And in this week’s edition of All-Time ‘It Happens’ moments, we delve back into the magical realm of the V8 Supercars, and backtrack to the year 2005, for one of the wilder Bathurst 1000s on record – And there’s been plenty of them.
Polesitter Craig Lowndes – Fresh off winning the Sandown 500 with Yvan Muller – had built a 6 second lead by Lap 15, but his hopes were crushed when he clipped the wall at The Cutting, busting the rear suspension and putting himself and Muller 8 laps down.
Still, that wasn’t the unluckiest moment for Lowndesy.
On Lap 28, the Castrol Perkins car of Paul Dumbrell (and Steven Richards) creamed the wall at Griffins Bend, dislodging the front left tyre after a second hit, sending it bouncing off two walls with some speed.
By sheer coincidence, the next car coming up the Mountain was the out of sequence #888 Falcon, with no idea what was coming up.
I believe I’ll let the TEGA onboard tell the rest of this crazy story.
The imploded windscreen gave us one of the more unique onboard shots you’ll ever see:
The ironic part was that Triple 8 were one of the few Ford teams to run the ‘Larry Bar’ – The diagonal bar behind the windscreen designed by Larry Perkins and used by Holden teams until 2012.
Despite it being a design to help with chassis stiffness, the Larry Bar turned into an inadvertent safety device for Craig.
Lowndes was forced into the pits, and as per the rules, Triple 8 had to punch out both windscreens, and it was a bad day to get hit by a wheel, as wind chill atop Mount Panorama was supposedly some of the coldest on record, bottoming out at -5 Celsius during the race.
Muller later remarked after a stint that he certainly wasn’t sweating.
For the record, Lowndes and Muller finished in 15th and 10 laps down, but as fate would have it, a Triple 8 Ford did finish on the podium.
Steven Ellery and Adam Macrow finished 3rd in car #88 as the first Falcon home, just behind Jason Richards and future 88 Jamie Whincup for Tasman Motorsport, and the winning HRT car of Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly.
We’ve had cars hit kangaroos at Bathurst, but not too many wheels hit cars.
And that’s all for another edition of…