Avoidable madness at Oran Park
Another top 10 result but another missed opportunity for the Tasman Motorsport team – that’s my disappointing view of the last round of the V8 Supercar championship, the Jim Beam 400 in Sydney.
Running as high as second in the #3 Grove/Tasman VE Commodore during Sunday’s wet final 46-lap race, a podium finish looked likely but that was until the appearance of the Safety Car.
Problem was, what was the Safety Car called for?
Certainly it shouldn’t have been for Jason Bright’s off-track excursion as he hauled his Falcon out of the sandtrap under his own power and continued on his way…
In this day and age with communications, live timing and a multitude of television cameras it was clear Bright was back underway and the race should have continued uninterrupted.
Instead, with poor weather conditions and mud on and water flowing over the track, the Safety Car headed out from pitlane bunching up the field and creating an endless stream of havoc.
For me, heading into Turn 1 with around six lapped cars between me and leader Lee Holdsworth, the visibility was down to almost zero and we were racing on instinct.
Needless to say, once one Safety Car period was over another was called and the toll climbed higher while my weekend’s chances deteriorated with each restart.
I’m confident that had the initial Safety Car period not been called we could have got to the end of the race without any serious concerns.
Instead, we had the field bunched up, some drivers obeying blue flags and others trying to take advantage, while some lapped cars were drilling others who were on the lead lap. I know my Commodore got belted from all angles.
It was an avoidable mess.
Jason Richards’ column is exclusive to autotrader.co.nz.