VIDEO – Dicing Datsuns

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Gary Halpin was on the verge of achieving his first seven second pass last Friday night at Sydney Dragway when it all went to hell for the little Datsun coupe.

Halpin has been pushing for the seven second zone in his 2JZ powered pocket rocket coupe for a while now and after bagging a 8.008 run earlier in the night, he was confident the next run would be the run to do it.

Racing mate Santo Di Pietro in his Datto Ute things would go awry from the start for Halpin and it just got worse from then on, but we will let Halpin pick up the story.

“Well being the last run of night I was keen to run Santo in his Datto ute, we lined up and I jokingly looked over before we went into burnout box and pointed at him to say I’m gonna smash you,” laughed Halpin.

“We did our burnouts and lined up, not sure if I forgot to hit transbrake or it just rolled the beams, so I just floored it. Being a turbo car it took off like my Ranger as it had no boost, by the time the boost hit Santo was on my rear quarter, I picked up speed and was on my way to a shit pass as the ET wouldn’t be good.

“After half track I’m not sure what happened, I was going straight then it just hooked left into his lane then before I could slow down it went right. I was a passenger from then on and was hoping I just didn’t hit Santo, then I seen the wall coming so I braced myself and waited for the impact.

“I must thank all Sydney Dragway staff for their prompt action, they were in the car before I knew it and I can’t thank them enough. I’m sorry to the other drivers, as they cancelled the rest of the night because of the crash.

“I am doing ok, I have a really sore tail bone but it will be ok, the car itself held together good and can be fixed. We will be back better and faster then ever, so can’t wait. Thanks to everyone for their support it was so appreciated.

Autopsy of the coupe revealed that the oil filter blew apart dumping oil under the tyres, the engine itself was fine and still started following the wreck.

Counting his blessings was Di Pietro in the other lane, not only did he narrowly miss being collected by the out of control Datsun, he was able to keep his ute under control while driving through the oil slick and being coated with oil spray at the same time. Di Pietro said it was fortunate he lifted off the brake in time not too skid out in the oil as his in-car video graphically demonstrates the situation.

Halpin is looking for a Datsun front end to replace the damaged one, so if any one has one or know of one, please contact Gary.


Videos courtesy of Fast Performance Videos, John Grech and Santo Di Pietro



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