Cam Waters scored first Adelaide win after lap 1 near-miss
Waters forced to avoid crashing Will Brown, who was hit by Shane van Gisbergen
Tickford star celebrated win with burnout in Ken Block tribute livery
Cam Waters ended the year with a big win in the VAILO Adelaide 500 opener, but it nearly went awry in an instant.
The Tickford Racing star won Race 27 after a race-long battle with Penrite Racing veteran David Reynolds.
Waters’ first victory on the Adelaide streets nearly wasn’t, however, given how close he was to the first lap, title-deciding carnage.
Shane van Gisbergen clouted Will Brown, who had been escorted into the Turn 4 barrier after wheel-to-wheel contact with Anton De Pasquale.
Just ahead of van Gisbergen was Waters, who had to avoid the Brown car, which rebounded into the path of oncoming traffic.
The desperate save preceded Waters’ run to career win No. 11, with the Tickford star attributing the near-miss to skills acquired on speedways.
“Super close,” Waters said after the race.
“I saw the [De Pasquale] car and Will interlocking wheels, and whenever you interlock wheels, usually there’s chaos.
“I just tried to steer clear of that — I was pretty fortunate that I could see it unfolding, and Shane behind me couldn’t see.
“It could be all the sprintcar stuff I’m doing — there’s always shunts in that and you’ve got to dodge a lot of cars rolling and flipping into fences and stuff.
“Pretty lucky to make it through.”
The win, Waters’ second in three starts prior to Sunday, was extra special given Adelaide’s close proximity to his hometown, Mildura.
Waters also completed a post-race burnout, which he cited as the best tribute to the late Ken Block, who was celebrated in a tribute livery on his Monster Ford.
“It was going to be big if I was to win here,” Waters said of the burnout.
“I’ve always wanted to win this race and came close a few times — awesome to finally win it, and with the Ken Block livery as well.
"Pretty special to win with that and I’m sure Ken was looking down expecting a huge burnout — so either the rear tyres were going to blow, or the engine was going to blow.
"I just think [the Adelaide 500 is] one of the best races of the year, to be honest. It’s super-close to Mildura, which is obviously where I grew up, and I’ve got lots of family and friends in Adelaide.
“Most of my family from Mildura come over as well, so I kind of treat it a home event and I just love driving the track.”