Driver left Holden on

The Sunday Times - - SPORT - RE­BECCA WIL­LIAMS

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.

Pic­tures: Daniel Kal­isz/Getty

Shrap­nel: Todd Hazel­wood’s Holden Com­modore VF goes fly­ing at Sandown.

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