A 140km/h crash has left James Moffat facing an uncertain weekend after opening practice for the carsales TCR Australia Championship weekend at Tailem Bend outside Adelaide.
Moffat was the innocent victim when he was rear-ended by championship leader Will Brown on a streaming wet circuit, leaving his Garry Rogers Motorsport team with a major repair job.
The rear end of his Renault Megane was heavily damaged, with the bodywork pushed into the back seat area, leading to a total re-end rebuild before the car can return to action.
“It was 100 per cent my fault. The car aquaplaned and I slid into him,” Brown reported.
“I went straight down to apologise. It’s definitely not something I like. I would rather have crashed into the wall than hit him.”
Brown’s Hyundai i30N missed the rest of the opening practice but will be quickly repaired as the impact only resulted in cosmetic damage to the Korean car.
It needed a full strip-down, with new radiators and other incidental pieces, but there was no damaged to the front chassis rails.
“We were lucky. It is relatively easy to repair,” said Brown.
For Moffat, who is returning to full-time racing in the TCR series, the weekend could not have had a worse start.
“It was a massive hit. I didn’t even see him coming,” he said.
“It was pretty slippery at that corner and I think he got caught out. He’s been to apologise and that’s fine.”
TCR rookie Jordan Cox finished the opening session in top spot, ahead of Dylan O’Keefe and Nathan Morcom.
Russell Ingall managed a top-10 spot in his first TCR outing in an Audi RS3.
“Well, that’s done. Not a great way to start in the rain, but I had fun,” Ingall said.
RESULTS, PRACTICE 1
|1||38||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||2:10.0097|
|2||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||2:10.6182||00.6085|
|3||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||2:10.9972||00.9875|
|4||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||2:11.3207||01.3110|
|5||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||2:11.4196||01.4099|
|6||4||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||2:11.4696||01.4599|
|7||7||Jimmy Vernon (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||2:11.7283||01.7186|
|8||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||2:11.9730||01.9633|
|9||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||2:11.9985||01.9888|
|10||62||Alex Rullo (WA)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||2:12.5532||02.5435|
|11||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI||2:12.6769||02.6672|
|12||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||2:12.8389||02.8292|
|13||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||2:13.7092||03.6995|
|14||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||2:15.2340||05.2243|
|15||3||Leanne Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||2:15.6237||05.6140|
|16||6||Molly Taylor (NSW)||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||2:16.7551||06.7454|
|17||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI||2:16.7983||06.7886|
|18||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||2:17.5866||07.5769|
|19||37||Chelsea Angelo (Vic)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||2:35.6489||25.6392|