Shane Weston was lucky to escape serious injury following a crash in his Top Alcohol dragster at Perth Motorplex last weekend.
Weston was testing his Darling Downs Drilling-supported dragster at a Fast Series event ahead of a planned trip to the east coast for Australia’s largest drag racing event, the Winternationals.
All appeared to be going well with strong performance early in the track until it all went wrong shortly before the end of the pass.
“The run was perfect with no tyre shake,” Weston recalled. “I remember short shifting into second gear and everything until the burst panels let go. Then I remember nothing until I saw the fireys at the end of the track.”
Burst panels are a relief system built into supercharged vehicles in order to prevent them blowing superchargers off should the engine backfire.
After the backfire the car went into the braking area without any parachutes released, still clocking a time of 5.57sec. despite not being under power. Tyre marks show that Weston was on the brake as he recovered from the blow before entering the sand trap at high speed and rolling the car.
Weston believes the force of the explosion knocked him out as his parachutes showed no signs of malfunction, only no activation.
“I remember when the car was in the air flipping over, they say your life goes by you and trust me it’s true,” he said.
Weston spent time in Royal Perth Hospital following the accident and said he is still extremely sore.
“I have whiplash and my spine is pinching a nerve which is causing numbness in my left leg and there is swelling and bruising around my spine,” he said.
While Weston’s focus is on getting himself fit first, he does want to get another car. The team runs on a tight budget and another chassis was not formerly on their immediate shopping list.
“We want to purchase a chassis, not sure how we are going to do it but I will be back in the seat as soon as the funds allow,” he said.
“But we will make sure it has the safety feature so that when the burst panels let go it automatically sets off the parachutes.
“Racing is our life, we do it as a family all my team are a family and we need to get back on the track as soon as possible.”