Drag racing girl ‘crit­i­cal’

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - PETER LAW TONY BARRASS

DRAG racing fa­nat­ics have de­fended their high-oc­tane sport af­ter an eight-year-old girl was crit­i­cally in­jured when the ma­chine she was driv­ing crashed at the Perth Mo­tor­plex at Kwinana.

It is be­lieved the girl, whose name has not been re­leased, lost con­trol of the drag­ster just be­fore 2pm yes­ter­day and slammed into a wall near an exit gate.

The im­pact was so great she had to be re­vived at the crash scene by paramedics who were on duty at the event.

An am­bu­lance spokesman said she was taken to Rock­ing­ham Hospi­tal be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Princess Mar­garet Hospi­tal late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

It is be­lieved the girl was at­tempt­ing to do a solo drive, which is re­quired for young drag rac­ers want­ing to be li­censed and then com­pete in fu­ture events.

VenuesWest con­firmed that no other ve­hi­cles were in­volved and that it was help­ing WA Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent.

The girl comes from a drag racing fam­ily and their Face­book page has nu­mer­ous videos and posts of the young girl in and around drag cars.

One video shows the girl prac­tis­ing her drag starts out of the fam­ily’s garage un­der the watch­ful eye of her fa­ther.

On its Face­book page, Perth Mo­tor­plex said po­lice at­tended and on their ad­vice racing was sus­pended.

Mike Sprlyan, of Ju­nior Drag­ster Aus­tralia, said it was not un­usual for an eight-yearold to get be­hind the wheel.

He said com­peti­tors in ju­nior drag racing ranged in age from 8 to 17 and were placed in three classes de­pend­ing on ex­pe­ri­ence.

The be­gin­ners drive what are known as “tin pots” that can reach top speeds of 4050km/h, he said.

He said the in­jured girl would have only driven “half track” as she was only par­tic­i­pat­ing in a solo pass to ob­tain her li­cence. It’s not known if this was the first time she had driven at Mo­tor­plex.

Mo­tor­plex re­opened the track and racing re­sumed just af­ter 5pm.

A state­ment is­sued by the venue said po­lice had “com­pleted their in­ves­ti­ga­tions”.

“We thank all pa­trons and par­tic­i­pants for their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing. Our thoughts are with the driver and fam­ily,” the state­ment said.

Res­cue: A tow truck with the the race car of the eight-year-old driver who in­jured at the Kwinana Mo­tor­plex. Pic­ture: Trevor Col­lens

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.