Massive Sandown crashes red-flag race two; title to go down to wire‏
24/10/2010 at 1:50pm

The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will go down to the final race of the season after a series of dramatic events caused today’s sprint race to be red flagged, with no results issued.

A massive crash between veteran competitors John Boothman and Graeme Holmes at the kink following turn four saw Holmes sent skywards as he straddled the kerb on the right hand side of the circuit.

His car was propelled into the air in a similar fashion to Mark Webber’s now infamous crash in Formula One earlier this year.

Holmes’ landed heavily with the car upside down and destroyed, though both drivers were unhurt.

The race was run under safety car for several laps before officials elected to show the red flag on lap five.

Therefore the race was counted as a non-event, with no points awarded and the final race starting position based on the race one finishing order.

Earlier in the race, Ben Barker’s car was badly damaged after a turn one collision with Chinese Driver Zhang Shan Qi.

With the field battling to sort the order into the 90-degree first corner, Zhang collected the back of Barker’s car before being flung over the top of the title contender in a spectacular accident.

Barker – the championship leader – was fortunate to avoid injury after his helmet was hit by one of Zhang Qi’s rear wheels.

Both cars managed to limp back to the pit lane but both were out – temporarily, at least, putting a massive dent in Barker’s title hopes.

“I backed off a little bit early going into turn one becuase it was pretty busy there, and just got hit from behind,” Barker said.

“I was very lucky that my rear wing absorbed most of the impact because my helmet escaped relatively unscathed.

“it was a massive impact but the team have already got the car back together and we’ll be right to go in the final race.”

“I managed to get back to the pit lane but I thought it was season over for a while, until the race was red flagged. That’s very lucky for us but the main thing is that everyone involved in the other accident is OK.”

With the race being cancelled and declared a non-event Barker retains a five-point lead over Evans ahead of the finale, to be held over 15 laps this afternoon at Sandown.
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