Nick Percat and Lee Holdsworth emerged unscathed after a sickening impact during the open race of the Coates Hire Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.
A brake failure sent Percat’s Brad Jones Racing Holden spinning at over 250km/h on the approach to Turn 1 on the penultimate lap of the race.
Percat’s Commodore collected the right-rear corner of Holdsworth’s Team 18 entry as he spun back across the circuit, causing heavy damage to both cars.
Struggling to breathe as fuel leaked into his cabin, Percat quickly alighted from his car before signalling to a hapless Holdsworth that his brakes had failed.
It was the first major crash of the 28-year-old Percat’s career, while it continues a series of bad luck for Holdsworth after missing three events with injury in 2016.
The damage has seen Percat's car withdrawn from the weekend, while Team 18 will attempt to repair Holdsworth’s car at its workshop before returning either tomorrow or Sunday.
“I put my foot on the brake and the pedal went straight to the floor,” Percat explained to Supercars.com.
“It started going to the right so I just went with it and hoped to miss everyone but unfortunately collected Lee.
“That’s my first ever big crash in any race car through my whole career so it took me by surprise.
“Midway through it I was on the radio saying that I’ve had a brake failure and the next thought was that the wall is a fair way away but I’m still doing 200km/h.
“It’s probably a good thing that I hit Lee because if I hit the fence at that speed it would have been a really sudden stop and could have done a bit of damage to me."
Percat reported a sore left leg after the impact and stressed his desire to see additional protection run by some teams become compulsory.
“I think what Penske, PRA and Red Bull are doing with leg protection should be compulsory in the category,” he added following recent Commission discussions on the matter.
“I hit my knee pretty hard. It shakes you up a bit but it’s a credit to the car that it’s structurally alright.”
Percat and Holdsworth had both started the race from the back of the grid following failures in qualifying yesterday.
“I’d just done a ‘woohoo’ on the radio because I’d just passed Courtney and we’d gone from 26th to 12th in 10 laps,” Holdsworth recounted to Supercars.com.
“I turned into Turn 1 and just got a massive whack. I had no idea what had happened other than it was a bloody hard hit.
“I hit my head pretty hard on the side of the seat but fortunately I’m ok.
“When I got out I saw Percat’s car which is the first I knew who’d hit me and then he gave me the signal that he’d had no brakes.
“I saw him at the medical centre and he was apologetic but there was nothing he could do.
“I’ve got a bit of a headache but I’m pretty used to it these days.
“I can’t imagine it’ll be out there tomorrow but if we get it back for Sunday that’d be awesome.
“It’s really disappointing because we’d made some massive inroads this weekend we wanted another couple of races to improve the car before Symmons Plains.“