Injured V8 Supercars star Chaz Mostert has revealed he feared most for the race officials forced to jump for their lives in the aftermath of his horror Bathurst 1000 qualifying crash.
Mostert on Friday night underwent surgery on a broken leg and wrist while three officials were cleared of serious injury following the spectacular accident that postponed qualifying until Saturday.
The defending Bathurst 1000 champion blamed sun glare for throwing him off his racing line before his Ford pinballed off walls approaching Forrest’s Elbow at up to 170kph.
In his second shock crash in three years at Mount Panorama, Mostert’s out of control Ford forced seven marshals to leap for safety before it slammed into their track-side enclosure.
“My biggest fear was for the safety of the marshals but to hear none were seriously injured is a big relief,” Mostert said in a team statement.
“I’m really sorry for the team as it was my error that put us out and also destroyed a car.
“I just lost my racing line due to a bit of sun glare and glanced the wall.
“From there I was a passenger and took some pretty big hits.”
Of the seven officials involved, three were injured.
Two suffered minor complaints while a third was taken by ambulance to Orange hospital in a stable condition but was “cleared of neck, chest and brain injuries”, a V8 official said.
Mostert was airlifted to Orange hospital by helicopter where x-rays revealed a clean leg break before he went under the knife.
He was joined at the hospital by his father Eddie and partner Annie who looked on in horror in the team garage during the accident.
Title contender Mostert is expected to miss the rest of the V8 Supercars season which has five rounds left including Sunday’s Great Race.
“I just want to say thanks to everyone in the V8 Supercars medical team for their care following my accident today,” Mostert said.
“I’ve obviously got a bit of recovery to come but for now I want to wish the team all the best and see … the rest of the (Ford Prodrive Racing) team go for the win on Sunday.”
Mostert had hoped to make a move for the championship with back-to-back wins at Bathurst, which offers double points.
He was sitting second in the V8 championship standings at Mount Panorama, less than 200 points behind Ford teammate Mark Winterbottom.
The withdrawal of Mostert and co-driver Cameron Waters reduces the Great Race’s field to 26.
Mostert’s crash immediately suspended all racing at Mount Panorama on Friday due to the damage to the circuit’s fencing.
Mostert crashed so early in the session that no qualifying times were recorded.
Qualifying will now be held from 1230 AEDT on Saturday with the top 10 shootout from 1710 AEDT.