Back behind the wheel: Crompton's ride day return

23 Mar 2021
Supercars Hall of Famer takes WAU car for a Sandown spin

A day after hitting the rev limiter in the commentary booth, Monday’s ride day helped Neil Crompton do the same on track.

The Supercars Hall of Famer took to a Walkinshaw Andretti United Commodore for some laps around Sandown.

The iconic Melbourne circuit hosted the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, with Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen completing a hat-trick of wins.

As van Gisbergen extended his unbeaten streak to an historic five wins in 2021, Crompton happily watched on from behind the microphone.

On Monday, the doyen on Supercars commentary returned behind the wheel, but his time wasn’t completely without incident.


Chad cops cheeky birdie from Hall of Famer

During his run, Crompton made contact with Shell V-Power Racing Team recruit Anton De Pasquale in an incident of mistaken identity.

“It was good fun, I did a bunch of laps through the late morning and through the afternoon,” Crompton told Supercars.com.

"As soon as I saw a drop of rain on the horizon, I rolled straight out of it!

“I really enjoyed it, although I didn’t know it wasn’t Anton at the time.

“I looked in the mirror and saw the #17, and I just thought it was Will [Davison].

“When we went down the straight, he was in the same spot when we came off the final corner.”

Crompton with veteran co-driver Warren Luff

After the hairy moment, Crompton sent an apologetic text to Davison, but quickly realised he had come into contact with De Pasquale.

“There’s a point where you can’t be looking backwards, so you’re looking forwards,” he explained.

"I was expecting that he would outbrake me easily, because I’m anything but last of the late brakers at this stage of my life.

“He didn’t, and when I turned in he was rattling away on the left-hand side of me!


“Because I thought it was Wilbur, I sent him a text and said, ‘Sorry dude’, and when I went down there later, he looked at me as though he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about’.

“It turned out to be a gag, but I’m sure [Shell V-Power Racing Team Chairman] Ryan Story will send me an invoice!”


WATCH: Incredible passes at the Sandown SuperSprint

Crompton also took media colleague Chad Neylon for a blast around the Melbourne circuit.

It came after the duo exchanged pleasantries in a humorous moment in the lane, with Crompton giving his friend the one-fingered salute in jest.

However, instead of thrashing Neylon around the circuit, Crompton explained he took the Commodore ZB carefully so as to not bring back a damaged car to WAU.

Furthermore, both Crompton and Neylon were in agreeance of just how professional the current crop of drivers are in the Repco Supercars Championship.

“Chad and I went around for a sensible blast,” he said.

“I can function the car okay, but you don’t have the accuracy or feel to be able to brake where the top guns brake.

Neylon awaits his turn in the passenger seat

“He asked me what sort of level I was driving at, and I thought it was roughly 80 per cent of what the real boys do.

“He enjoyed it, and it also opened our eyes to the level the current guys are at.

“Chad had a big grin on his face, and it gave us some perspective; it heightens your respect for the 24 athletes that we’ve got.

“The truth of the matter is they’re all doing a phenomenal job, and those at the top end of town are world-class.

"It reminds you of how talented they are and how good the machinery is.”

Crompton will return behind the microphone at next month’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint.

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