On this day: An extraordinary race without a result

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/04/2021
  • By James Pavey

Think Symmons Plains in 2017, and you'd be forgiven for thinking little more than the extraordinary 12-car pile-up.

On April 8 four years ago, jaws hit the ground after an extraordinary start to Race 3 in Tasmania, with a dozen cars caught up in a shocking accident.

The crash saw a number of cars resigned to the scrapheap, with Will Davison suffering a back injury amid the chaos.

It's easy to undersell the fact that a race was still to be run and won, with the contest halted after just two laps.

The race was suspended for 45 minutes, and the field completed two more laps behind the Safety Car before the race was declared under time-certain conditions.


It was a turbulent sequence of events; Race 3 itself started, and a chequered flag was waved; however, under fading light, results counted, but no points were awarded.

Just five out of the scheduled 50 laps were completed, with Shane van Gisbergen leading Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes in a Triple Eight sweep.

As teams began to prise their busted cars open to assess the damage, race officials released a statement regarding the race itself.

The Race 3 results stood, and the results counted towards official statistics.

As such, Race 3 is one of van Gisbergen's 45 career victories, with the Kiwi looking to become the sixth driver to record 50 wins.

The run to Turn 4 was a warzone

A statement from Supercars confirmed that the race will stand and the results will count towards all the official statistics.

"Confederation of Motorsport (CAMS) Race Stewards, in consultation with Supercars Australia, have decided Championship points from today's crash-shortened race at Symmons Plains in Tasmania will not be awarded," the statement read.

"The 50-lap race ended under Safety Car with only one lap completed following the multi-car accident which happened on the second lap of the race.

"While no Championship points will be awarded, Shane van Gisbergen's victory will be recorded as a race win, and the race results stand.

"In the exceptional circumstances existing in respect of Race 3 the Stewards, after consultation with Supercars, and in the exercise of their authority pursuant to Rule A10.1.4 have determined that no Championship Points, either Drivers or Teams, will be awarded for Race 3."

The race was halted for over 45 minutes

More drama would befall a race on the Gold Coast nearly 18 months later, with heavy rain bringing a halt to the Sunday race in 2018.

On that occasion, the race was called off, and no results were recorded.

While results counted on the Apple Isle in 2017, no points were awarded, which at the time, proved a saving grace for Scott McLaughlin.

When the accident happened, McLaughlin was caught in a bizarre moment of indecision when the red flags flew.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver, who was running second at the time, went to head to pit lane.

The rest of the field, as per the rules, following the Safety Car to the pit straight.

The #17 Falcon was the only car to return to the lane, dropping McLaughlin to 14th.

The clean-up forced a time-certain finish

McLaughlin's team returned with aplomb 24 hours later, with teammate Fabian Coulthard winning Race 4, marking the team’s first win under its DJR Team Penske guise.

However, the attention remained on the Race 3 drama, and its official winner only had thoughts for the drivers involved.

"We're not here celebrating," van Gisbergen said.

"First and foremost we're glad everyone is okay and hoping that they can fix their cars.

"That's the priority for me, I don't really care that I won the race at the moment."

The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to Symmons Plains for the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint across April 17-18. Tickets are on sale now.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo.

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