V8 Supercar driver Paul Weel is expected to be cleared of any serious injury following a heavy practice accident on the opening day of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
The 29-year old had to be extracted from his PWR Holden Commodore after an accident with Team Kiwi Racing's Chris Pither near the McPhillamey Park section left him with lower back pain.
Suffering a one-car 'moment', Weel made contact with the safety barrier and slid sideways back onto the track, leaving Pither with no room to avoid him, and the Team Kiwi Ford collided with the VE's rear driver-side door.
Although Pither walked away unhurt, Weel complained of lower back pain when the rescue team's arrived, and was airlifted to a nearby hospital for precautionary tests. He was fully conscious throughout the extrication process and talked lucidly to the medical team.
“The medicos have been on the scene, [and] he is conscious," PWR team manager John Panozzo told BigPond Sport
, "There are no apparent injuries, but they wanted to play it safe given that it was such a big impact. They extricated him from the car on the spinal board to make sure there are no internal injuries."
Both cars have been withdrawn from the weekend due to the extensive damage suffered in the incident, leaving Andrew Thompson and Kayne Scott without a ride in the biggest event of the year.
British driver Marc Hynes, meanwhile, also got an early taste of the extra dangers of Mount Panorama when a bird hit the windscreen of his TeamVodafone Falcon, smashing the glass.
“I was driving down the straight at maximum speed and had to swerve several times and still managed to hit it right in the middle of the screen,” Hynes said, "It was a big bang and I couldn't see where I was going, so that was a wake-up call early in the morning.”