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How Chahda made the most of first lap carnage

Dunlop Series
06 Jul
Super2 veteran capitalised on first lap pile up to soar up the order and claim first top 10 of 2024
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  • Matt Chahda went from 24th to ninth on lap one after major accident

  • Veteran critical of how others reacted to accident

  • Damaged shock absorber restricted pace in practice and qualifying

Matt Chahda has criticised how some drivers in the Super2 field react to accidents after picking his way through the first lap chaos in Race 1 today.

Chahda lined up 24th after a difficult run in Boost Mobile Qualifying, and was far enough away from the pile up that occurred on the run to Turn 3.

Whilst Jack Perkins streaked away on his way to a dominant victory, Cooper Murray and Brad Vaughan collided fighting for second, and the rest of the field scrambled to avoid them.

Murray, Vaughan (who will share an enduro wildcard with Chahda), Campbell Logan, Cameron McLeod, and Jordyn Sinni would all retire, whilst several others would carry on with damage.

Whilst Chahda took a cautious approach when approaching the accident, he was critical of some of the moves he saw up the road.

“Young blokes, they don't know how to deal with it. They gun in, and even when it comes to racing them out on track, they've all got one move — down the inside on the brakes,” Chahda told Supercars.com.

"They don't know how to race, and there's a lot of that. My approach was just going into it slowly, they were bombing it in. I just slowed down, went down gears early and just watched my way through it. 

"They bomb in, smack into something, bounce off it, and there was a lot of damage."

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Chahda went from 24th to ninth on the first lap alone, and that quickly became seventh after the restart when he got by Zach Bates’ damaged Commodore and Cody Burcher’s Super3 Nissan.

Chahda then found himself engaged in a fierce battle with Kai Allen, who himself was recovering from a poor qualifying for the second consecutive race.

Chahda held off Allen’s advances for several laps before the series leader made his way by, leaving Chahda to claim eighth at the end of the race.

The Cavalier Homes Commodore was a much more competitive force today, displaying genuine top 10 pace, an improvement that can be traced back to finding a broken component.

“Qualy, it turns out we had a damaged shock. That's been our problem all weekend,” he said. 

“We got a new pair of shocks and that's made a big difference. We’re meant to be running in the top 10, as I showed.

“The way we qualified, we truly didn't belong down there. But that definitely saved us because of what happened at the start, I might not have even got past lap 1."

Chahda’s strong result today moved him from 22nd to 17th in the points standings, currently led by Allen from Aaron Cameron, both of whom also picked their way through the lap one mayhem.

The Dunlop Series returns to the track for the second Boost Mobile Qualifying session of the weekend at 9:30am AEST tomorrow morning.

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