Dramatic onboard vision that played a key role in Fabian Coulthard being penalised 35 points at Symmons Plains has been revealed.
Footage from Tim Slade’s Freightliner Holden captures the moment that Coulthard lost traction in the slippery conditions and made side-to-side contact with Rick Kelly’s Nissan.
The subsequent crash took out the cars of Kelly and Slade, triggering a 12-car pile-up that remains the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Slade’s onboard shows not only the start of the chaos, but also the 42g impact between the cars of Will Davison and Rick Kelly that left the former with a fractured vertebra.
“It happened so quick,” Slade told Supercars.com of the start of the incident, which occurred when he was travelling at almost 150km/h.
“I didn’t realise how much of a slide Fabs was in and how little road was going to be left on the exit for Rick.
“I basically had no idea that he was going to run Rick out of road and when he did it knocked a whole heap of momentum out of them and there was nothing I could do.
“It broke the right-front of our car, so I was disappointed that our day was going to be done, and then everything just happened around me.
“I copped a couple more hits in the rear. It was pretty crazy. And then Will came through, which was a mega hit (on Kelly’s Nissan).
“He was carrying a lot of speed, but I don’t think he saw what was happening because of the spray.
“He almost had a clear path through but then Rick’s came back across. That was a really big hit.”
Slade said he’s “50:50” when asked if Coulthard deserved the 35-point penalty that ultimately prevented him from taking the championship lead at the end of the weekend.
“It’s not as if he intentionally did it,” Slade mused.
“It’s slippery there in the wet and he got into a slide, but ultimately he’s the one that’s in control and the slide is what caused it.”
Slade is also philosophical on the role that the conditions played in the mayhem, describing the spray as part and parcel of racing in the wet.
“The camera makes it look so much better than what it is, but I don’t think the visibility was any worse there than any other wet race,” he said.
“In wet conditions there’s always going to be spray. If you are worried about spray then you may as well take away the wet tyres and not run in the wet.
“The thing that affects that situation the most is the bit of track. It’s very narrow and there are walls on both sides, so there’s no space to move out of the spray. But that is what it is.
“And I don’t think a Safety Car start would have made any difference because it happened on lap two. It wasn’t even on the opening lap.
“The only reason you should do a Safety Car start is when there’s too much standing water. You can’t do that just because there’s a bit of spray.”
Tune in to Inside Supercars on Fox Sports 501 from 6:30pm for more unseen vision and analysis of the Race 3 crash.