Wayne Jones is facing a long recovery following a testing accident several weeks ago with his blown alcohol dragster at Willowbank Raceway. Drag News caught up with the Queensland driver.
Jones had already run a skating 6.07 pass earlier in the night and was looking to break back in to the five second zone when the dragster stepped out of the groove, got loose, changed lanes and crashed heavily into the concrete wall.
Reports from the track said Jones climbed out of the wreck but after a hospital checkup the seriousness of his injuries were revealed.
“The doctors tell me I have some severe fractures in my spine, one at the top of my neck, one at the base of my ribs and then one between T12 and L5, as well as a fractured coccyx,” Jones said.
“I am resting at home now but it will be some months before I will be up and about, we just have to see how it goes.”
Jones praised his own WeldWell Engineering-built dragster.
“The car is written off so we will be looking to build a new car. While it was severely damaged after hitting the wall, the blessing is that the car did exactly what it was supposed to do in a situation like this, the cockpit was completely intact and there wasn’t one broken weld on the car,” he said.
Back in the nineties, Jones rotated the earth with his automatic equipped dragster and the team still plan on reclaiming that world record.
“We broke the world record for an automatic vehicle back in 1996 with a 5.97 second pass and since then some have said they have eclipsed it but we aren’t so sure of that, certainly when it comes to backing it up we aren’t so sure about their success,” he said.
“We have a big journey ahead, but for us and our sponsors WeldWell Engineering and Bob Grant Automatics it is all about lowering that world record so we have plenty of motivation to keep going.:
Jones was actually testing the car for his daughter.
“My daughter Terri-Ann – who will be a fourth-generation racer when she gets her licence – is looking to drive the car, so I was out at Willowbank doing some testing to make sure we had rectified an issue with tyre shake we had been dealing with since putting some new parts on, and the first pass off the trailer we ran a 6.07 second pass – so we are definitely knocking on the door,” he said.
“It was the first crash out of 30 years of racing, it isn’t what you want but we will just pick ourselves up and build a new car and get back to it for us, for our family, for WeldWell Engineering and for Bob Grant Automatics.”
Images by Blacktrack.com.au
Video by Jesse Ferguson