Bathurst 1000 News | Russell Ingall ‘disgusted’ by ugly Bathurst fallout

Supercars champion Russell Ingall has come to the defense of Zane Goddard after a monumental crash he caused at this year’s Bathurst 1000 received harsh criticism.

Goddard, who shared the No.5 Ford Mustang with Tickford Racing teammate James Courtney, crashed on the fifth lap of the Great Race.

The spectacular off-road excursion saw the Gold Coaster lock up his front tires under braking on The Chase before plunging through the mud and grass.

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Unable to halt his car’s speed, Goddard slid back across the track and onto the track.

The crash, which took Goddard/Courtney, Andre Heimgartner/Dale Wood and David Reynolds/Matt Campbell cars out of the race, received widespread criticism.

Supercars commentator Neil Crompton was among those hammering Goddard, labeling the incident “dead-on ordinary”.

Andre Heimgartner also had a concise assessment of the melee.

“It’s like these guys don’t realize it’s 161 laps and they’re driving like absolute losers,” said the Kiwi.

Heimgartner’s team principal Brad Jones said the “elephant in the room” was starting the race with co-drivers instead of full-timers.

Courtney admitted Goddard had been “too eager, too soon” but said the 22-year-old had no intention of making the mistake.

Goddard later apologized to the respective teams and their drivers. He was subsequently fined $10,000 for an unsafe rejoinhalf of which is suspended until the end of the year.

Ingall, who won the Bathurst 1000 in 1995 and 1997, said some of the social media comments in the wake of the crash went too far.

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“I’m pretty disgusted by some of the comments I’ve read and heard about from online platforms as well as from some people within the sport,” Ingalls’ Facebook post read in part.

“I have known Zane for some time and I have personally seen his work ethic, passion and how hard he works to try to be successful in motorsport.

“He’s taking what happened at the weekend very hard and getting smashed by keyboard warriors just isn’t going to do it.

“Everyone is an ‘Eddie the Expert’, especially those who haven’t put their fat ass in a race car, and more importantly, a few people in influential positions in motorsport who commented on the incident without knowing the facts.

“Yes, it was a mistake. Did he do it on purpose? No! Was it an ambitious move? I don’t think so. In hindsight, maybe he could have waited a few more laps, but if an opportunity is there, have to to try. That’s why they call it racing. In any other situation he would have gone off the line, gone through the grass and easily rejoined.”

Ingall apparently condemned Crompton’s co-commentator Mark Skaifewho said Goddard had accelerated through the grass.

That, Ingall said, created one-sided opinions and “threw Zane under the bus” without seeing data to confirm that he had intentionally sped.

The 2006 champion called for a return to the Sandown 500, which served as a pre-Bathurst 1000 hitout, with gremlins often ironed out before the big dance.

The 500km endurance race was deleted from the calendar when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and has not returned since.

Supercars is said to be looking into reviving the Sandown 500 for 2023.

While the scenes at this year’s Bathurst 1000 were unlike any in recent memory, Ingall offered some solutions to prevent a repeat.

“So maybe we should look a little more at what the solutions might be if we’re only going to have one endurance race a year,” Ingall wrote.

“Maybe change the format that both main feature drivers can pair up, or maybe a better solution is for the primary nominated driver to start the race – especially in track conditions like Sunday.

“I’m not looking for a debate with this post, but I’m sure I’ll get one. I just wanted to get my personal opinion out there, especially from someone who has had plenty of abuse in my time and it’s not a nice thing!

“I understand that sport is about passion and meaning, which I’m all for, but some of the level of commentary is out of whack. If I have something to say about someone, I say it to their face, otherwise shut the hell up . up!”

Ingall contested his final Bathurst 1000 in 2021 with Broc Feeney, who now drives full-time for Triple Eight Race Engineering.

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