Wet weather wreaks havoc at Sandown 500 practice
FABIAN Coulthard was the first victim of the treacherous conditions that prevailed for Supercars Practice 2 at Sandown 500 on Friday.
The Shell V-Power Racing Team pilot crunched the No.12 Falcon into the tyre barriers at the fastest part of the circuit in driving rain, slithering off to the inside of the track at the Esses.
The crash happened with just four minutes left in the session, race officials electing to call time on the session early rather than restarting it.
"It happened very fast," Coulthard said. "One minute it was good, the next I was on an ice rink.
"It's a quick corner anyway and, a combination of the weather and how slippery it is, we came a cropper. It just happened so quick."
Rick Kelly continued Nissan's run at the top of the timesheets, splashing the No.15 Sengled Altima to the quickest time in the dire conditions - but having fun doing so.
"It's always fun to be fast," he joked.
"Obviously it's quite wet so everyone's just circulating and feeling what their car's like in the wet. Ours is pretty strong."
Garth Tander was next quickest from Chaz Mostert and James Courtney.
Shane van Gisbergen rounded out the top five, the reigning series champion enduring several off-track excursions - but he was far from alone on that front.
Points leader Scott McLaughlin had a close call on his first lap out of the pits, while the bulk of the field had spins, slips or near-misses at some point in the truncated half-hour session.