VETERAN Dunlop Super2 Series team owner Amin Chahda has spoken out about the handling of a situation which turned messy on the final lap of the Sandown round.
A chaotic Sunday race ended in brutal circumstances.
Jockeying for the podium positions, the lead pack steamed towards the section of track where Matt Stone Racing Super3 competitor Jason Gomersall had come unstuck the lap prior, dragging mud across the road en route to clattering the fence on the exit of Turn 3.
A number of drivers missed the stricken #35 FG Falcon – some only just, including the spinning Matt Chahda – but not pole-sitter Thomas Maxwell, who careered into the back of Gomersall’s car, forcing it airborne.
That triggered a chain reaction which involved several more cars including that of Angelo Mouzouris and Matt McLean.
Opinions within the industry have been divided as to where the blame lay, with suggestions that drivers had blatantly disobeyed double waved yellows.
Others, including Chahda Sr, feel a Safety Car should have been called.
“It had to be either a Safety Car or red flag,” he told V8 Sleuth.
“They told me they couldn’t red flag it because it was the last lap, which is bullshit, because you can. If there’s a car in the wall, you shut it down.
“When you’re bumper to bumper at the speed they’re doing, you can’t see double yellows – the boys said, none of them saw it, no one, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened.”
Chahda, whose son was effectively running in second place at the time given leader Dean Fiore had a five-second penalty hanging over his head, estimated that the incident had created more than $2 million worth of damage.
“That Gomersall car is probably a write-off. The Maxwell car that hit him is probably not much better,” he said.
“We didn’t get any damage but it’s just stupid. It makes guys not want to come back. It’s sad.”
Gomersall though is hopeful his SBR FG01 can yet be repaired.
Having been enjoying his best race of the year, Gomersall was sent spinning amid a concertina at the final restart – but worse was to come when he found the fence.
“I knew the field was a good half a lap away so I felt pretty secure that it would all get dealt with and then of course I’m sitting there and I hear that rumble of the field coming through,” he told V8 Sleuth.
“I realised, ‘oh gee, they’re racing’ and at that point I felt I was going to get hit and sure enough I did.”
Only suffering a bruised left knee, Gomersall was not interested in pointing any fingers.
“I’m seeing the stuff on social media and everyone has got a bit to say, blaming officials and blaming drivers and all of that. That’s disappointing; I think pointing the finger is not helpful,” he continued.
“Everyone needs to look at their role in the whole thing from the restart onwards. That’s what I’ll be doing, looking at what I could have done differently or better.”
PODCAST: Castrol Motorsport News – Sandown debrief
Maxwell was a little less diplomatic: “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the race for us and we had a few dramas early on, then basically finished off the weekend with a silly decision by the series to start a race with a car still stranded out on track.
“It ended with a massive shunt at the end of the race with multiple cars. Definitely a disappointing end to the weekend, but we’ll push on for the next one.”
V8 Sleuth has contacted Motorsport Australia for comment.
Declan Fraser survived the bulk of the carnage to leave Sandown with a 114-point lead from Zak Best.
Matt Payne, Cameron Hill and Tyler Everingham are the only other drivers within 200 points of Fraser with two rounds remaining.