Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder saw a couple unfortunate accidents, and a few have enquired on the condition of the injured racers.
The most serious of these accidents were Peter Xiberras in Top Fuel and Terry Jackson in Competition Bike, with both racers requiring hospital stays.
Xiberras was injured when his Top Fuel dragster impacted the wall heavily on the underside, causing some spinal fractures. Xiberras ended up requiring spinal surgery after it was decided by doctors as the best course of action for his recovery. The procedure was successful and on May 14 he was released from hospital to begin his recovery back to full health and we hope to see him behind the wheel of the Premiair Top Fuel Dragster in the near future.
The Premiair Racing team have expressed their gratitude towards all the well wishes via their Facebook page.
"He continues to improve each day and is looking forward to getting back onto his feet. In the meantime he is busy reading all the messages of support that have been flooding in. Thank you to everyone who has rallied around Peter, his family and the race team. Your well wishes are most appreciated," their statement read.
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The other serious incident involved Terry Jackson who had a finishline accident aboard Mick Donohue's Competition Bike. Jackson was caught underneath the bike as it slid across the track. Though he was able to stand up immediately after the accident, it caused severe grazing and a broken ankle which needed skin grafts and surgery respectively.
Jackson has just provided a message on his condition and is fortunately on the path to a full recovery.
"As you are all aware on the 4th of May at Sydney Dragway, I had a crash that unfortunately resulted in me sliding across into the left lane in front of Chris Collin, who did a great job of missing me. Chris was off his bike and back to check on me within seconds - thanks mate," said Jackson.
"My injuries thankfully weren’t too serious, although painful. A broken ankle that required surgery to plate it back together, my right thigh and hip were badly grazed, both requiring skin grafts that were taken from my left thigh. I spent a total of ten days in the hospital, with visits back as an outpatient almost every day since."
"The bike surprisingly was mostly fine requiring a foot peg, exhaust dump pipe, and a brake lever and some scratches to the bodywork. I would like to thank everyone for the phone calls, texts and visits. I’m humbled by the offers of help over the last few weeks. Mick Donahue has gone above and beyond staying in Sydney, running my wife to and from the hospital, making sure I get to my daily appointments. Thanks mate.
"The bike is getting a well deserved birthday with plenty of new bits being made to shed some weight. Race safe this weekend people - I will be watching. See you all in the staging lanes soon."
Phil Howard had a tumble deep into the braking area in Pro Stock Motorcycle, as we reported previously, Howard was unharmed in the fall which was nothing - for Phil - compared to that famous exit he made on a Top Fuel Bike all those years ago at Calder Park.
Finally veteran Ben Gatt had a heavy crash in his famous XA coupe when the engine let go. Gatt became just a passenger when the Falcon went head-on into the wall. Apart from a small fire which made things a little warm inside the XA, Gatt climbed out unharmed and returned to the track the next day feeling no effects from the crash. He thanked the Simpson Hybrid neck brace for doing its job. The car is not as badly damaged as first thought, and is already stripped and cut back to the front engine plate. It needed new front strut inserts and steering rack plus an engine rebuild. Work is being done by Jeremy and Jarred Boskovich along with Alan Odgers.
Drag News Magazine wishes all racers the best of health in their continued recovery.