In an action-packed race, hearts stopped at one stage as Cameron McConville escaped what could have been an horrific accident, At around 280kmh, the Team BOC/WOW Racing Holden clipped the rear of Steve Owen on the main straight, sending the #8 car careering out of control through a massive gravel trap. McConville was still travelling at extremely high speed when he cleared the other end of the trap and, still out of control, crossed back over the track, going backwards. With nothing he could do, he hurtled straight into oncoming traffic - which only missed him by a matter a feet.
“It's any wonder he struggles to get a regular drive,” McConville said of his rival, “It shouldn't happen... I was trying to pass him down the inside and he just kept on moving over. I had a run on him and there is just no point blocking like that on lap 20-odd of a 113-lap race. He must have just clipped my wheel as he continued to block... what do you do? It was just not worth arguing over that piece of territory with 90-odd laps to go - it was just stupid!”
It was also a tough day for former World Superbike champion Troy who did not complete a single lap of the main race when his team-mate Dean Fiore broke an alternator belt on the warm-up lap.
“It's a shame, but these things happen,” Bayliss sighed, “As soon as the car couldn't come back under its own steam, we couldn't start the race. It just wasn't meant to be today.”
Same for Kiwi Fabian Coulthard, who blew an engine at high speed on lap five, sending him on a merry ride as smoke poured out of the rear of his Wilson Security Racing Falcon.
“I was hard on the throttle pulling fourth gear and it all went wild,” Coulthard reported, “There were flames pouring out everywhere. It's a hard thing to swallow, but we need to come back stronger and tougher for Bathurst.”
Lee Holdsworth was another early casualty in an incident similar to McConville's, although not as scary. He broke the front suspension of the car he shared with Michael Patrizi along the way, ending the day for the form Garry Rogers Motorsport pair.
Conversely, veteran pair Mark Skaife and Greg Murphy had a great day, coming from 21st to eleventh. Skaife was coming out of retirement for the two endurance events, and admitted that he had thoroughly enjoyed himself.
“It was great to get back behind the wheel,” Skaife said, “It was good to grab some match fitness for Bathurst, and both 'Murph' and I will be fired up for a big effort.”