Australia’s top racing series, like the United States’, involves V-8 engines, rear-wheel drive and in the case of the Sandown 500, massive shunts.
Todd Hazelwood was involved in a huge accident Saturday with one lap remaining in the first qualifying race for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship contest at Sandown Raceway.
Hazelwood was in a three-way duel when Jono Webb, who had locked-up under braking, was punted off at one of the fastest parts of the circuit, according to Top Gear. The ensuing collision with the tire barrier was so heavy that the 21-year-old driver’s Holden Commodore was sent flipping through the air.
“When you’re going at 260 kph (162 mph) and you get a whack like that you’re just a passenger,” Hazelwood said. “I haven’t had a rollover since I was 7 in dirt karts and I’ve never wrecked a Supercar in my life. I’m just shattered, to be honest.”
As was the case when NASCAR driver Aric Almirola “only” fractured his vertebrae in a crash earlier this year, the incident likely made Hazelwood appreciate just how safe modern racing cars are.
Not only did Hazelwood walk away from the wreckage at Sandown without injury, he even was back behind the wheel roughly an hour later to race in the Dunlop Super2 Series — which essentially is to Supercars what the Xfinity Series is to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. And as if that in and of itself wasn’t impressive, he finished P3 in that race to land a spot on the podium.
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