Holden Racing Team has withdrawn Garth Tander and Warren Luff’s car from the Bathurst 1000 after a massive crash in Saturday morning practice.
Luff reported that the HRT Commodore suddenly lost its brakes going into the Griffin corner. It hit the back of Craig Lowndes’s Triple Eight car then plowed into the barriers, before bouncing back and landing on its side.
HRT team boss Adrian Burgess said the damage was significant enough to rule 2011 winner Tander out of this year’s Bathurst.
“After further assessment, it became clear that the #2 Commodore’s roll cage had sustained damage beyond what we could physically repair in the time remaining before tomorrow’s Bathurst 1000,” Burgess said. “It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, however safety always comes first, and we’re just glad that Warren is OK after his accident.”
Tander added: “Our first concern was for Warren and it’s great to know that he is OK. Missing Bathurst is disappointing, but it is what it is.”
Lowndes’s car also sustained substantial damage as the contact from Luff sent it hard into the barriers too.
Triple Eight is optimistic that it can be repaired in time for the top 10 qualifying shootout later on Saturday afternoon.
The other Triple Eight Holden of championship leader Jamie Whincup is already near the back of the grid after a crash in Friday’s opening qualifying session.
V8 Supercars initially said that the second HRT entry of James Courtney and Greg Murphy would be elevated into the pole shootout in Tander and Luff’s absence, having just missed the cut in 11th place in Friday qualifying.
That was protested by Triple Eight, which said there was no provision in the rules to promote a car that had not been among the fastest 10 on Friday, and the series then announced that the pole session would take place with just nine cars.