Last week’s Supercar Showdown elimination was an upset as big as they come - on par with Carlton beating Collingwood, or the Australian men’s relay team missing out on a medal at the London Olympic Games.
The Showdown’s first casualty, 20 year-old South Australian Adrian Cottrell. Cottrell, had been tipped by some as a top three contender in the competition, with fellow rookie Glen Wood going as far as to say he had him picked as a possibility to take the crown.
“When Rick and Todd said Adrian was going home I was straight away gob-smacked. I initially thought he would be one there at the end of the series, you know, really battling for the top position, and then he was sent home,” says Wood.
Cottrell was sent packing after a slow performance and major mistake on the Supercar Showdown track put him in last place. To make matters worse, mentor and judge, Todd Kelly was in the car beside him at the time.
“Adrian, man you can drive. But the reason you're here [up for elimination] is because of a massive difference in your lap times, and you managed to scare the hell out of me,” Todd Kelly said in a very tense Supercar Showdown elimination room last Monday night.
Adrian’s shock at being the first eliminated on 2012’s Supercar Showdown was obvious the moment his name was called.
“I’m just devastated that the opportunity slipped by my fingers really, yeah that’s it,“ says Adrian.
With the first elimination down and one rookie leaving Britz Base Camp for good, the reality of the competition is finally sinking in. Nine rookies remain in contention for the biggest prize in motorsport, a spot racing at the 2012 Bathurst 1000.
The contestants may be sad to see Adrian go, but they are not shedding any tears.
“After seeing Adrian eliminated last week, you know he was a big threat to me, so now it makes the competition a little bit easier,” says rival contestant Ryal Harris.
Shannons Supercar Showdown airs on Mondays at 6.30pm on 7Mate, and is jointly produced by WTFN and The Media Mix.