Todd Hazelwood walks away from high-speed qualifying crash TweetFacebook Wilson Security Sandown 500 round of the V8 Supercars Championship at Sandown RacewayPictures: AAPSupercars young gun Todd Hazelwood has incredibly walked away from an high-speed crash in qualifying for Sunday’s Sandown 500.
Not only that, the 21-year-old saddled up for his development series drive just minutes after his car was thrown in the air in a monster crash at the Melbourne circuit.
Hazelwood, the co-driver of Brad Jones Racing full-timer Tim Blanchard, hit a tyre wall at high speed after a tussle with Jono Webb.
His Commodore hit the wall rear-first and was thrust up, spinning uncontrollably.
The hurricane-like impact meant the No.21 Holden had lost much of its panelling before it had hit the ground.
Hazelwood waved to the crowd before being cleared by the medical team.
“When you’re going at 260 kilometres (an hour) and you get a whack like that you’re just a passenger,” he told Fox Sports.
“I put my hands on my helmet and tried to relax.
“When I hit the tyre wall, going up on the tyre wall I thought ‘oh my god this is going to be huge’.
“I haven’t had a rollover since I was seven in dirt karts.”
He said he was “devastated” for his team, which is likely to withdraw from Sunday’s 500km classic.
“I’ve never wrecked a Supercar in my life. I’m just shattered to be honest.”
Hazelwood of Cool Drive Racing crashes out during
The hard-as-nails youngster -on his Sandown 500 debut -was undeterred by the crash.
The Super2 series leader jumped into his Commodore later on Saturday afternoon to race for his own championship.
Replays of the crash suggested Webb locked up behind the Nissan of David Russell, leaving Hazelwood with nowhere to go but the wall.
Until Hazelwood responded on the team radio, those watching -including his frightened family in the team garage -felt they might have been watching a Supercars tragedy.
Emotional team boss Brad Jones said it “was not an easy thing” to watch. “That’s as bad an accident as I’ve seen for a long time,” he said.
He suggested Webb caused the crash by attempting a move on the inside.
“In a 20-lap co-driver race it’s a bit opportunistic to be driving into a hole that’s not there. Thankfully Todd’s fine,” he said.
Sandown’s turn six is often described as one of the most dangerous in n motorsport.
Coming at the end of the long back straight, there is little room to move for anyone that ventures down the outside of the track.
Another young driver, James Golding, forced the race to be stopped last year for a similar crash.
Two Supercars mainstays -Will Davison and Michael Caruso -shared a crash there in 2010.