Debbie Reed in action at Willowbank Raceway in a previous drag meeting.
Debbie Reed in action at Willowbank Raceway in a previous drag meeting.

Drag racer flips at over 300kmh

A DRAG racer is in a stable condition in Ipswich Hospital after surviving a crash at more than 300kmh at Ipswich’s Willowbank Raceway on Sunday night.

Debbie Reed, a 51-year-old driver with decades of racing experience, was injured when her car flipped several times after crossing the finish line.

Mrs Reed, from Brendale in Brisbane’s north, was treated on the scene by raceway medical staff when the incident occurred about 6pm.

She is currently in a stable condition, according to her husband Steve Reed, who races in the same Top Alcohol category as his wife.

“Debbie is remaining under observation after the numerous tests carried out overnight by the staff at Ipswich Hospital returned clear results,” Mr Reed said in a statement yesterday.

“All tests to this point indicate that she has not suffered head injuries, contrary to other reports.

“She will continue to undergo tests, but overall is recovering well.”

The crash occurred following Mrs Reed’s first qualifying pass in the Top Alcohol ANDRA Pro Series category, where she set a time of 5.980 seconds travelling at about 360kmh.

After crossing the finish line, her Top Alcohol dragster came into contact with the barrier wall of her lane.

The vehicle then continued across the track into the opposite barrier before it flipped over several times.

Willowbank Raceway managing director Steve Bettes said accidents happened in all forms of motor sport, but safety was made a top priority.

Mr Bettes said Mrs Reed’s accident was believed to have been caused by leaking fluid inside the vehicle, which impacted the car’s brakes.

He said a more serious accident was prevented by the safety precautions taken by the track, the race team and by Mrs Reed in the form of protective equipment.

“The wonderful thing with this sport is the safety standards taken by the track and the sport is very high,” Mr Bettes said.

“The cars and driver safety features they wear are built for these kinds of accidents.”

It was the first night of the raceway’s New Year Series, which continued yesterday, with both days featuring Top Fuel and Top Alcohol vehicles.

The second round of the New Year Series kicks off on January 14 and 15.

Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility and hosts one of the largest drag racing events outside the USA, the Winternationals, which this year will be run over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.

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