Huge Supercars crash
CAM Waters has taken pole position for the Sandown 500 on a qualifying day marred by a major crash to Supercars young gun Todd Hazelwood.
Waters, with Kiwi co-driver Richie Stanaway, stole a march on their more experienced rivals yesterday and share the front row of the grid with the fellow Falcon of series leader Scott McLaughlin.
The Prodrive Racing pair, combined beautifully in Melbourne.
Stanaway surged to be third with stunning ease after the codrivers qualifying race.
Waters finished the job in the fulltime drivers race by jumping front-row starters McLaughlin and David Reynolds off the line.
He held off a challenge from McLaughlin to grab a second pole position of his Supercars career.
‘‘I’m absolutely pumped and didn’t expect it,’’ Waters said.
‘‘From the start the car was amazing. We’re in with a really good shot tomorrow. I wanted to do a burnout at the end but it wasn’t a race so we’ll have to try and do it tomorrow.’’
Stanaway said it was a ‘‘perfect day today . . . an amazing result for the team’’.
McLaughlin will be content with second place, though Jamie Whincup – his closest championship rival – lurks behind in fourth.
David Reynolds and Luke Youlden were the best performed Holden, and will begin in third.
The third row of the grid will be filled with two more Falcons – Fabian Coulthard of DJR Team Penske and Chaz Mostert, who smashed his own race lap record.
Meanwhile, Brad Jones Racing will be a car down for today’s race after Hazelwood’s crash.
The 21-year-old was sent hurtling into the tyre wall from a 260kmh after Jono Webb failed to yield in the co-drivers race.
His Commodore was wrecked in the impact, while Hazelwood was able to walk away and later raced in the development series.
Webb’s Tekno Autosports Holden couldn’t complete qualifying and – if repaired – will start from the back today.
Reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen has it all to do after a dire day. He tangled with Coulthard in practice, saw codriver Matt Campbell miss the AAP GETTY IMAGES start in his race before botching a passing move of his own to finish 19th.
‘‘It was a pretty average day, we struggled all day,’’ van Gisbergen said. ‘‘We’ll start 19th tomorrow, the car has some speed so it’s not the end of the world, but we’re going to have to come up with something overnight to get a faster car.’’
Team-mate Craig Lowndes also suffered a power steering issue and will start from 24th in the 500km classic.
The Holden Commodore of Todd Hazelwood somersaults through the air after a collision during qualifying for the Sandown 500 yesterday.