On Easter Saturday I crashed at Wakefield. It was one of those days when you just can’t get a win. First session my exhaust fell off, then the handbrake got stuck on and between that and the accident I managed to squeeze in 4 or 5 shaky laps before running wide in 3rd, placing a wheel on the ripple strip and tearing it clean off the hub as you can see in the video below. After grinding to an unceremonious halt to the soundtrack of chassis and tarmac I was overtaken by my Panasport, which proceeded to roll a hundred or so meters into the distance.
The majority of the damage was caused by the renegade rim, which while ejecting itself from the passenger side rear hub became lodged between the surface of the track and my exhaust, and after sliding for a few moments in this position it then proceeded to catch an edge, spring violently upright and in doing so, launch the rear of the car a meter or so into the air. Shit came back down super hard. The fuel tank was pushed up through the boot floor, the whole wheel arch shifted, heaps of stuff is bent, it’s a mess. My mess.
At first I didn’t really care, just pour out a little liquor and keep the good times rolling. This is what I bought a thrashed out Nissan for in the first place right? But once the adrenalin wore off and I woke up the next morning the magnitude of the situation sank in. Fast.
It’s easy to say that you don’t care about your car, zip tie the bumpers and bang the limiter all day. Shit half the kids you see at the track act like it’s cool to have your ride all banged up in the name of skids, and before this I thought I was one of them. But crouching next to the bent and cracked shape of my three-wheeled 180 beached on the trailer the morning after the crash was a sobering moment. The car was so close to death, so much in on, under and around it was bent. To my eyes it didn’t look recoverable. Saying you don’t care about a car and laughing about dents and dings as they accumulate at the track is one thing, but you can’t spend hours on the tools, nights in the shed and months broke as hell in the name of bettering something without developing some sort of attachment to it. I thought I had accepted that the danger of writing the car off comes with the territory of drifting. But hell, I didn’t realize how real it might feel.
The car spent a week stranded on the trailer in yard amongst the pouring rain, its future in question and its crippled figure making me feel a traitor every time I caught a glimpse, but tonight at last it sleeps safe and dry on stands under cover. The road to recovery has begun and it’s time for me to get to work. I did this to it, and (with a little help from the crew) it’s my responsibility to fix it.
The good news is that the chassis rails are straight, and I’m no panel beater but as far as I understand pretty much everything else can be fixed around that. I’m gonna source and brace the hell out of a new sub frame, replace the bashed tank with a cell and straighten out everything in between to bring it back even better than before. Shit, after what I’ve put the car through it’s the least I can do. Plus I’m really hoping to make it to Adelaide Matsuri in July.. actually a few of us are and that’s another story.
In the meantime just enjoy the vid. And be nice to your mother.