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Mount Panorama Claims Record Number Of Pre-Race Victims

Five cars set to miss the start after accidents in practice and qualifying

The Mountain has so far forced the withdrawal of five cars through practice and qualifying, breaking the previous record of four non-starters in the 2017 event.

The first practice session of the event saw the first withdrawal, with the #35 KCMG Nissan GT-R hitting the wall under the tree at Reid Park at the hands of Josh Burdon. The car suffering chassis damage, cutting KCMG’s challenge at the mountain in half.

Saturday’s action has seen a further four cars suffer terminal damage, with an additional question mark over another, in a string of accidents through FP5 and Qualifying.

Practice 5 was cut short by two concurrent accidents, one at the top and one at the bottom of The Mountain. The HubAuto Corsa car making contact with the concrete wall at McPhillamy, after a massive twitch under peak load sent Daniel Serra wide through the left hander. The damage was significant, and the car was scratched after a brief inspection in the garage.

The second incident, while not as severe, has resulted in a big repair job for the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport. The Continental lost braking at top speed into The Chase, with Oliver Jarvis’s quick thinking sending the car across the gravel in an attempt to arrest the car.

“We had an issue with a brake line,” Jarvis said. “I lost pressure on the front brakes, which meant zero breaking into the corner.

“As soon as I realised the brakes have failed, I turned left. Unfortunately I couldn’t get sharp enough left.

“But as soon as I got on the grass… There’s no way to keep it out of the second wall. Fortunately there’s tires there otherwise it could have been a lot worse.”

While the damage is significant, the team is confident on getting the car out for tomorrow’s race. This will be the third major challenge for the M-Sport team, who spent most of Friday diagnosing and repairing issues on both cars.

Qualifying 1 and 2 saw more incident, and more cars scratched. In sweltering conditions close to 40 degrees ambient, cars have been suffering for power and lacking peak grip. The conditions have undeniably played a part, as drivers have pushed for outright lap pace.

The first incident in qualifying saw the #777 Bend Motorsport Park Mercedes AMG hit the concrete wall at McPhillamy after contact from behind. Sam Shahin at the wheel rebounded from the right across the track, coming to rest against the left hand wall on the entrance to Skyline.

The car was clipped at full speed by the #92 Racer Industries MARC II of Tyler Everingham, sending the MARC II head on into the wall over Skyline, coming to a rest in the run off of The Esses.

The front end of both cars were destroyed, and neither car will start tomorrow.

A team representative from The Bend Motorsport Park informed DSC that the car was done, while Sam Shahin is awaiting air-transfer to hospital in his hometown of Adelaide.

Q2 saw more carnage; Marvin Kirchofer took a marginally wide line through the Metal Grate, tagging the wall which then sent him backwards at full speed along the concrete. The #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin then tipped over, and barrel rolled before coming to a rest on all four wheels on top of the Vista.

DSC has confirmed with the team that Kirchhofer is ok, but the Aston Martin is a write off. The team has confirmed the car’s retirement, however DSC understands that a replacement chassis is attempting to be sourced by the team, though it remains unlikely the team will be successful in its search.

Q2 finished under red flag, with an incident for the #29 Trofeo Lamborghini Huracan. Dean Canto lost the rear into McPhillamy, sending the car backwards into the tyres, launching the car into the air before coming to rest on the grass verge in front of spectators.

Canto’s team-mate Marcell Zalloua spoke to DSC while the team was hard at work on the car.

“It was a weird accident,” he said. “Dean is ok, stiff, but ok enough to help the guys out. We are still diagnosing the damage to the car, but are hopeful we can get it out for the race. It’s going to be a long night for the boys.”

The car still has a question mark over its status. In any case, the field has been reduced to 34 cars, from 39 on the entry list.