Driver sur­vives Chateau Imp­ney crash

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Two spec­ta­tors and a com­peti­tor were treated in hos­pi­tal af­ter a vin­tage hot rod left the course, charged a grass bank and rolled dur­ing the sec­ond prac­tice runs at the Chateau Imp­ney Hill Climb last Satur­day.

Driver Brett Pillinger, 54, lost con­trol of his 1922 Ford Model T Road­ster on the exit of Raven’s Crest, a left-hand bend one-third of the way up the 0.54-mile course. The car then som­er­saulted when it climbed the bank in front of the gothic-style chateau.

Pillinger, who was not strapped in to the 4.8-litre tube­frame-chas­sis ma­chine (the fastest un­blown flat­head-en­gined rod at the Vin­tage Hot Rod As­so­ci­a­tion’s Pen­dine Sands Races in re­cent years) was ejected as the car nose­dived into shrubs and took out the stone balustrade as he came down be­side it.

Pillinger was sta­bilised at the scene, be­tween the sta­tion­ary car and the wall, and runs were sus­pended for the re­main­der of the day.

The re­tired cab­i­net maker was trans­ferred by am­bu­lance to hos­pi­tal with shoul­der and rib in­juries. It’s un­der­stood that he was re­leased on Mon­day.

A spec­ta­tor in the VIP view­ing area, within the his­toric ho­tel com­plex’s or­na­men­tal gar­den, sus­tained a wrist in­jury when mov­ing clear of the in­ci­dent and was also treated in hos­pi­tal and re­leased. An­other by­stander was re­ported to have sub­se­quently checked in to A&E in­de­pen­dently for checks.

Or­gan­is­ers re­built the his­toric balustrade overnight and pro­tected it with large straw bales to the sat­is­fac­tion of the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion stew­ard.

The an­nual event con­tin­ued on Sun­day when the timed com­pe­ti­tion runs ran as pro­grammed. Lo­cal driver Mal­colm Thorne recorded the best time of the day, driv­ing his 1965 Lo­tus 35 to a stun­ning new course record of 38.85s. MAR­CUS PYE

Pillinger’s crash at Chateau Imp­ney in his 1922 Ford Model T Road­ster

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