Driver survives Chateau Impney crash
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