Crash­ing the party

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JAMES PHELPS

MO­MENT OF TER­ROR: Holden’s Taz Dou­glas smashes into a tyre wall at 150km/ h on the first lap of yes­ter­day’s Sandown 500. A STAR was born at Sandown Race­way yes­ter­day when Cameron Wa­ters turned giant killer to out­last se­ries leader Scott McLaughlin for his first ca­reer win.

Wa­ters joined Su­per­cars im­mor­tals Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Al­lan Mof­fat as a Sandown 500 cham­pion in a crash- short­ened 125lap race.

Holden’s Taz Dou­glas went hurtling into a tyre wall at 150km/ h on the first lap, forc­ing an hour- long red flag which cut short the race by 36 laps as of­fi­cials cleared the de­bris and fixed the wall.

Once rac­ing restarted, Wa­ters and his Pro­drive Rac­ing Aus­tralia car de- liv­ered Ford a shock win in the start to the en­durance sea­son, hold­ing off the fly­ing Ford of DJR Team Penske heavy­weight McLaughlin by just over half a sec­ond.

“I don’t know what to say,’’ Wa­ters, 23, said af­ter win­ning the 46th Sandown 500.

“I am just so pumped. I didn’t think I could keep Scotty off for the last lit­tle bit but we won and I am just so pumped.’’

Wa­ters strug­gled to con­tain his emo­tions af­ter win­ning his first race in just his sec­ond full- time year of Su­per­cars.

“I have to thank ev­ery­one here at the team,’’ Wa­ters said. “They put all the work in. As I said, I am just so pumped and it is all a bit sur­real.’’

Kiwi co- driver Richie Stan­away added his name to the sil­ver­ware with a fault­less open­ing stint that set up the win for Wa­ters.

“I am very proud to get the re­sult,’’ Stan­away said.

“I can’t thank the guys enough.’’

The race opened in spec­tac­u­lar scenes to ri­val Satur­day’s qual­i­fy­ing crash when Dou­glas speared off the track and smashed into a bun­dle of tyres.

Al­though he emerged un­hurt, the safety bar­rier was torn apart, forc­ing of­fi­cials to red flag the race.

Race of­fi­cials scram­bled to re­pair the dam­age to the tyre wall as the field peeled into the pits for an un­sched­uled – and un­wel­comed – at PRA stop. They were left to wait for al­most 60 min­utes while the clean- up took place and the race be­came a time­cer­tain event.

With 35 laps stripped from the race, pole- sit­ter Stan­away pow­ered to the lead at the rolling restart as Alexan­dre Pre­mat and Paul Dum­brell gave chase.

A red- let­ter day for Red Bull loomed when Dum­brell showed blis­ter­ing speed to pass both Pre­mat and Stan­away and take the race lead on lap 22.

But the en­durance spe­cial­ist’s smile dis­ap­peared when he spun out of con­tention af­ter suf­fer­ing a tyre punc­ture.

Chaz Mostert fin­ished third make it a dou­ble podium for PRA. to


Cameron Wa­ters.

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