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Australian Top Doorslammer Champion Kelvin Lyle is a lucky man.

On a weekend where he should have been celebrating with a cold beer (and maybe a quick sip of title champagne) with his crew and his friends Kelv’ was instead rushed to hospital in the very early hours of Sunday morning (late Saturday night) and immediately placed in intensive care after a frightening wreck in the A-Final of the final round of the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship at Darwin Hidden’s Valley Drag Strip.

The crash crew and emergency services had earlier been forced to cut him from the wreck of his car.

Kelvin has miraculously escaped significant injuries with just four broken ribs, some bruising and abrasions but after several days in hospital he’s already alert and well enough to lament ‘not having a car ready for The Bend for the new Championship opener’.

The Australian drag racing community held its collective breath on Saturday night when Lyle’s once pristine 67’ Mustang struck the right side lane wall five seconds into the A-Final heavily sending the Busselton hard charger down the track with significant damage and seemingly no decrease in speed.

The chutes did not deploy and Kelvin hurtled to the deep end where a further huge impact at the end brought the Mustang to a brutal stop.

Kelv’s team are carefully analysing the crash footage and data from it as they look to understand what happened.

“We’re starting to piece together the elements in the impact and what was going on for Kelvin at the time,” says crew member Darren White. “Obviously with the data we can access these days there is so much we can learn from what happened. What we don’t want is for people to speculate. We are working with the authorities so we can understand and learn from it all. What we do know is that Kelvin had the best safety equipment and components that money could buy in that car in every sense and all of that combined did their job. It’s a testament to that car that Kelv’ has been able to survive a 250mph plus impact.”

Lyle is naturally grateful for the construction of the car but also for the outpouring of concern and well-wishers from the industry.

“Kelvin’s been overwhelmed by the amount of people concerned for his wellbeing. As you know he’s a very quiet and private person so this kind of thing isn’t something he’s used to or comfortable with but he’s very grateful,” says White.

It’s hoped that in the next 24-48hrs Kelvin will be released from Intensive Care and begin the build-up to leaving hospital and flying home to WA.

That in itself, considering the severity of the crash on Saturday, is a remarkable story.

Kelvin’s memory is starting to piece together many different moments from the day and night itself – something that has come as a relief to medical staff and friends alike.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, when all is said and done, Kelvin Lyle is a little battered and bruised but more so disappointed that it seems unlikely he’ll be at the opening round of the 2023/2024 Australian Top Doorslammer Championship at the historic grand opening of The Bend facility in Tailem Bend in October.

Racecar drivers hey…

Whilst his pride and joy is completely destroyed the reaction from family, crew, friends and fan is united.

They’re all just grateful that Kelvin Lyle is OK and that he’s heading home soon.

– Kelvin Lyle Racing

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