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Kirchhoefer explains wild Bathurst rollover

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Feb 1, 2020, 6:16 AM

Marvin Kirchhoefer has detailed his wild rollover during qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hour.

The German was one of four drivers involved in serious crashes during the session, his R-Motorsport Aston Martin tipped into a frightening rollover after he tagged the wall at the Grate.

He was uninjured in the crash, however the car is not expected to take any further part in the weekend.

Reflecting on the wild ride, Kirchhoefer said he suspects something broke with the initial glance of the wall, which then led to more serious contact and the rollover itself.

However he's unlikely to be studying the footage in detail any time soon, Kirchhoefer admitting that an early attempt to watch the replay proved too much.

"Everything was going alright and when I came down the Grate I touched the outside wall," he said.

"I’m not sure if it broke the suspension or blew off the rear tyre, but I couldn’t control the car anymore, I was just a passenger.

"It’s quite impressive what kind of safety this car provided. I have seen a bit of the footage but refused to continue.

"I’m obviously glad that nothing serious happened to me, but on the other side I’m very, very sorry for the whole team."

Kirchhoefer added that the experience was worsened by a door coming off in the impact, which meant he could see the top of the wall as he slid along it.

"I was honestly just holding my head in the car and hoping for it to stop," he said.

"The worst part was I think I landed on the wall and it ripped off the door on my passenger side, so I could see it was going quite bad.

"I was just hoping for it to stop and that no one would collect me in that place, because we’ve seen that before as well.

"It was quite a big one, by far the biggest one I’ve had."

The first driver on the scene was Renger van der Zande, who stopped his Honda to check on Kirchhoefer.

"Thanks to Renger for stopping. We’ve seen great sportsmanship this weekend when accidents happened," said Kirchhoefer.

"He initially thought I was unconscious because I had my head down, but it was basically me just hoping there was not another impact."

While other drivers referenced difficult track conditions caused by the 39-degree heat, Kirchhoefer doesn't feel that played a role in any of the qualifying crashes.

"I wouldn’t blame it on any weather or track conditions," he said.

"If there was oil down that’d be an excuse, but I think today it was hard to get into a rhythm because all the sessions were interrupted by red flags. But it’s not an excuse.

"Everyone, I think, is just pushing to the max and it’s one of the tracks where there’s no place for mistakes. That’s what happened to me, even if it was a very small one, it was a very major one."

Dean Canto was another driver involved in the melee of crashes, his Lamborghini ending up on top of the tyre wall at Skyline after getting airborne.

Remarkably, he's confident the Trofeo Motorsport team will be able to repair the car before tomorrow's race.

“[I'm] a little bit sore in the upper back… I’ll probably be a bit sorer tomorrow,” he said.

“I think that landing was airborne and came down on all fours, [it] was quite hard but thankfully I’m still here and the car actually doesn’t look too bad.

“I just feel bad that the boys have got a bit of work to do, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get the car back out there.”

Bathurst 12 Hour: Qualifying ends with third big crash

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About this article

Series Endurance
Event Bathurst 12 Hour
Author Andrew van Leeuwen