Cameron Hill and his small family team are facing an uphill battle to continue their campaign in the 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup after Hill was involved in a disastrous start-line crash in the opening race of the weekend at the Australian Grand Prix on Thursday.
Following a promising turn of speed in practice and qualifying, Hill stalled his Southern Star Truck Centre/Anytime Fitness Porsche GT3 Cup car on the start line and was struck from the rear by Anthony Gilbertson.
Hill subsequently spent time in the circuit medical centre for precautionary scans.
On Friday afternoon, he was readmitted to hospital for further scans on a haematoma that developed on his lower back, before being discharged on Saturday, relieved to have escaped serious injury.
The impact, which Hill described as “the hardest hit I’ve ever had in a race car,” caused serious damage to the rear of his Porsche 911.
“I didn’t have quite enough throttle when I released the clutch, and the engine died,” Hill said.
“I was just about to restart it when Anthony hit me from behind – it certainly wasn’t his fault, as his view was obscured by the other cars.
“The on-board data system showed my car accelerated immediately to 40km/h, which indicates how big a crash it was.”
For the tight-knit Canberra-based team, which is operating on a shoestring budget, the crash presents a significant setback.
“We assessed the damage to the car at the track, and it will require a re-shell – basically, it’s a write-off,” Hill said.
“This year was always going to be a tough one in terms of funding to get through the season, but now it becomes even more difficult.
“It’s quite sickening to think that such a small mistake could have such disastrous consequences, but we’re already working hard to make sure we bounce back.
“The next Carrera Cup round at Phillip Island is only four weeks away, so it will be cutting it very fine to be able to race there, but we need to get back on track so we can keep learning about these cars and pushing forward.
“The most disappointing aspect of the weekend is that our pace was very encouraging, and we were significantly closer to the front-runners than in the opening round at Adelaide. I’m eager to build on our learning and achievements from this weekend and determined to be a genuine challenger for race wins,” Hill concluded.