Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Anderson, Causewell tangle at Dover

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM

When the Nissan R35 pace car roared off at few minutes before 5 p.m. in the final race of the Easter Monday race meet at Dover Raceway, there was high anticipation about cars wilting under pressure, spills and thrills. But those expectations fell short of the drama that unfolded during lap three of the eight-lap event.

David Summerbell was sitting royally at the front, laying down a blistering pace with daylight between the two other Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution cars running second and third. But in the middle of the field a ding-dong battle royal was playing out between Heath Causwell in an Impreza and AndrÈ Anderson pushing his hand-built Mitsubishi Mivec to the limit.

No man would give any quarter; the intensity of the rivalry had been evident from the first lap, with much bumping and boring between the two, especially as they gunned for turn seven before the JAA downhill sprint. Both drove like men possessed as they locked horns for the rest of lap one and all of lap two.

Lap three saw the race really heating up, with Summerbell opening more daylight and there was a mighty roar for man and machine. Out of corner two, down the Grandstand Straight and down to corner three it was pedal to the metal. They rounded Pinky's Bluff for corner four, neither Anderson nor Causwell giving an inch. Anderson pushed hard on the inside as Causwell opened up to negotiate the hairpin turn at corner five. Both men were running out of real estate.

Then it happened. Time went into slow motion as both cars made contact, with Anderson swerving left before rolling over. The tyre barrier on the left was thoroughly rearranged. Crumpled metal and battered pride replaced once-gleaming cars.

Peter 'Zoom Zoom' Rae can thank his lucky stars as he slipped though the gap left by Anderson, ending up on the grass near turn number five. Neither Causwell nor Anderson seemed seriously hurt, but tempers flared and team supporters squared off as race officials and security personnel intervened, preventing more than the spilled gasolene from igniting.