RACE OF HIS LIFE

TASSIE SPORT’S NEXT BIG THING IS STUCK IN THE PITS

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - TRACY RENKIN

THE Tas­ma­nian mo­tor­sport ace touted as the next Daniel Ric­cia­rdo is on the brink of his ca­reer be­ing cut bru­tally short.

Nine weeks on from a hor­ror For­mula 3 crash in the Ital­ian Grand Prix, Alex Peroni is strug­gling to find the cash to get him rac­ing again next sea­son.

Peroni’s fa­ther Piero said the 19-year-old’s ca­reer “could well be over” if they can’t raise $1.5 mil­lion by the end of the year: “Our fam­ily is con­stantly on the precipice.”

TAS­MA­NIA’S For­mula 1 hope­ful Alex Peroni’s ca­reer is on the brink of be­ing cut short.

Nine weeks on from a hor­ror crash, Peroni’s Ho­bart fam­ily say they’re strug­gling to find the fund­ing to pay for the dam­age to the car and the $1.5 mil­lion for Alex to race again next sea­son.

The 19-year-old’s fa­ther Piero said Alex’s ca­reer was at its most crit­i­cal cross­roads.

“If we can’t find the right fund­ing for him next year, I think Alex’s Eu­ro­pean ca­reer could well be over,” Mr Peroni said.

“If we had money right now, we would be sit­ting at the ta­ble and about to sign a con­tract with a team.

“We are sit­ting here in Tas­ma­nia and we don’t have the full funds.”

Alex’s dra­matic air­borne crash dur­ing the For­mula 3 race at the Ital­ian Grand Prix made head­lines around the world and sent shock­waves through a sport that was reel­ing from the death a week be­fore of For­mula 2 driver An­thoine Hu­bert.

What saved Alex’s life was a de­vice called a halo — a me­tal bar in­stalled above the driver’s head — that was only made manda­tory a year ago.

Alex said he only has one mem­ory from af­ter the crash: a sin­gle frame of some trees, then noth­ing.

He frac­tured his ver­te­bra. It was his first se­ri­ous in­jury since he started rac­ing go karts in Ho­bart at the age of seven.

He is still wear­ing a neck brace, but is hope­ful he might be able to start train­ing again by mid De­cem­ber ahead of the new sea­son’s tri­als start­ing in Eu­rope in Feb­ru­ary.

First, though, his fam­ily need to find the money.

“Peo­ple need to know that our fam­ily is con­stantly on the precipice,” Piero said.

“We are con­stantly about to slip over.”

But Alex is con­fi­dent it will all work out.

“I’m used to do­ing it tough in mo­tor­sports,” he said. “Be­ing in Tas­ma­nia I’ve al­ways been be­hind the eight­ball.”

A fundrais­ing din­ner will be held next Fri­day at Wrest Point. De­tails at alex-peroni.com

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