FPRs championship hopes washed away at Homebush
Frosty crashes along with half the field in the wet conditions
V8 Supercar fans witnessed one of the most dramatic race finishes in history today, when championship contenders James Courtney, Jamie Whincup and our own Mark Winterbottom crashed out of the Sydney Telstra 500 at Homebush this afternoon.
With just 15 laps to go in the 250-kilometre race, the heavens opened with torrential rain on the back section of the circuit, leaving the track flooded and void of any grip whatsoever.
The treacherous conditions came about so suddenly that the top three title contenders had no warning of the impending carnage, and hence no time to pit for wet weather rubber.
Frosty, who had just overtaken Whincup for the race lead was the first driver to slide into the wall at turn five and was closely followed by Whincup and then Courtney.
“It was quite a big impact,” Frosty said.
“The water literally came out of nowhere and caught us all out ... I actually backed off going into the corner but the car just aquaplaned and I was a passenger,” he said.
“I wasn’t even sure if I’d make it back to the pits because I could tell there was a fair bit of damage to the front end ... I did make it back and the boys did an awesome job under the conditions to try and get me back out there before the race finished but unfortunately we ran out of time.”
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing,” Frosty lamented when asked if there was any way of avoiding the crash.
“There really wasn’t much we could do, we made the call to stay on slicks like everybody else and we were caught out – our championship chase is over now but we’ll be back tomorrow gunning for a race win to finish the year on a high,” Frosty said.
While Frosty is now unable to win the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship title, he is still a possibility to take the runners-up guernsey with the points gap to second placed Whincup remaining at 150.
Steve Richards in the Dunlop Super Dealers FPR Falcon didn’t fare much better today when bad luck struck him again on the opening lap.
A seemingly harmless scuffle at the first turn clipped the wings of his Falcon in the form of a broken steering arm.
Richo, left with no other option other than to pit for repairs, had to frustratingly watch on as the field lapped him several times before his car was fit enough to return to the track.
“It was a shame we got off on the wrong foot today,” Richo said.
“We actually had a strong racecar but when you try to squeeze four cars into a corner built for one, you’re always going to have someone come off second best, and today, that unfortunately was me,” Richo reflected.
“As with Frosty we’ll be back tomorrow with a fast car for qualifying and we’ll do it all again – hopefully without the drama!” he joked.
For the record, Richo finished today’s race in 11th place, with Frosty recording a DNF.
The FPR Falcons return to the Homebush street circuit tomorrow for qualifying at 10.20am, followed by a second 25-kilometre race at 2.35pm.