Four-car sprintcar carnage

WARRNAMBOOL speedster Darren Mollenoyux says he has no animosity towards rival Jason Johnson for the most spectacular crash of 2012-13 World Series Sprintcars.

Mollenoyux, Johnson, Stephen Bell and Luke Dillon were in a four-car pile-up on the first lap of the A main as part of round five at Premier Speedway.

The mesh of twisted metal stemmed from American Johnson, who had the inside line in turn four, attempting to deny Mollenoyux room by shifting wide.

Mollenoyux was doing likewise from the outside, but to a lesser extent, and the two came together in frightening fashion.

Johnson, in the NQ47, rolled and rose into the air, eventually landing on top of Mollenoyux, V77, who had careered into the wall.

Bell, V88, had nowhere to go but into Mollenoyux while Dillon, S81, tried desperately to swerve but was also caught up in the carnage.

Only Dillon, whose car required a wing change, could continue from the back of the field. The South Australian eventually drove himself into seventh.

Mollenoyux, who along with the others walked away uninjured, stopped short of blaming Johnson for the incident.

“We were obviously racing close, I guess we ran out of room,” he said.

“Racing is racing, it does happen. It’s a little bit frustrating but I’ve made mistakes in the past as well.”

The crash came after light but steady rain fell on the Allansford track about 10pm on Tuesday night.

The shower delayed the start of the A main races for formula 500s and sprintcars and added speed to an already quicker-than-usual track.

American Kyle Hirst, out of position two, had blazed away at the start before the crash, and did likewise at the restart.

But he struggled in lapped traffic, particularly when attempting to pass Ricky Maiolo, and Queenslander James McFadden seized the lead with 19 laps to go.

McFadden took the win — the second time in two years he has won at Premier Speedway on New Year’s Day — ahead of Hirst.

South Australian Daniel Pestka drove into third, a career-best WSS result which came after he started from position seven.

But the post-race talk was about the crash, which Mollenoyux described as “just frustrating”.

He said experience had taught him what to expect but “it’s never a good feeling facing the wrong way having cars come at you”.

Mollenoyux said the crash damaged his front axle and “a few bolt-on parts”. He was surprised the chassis was still intact. “We won’t run again until the (Grand Annual Sprintcar) Classic, we weren’t planning to,” he said.

“We’ll probably pull it apart, go over it and make sure everything is good.

“We sustained a bit of damage tonight so we’ll pull the car down, make sure everything is right and hopefully we can bring a bit of what we did tonight.

“We timed well, I think we raced well, we had good car speed. 

“We’ll make sure everything is good and ready to go and see what we can do.”

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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