JASON BRIGHT TAKES FLIGHT

JASON Bright’s Clipsal 500 race 3 was short but spectacular in Adelaide yesterday with his Brad Jones Racing Team BOC VF Commodore pitched into a high-speed roll on lap 14.

That’s when he and Garth Tander touched doors, tipping Bright into a frightening roll.

Somehow the Holden veteran walked away after he spectacularly cork-screwed into the fence.

His crash was just one of the dramas on a track where it pays to expect the unexpected.

Holden’s James Courtney, in his first round back from a broken leg, was so surprised to emerge triumphant in the 250-kilometre street fight he crowd surfed in scenes reminiscent of his 2010 V8 championship win.

And reigning V8 champion Jamie Whincup also raised eyebrows when he lost his lead with 25 laps of the 76-lap finale to go, thanks to a pit-lane infringement penalty, then speared off the road after contact with Michael Caruso while trying to make up time.

Whincup finished 15th overall.

All drivers blamed new race re-start rules for Bright’s spectacular crash.

Bright had gained two places from his eighth on the grid before a crash involving James Moffat and Will Davison brought out the safety car.

Chaos followed as restart procedures requiring drivers to sit below 60 km/h until the leader hits an “acceleration zone” led to wheel-spinning cars three abreast into the Senna chicane and the inevitable crash.

“I’m OK. It was the first roll-over of my career,” Bright said later.

“It was more gentle than I expected but it landed pretty hard on the roof. 

“The worst part was being upside down trying to get out.”

Bright said the restart rules needed an immediate review.

“If they want action, they’ve got it but if they want safety, that’s another story,” he said. “This place is cruel. I haven’t had a podium since 2001.” 

Courtney cut a swathe through the street carnage to claim his first Adelaide win from 15th on the grid.

He held out Whincup’s Red Bull teammate Craig Lowndes with pole sitter and fellow Holden driver Shane van Gisbergen third.

Only 10 cars in the 25-strong field finished on the lead lap.

Nine drivers failed to finish.

Lowndes leads the series on 282 points from Fabian Coulthard (230) and van Gisbergen (221).

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