Prodrive Racing (Australia) driver Chaz Mostert has thanked fans for their well wishes and praised safety crews for their efforts as he spoke about his Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 qualifying crash for the first time since his season-ending accident two days ago.
The reigning Bathurst champion yesterday watched teammates David Reynolds and Dean Canto claim ARMOR ALL Pole Position for the team from his hospital bed in Orange having undergone surgery earlier in the day to repair his broken leg and fractured wrist.
Mostert has a strong recollection of the multiple impacts that wrote off his #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford but now wants to focus on supporting his teammates in the Great Race before starting rehabilitation in the coming days.
"I was going down the hill and generally you follow your line using the black rubber marks," the 23-year-old said of the moments before his crash. "I was just a little bit out of sync but to be honest it wasn't a ten-tenths lap, it was just a nine out of 10.
"I turned in a little bit early but it was all over pretty quickly after that. It was the biggest hit I've ever had in my career. I knew something was pretty wrong when I stopped. From my point of view I am very lucky to be here with the relatively minimal injuries I've got."
He was quick to praise the efforts of the medical teams in the minutes after the crash.
"In those first minutes after a big crash you can feel pretty bad, pretty quickly, but the medical team reacted correctly and got on the scene quickly. It shows how lucky we are in V8 Supercars to have so many passionate people that know so much about the health side of things, so thanks so much to all of the crews that worked on me."
While relieved to begin his recovery he is disappointed he will not get the chance to defend his title alongside co-driver Cameron Waters.
"I don't want to be in (the hospital); I'd rather be out racing with the boys and the girls. I know that the team is in safe hands and we have a great chance of trying to win three in a row," Mostert stated.
"Frosty and Dave are on song, Andre is doing great for a young guy and I also think the girls are going to surprise a lot of people too. The FG X Falcon is represented well. It is just a shame car #6 won't be out there this weekend."
Mostert thanked fans for their support and the thousands of messages received on social media, but reserved his highest praise for the circuit marshals caught up in the crash.
"The fan response has been just unbelievable. I am overwhelmed to be honest. It has given me a skip in my step and I get emotional thinking about all those people that have taken the time out to wish me well.
"But then I had a lot of very different emotions when I heard marshals had been hurt from my accident. I have met a couple of them here in the hospital but I will have to catch up with them and have some dinner and tell some stories when I am recovered a little more."
Mostert will remain in hospital for the coming days ahead of further medical assessment to determine when he can return home to continue his rehabilitation.