Driver left Holden on
TODD Hazelwood feared he was in a “world of trouble to try and survive” as he spun uncontrollably through the air before walking away from a frightening high-speed crash at Sandown yesterday.
In a terrifying accident that forced an early end to the first qualifying race for the Sandown 500, Hazelwood’s car careered sideways before slamming into a tyre barrier at 250km/h. after being nudged.
The impact sent his Holden spinning into the air before slamming back to the ground upside down. Hazelwood emerged from the car unhurt and was back in a car an hour later to race in the second tier Super2 series, in which he is second in the championship, — and finished third.
While Hazelwood was lucky to escape unharmed, the same could not be said for the BJR Holden, which was left totalled and won’t be able to be fixed for today’s 500km race.
Reigning Bathurst champion and Tekno co-driver Jonathon Webb appeared to clip Hazelwood with the contact sending him from the track on the penultimate lap of the co-driver only session.
Hazelwood, 21, said the accident was by far the “biggest incident of his career”.
“As a kid growing up you watch these races and every time a car goes off at turn six you know it’s a big one,” Hazelwood said.
“So going side-by-side, you’ve got to have commitment and I gave the guy on the inside enough room to go sideby-side through there.
“As soon as I got the hit in the rear I knew I was in a world of trouble to try and survive.
“It was a pretty wild ride going backwards at 260-odd km/h knowing that there was a fence there somewhere was pretty sickening.”
SUPERCARS young gun Todd Hazelwood has incredibly walked away from this high-speed crash in qualifying for today’s Sandown 500.
Not only that, the 21year-old saddled up for his development series drive just minutes after his car was thrown in the air in a monster crash at the Melbourne circuit.
Hazelwood, the co-driver of Brad Jones Racing fulltimer Tim Blanchard, hit a tyre wall at high speed after a tussle with Jono Webb.
His Commodore hit the wall rear-first and was thrust up, spinning uncontrollably.
The hurricane-like impact meant the No.21 Holden had lost much of its panelling before it had hit the ground.
Hazelwood waved to the crowd before being cleared by the medical team.
“When you’re going at 260 kilometres (an hour) and you get a whack like that you’re just a passenger,” he told Fox Sports.
“I put my hands on my helmet and tried to relax.
“When I hit the tyre wall, going up on the tyre wall I thought ’oh my god this is going to be huge’.
“I haven’t had a rollover since I was seven in dirt karts.”
He said he was “devastated” for his team, which is likely to withdraw from today’s 500km classic. “I’ve never wrecked a Supercar in my life. I’m just shattered to be honest,” he said.
The hard-as-nails youngster – on his Sandown 500 debut – was undeterred by the crash.
The Super2 series leader jumped into his Commodore later in the afternoon to race for his own championship. Replays of the crash suggested Webb locked up behind the Nissan of David Russell, leaving Hazelwood with nowhere to go but the wall.
Emotional team boss Brad Jones said it “was not an easy thing” to watch.
Shrapnel: Todd Hazelwood’s Holden Commodore VF goes flying at Sandown.