to break somewhere, wasn’t it.”
The final Formula 5000 race of the weekend is scheduled for 1425 local time (1225 AEDT), while Smith is due to take the wheel of the Super 5000 for an on-track demonstration.