Future clouded after big crash
BRISBANE drag racer Debbie Reed continues to rest following her qualifying crash in her Allstar Batteries Top Alcohol dragster during round one of the 2011 New Year Series at Willowbank Raceway.
The incident occurred after the 51-year-old grandmother-to-be, who has over 30 years of drag racing experience, crossed the finish line during her first qualifying run in the Top Alcohol category.
Husband Steve Reed, also an experienced Top Alcohol racer, said while he has experienced all of the highs and lows of drag racing first hand, including a spectacular crash of his own at the same event in 2009, it was something completely different when it was happening to his wife and mother of his two children, who are also involved in the sport.
“I had made my pass before Debbie, so I was back in our pit area watching from the finish line. I saw she was in a bit of trouble, and thought the worse, so I jumped in the nearest car and headed to the braking area,” Steve Reed said.
“I’ve been involved in different instances myself but its probably harder when it’s a loved one.”
After crossing the finish line at about 360 kilometres per hour, the 3000 horsepower machine hit both walls then flipped several times before coming to rest in the braking area of the drag strip.
Debbie Reed was attended to immediately by on-track medical services.
“By looking at the footage, it seems like Debbie’s car has turned to the right, which she has corrected left and then contacted the retaining wall,” said Steve Reed.
“The front of the car broke off which is what it is designed to do, it careered over into the other lane and hit the wall before rolling to a stop in the braking area against the fence.”
Debbie Reed was treated at the scene before being transported by road to Ipswich Hospital.
Steve Reed said if it wasn’t for the safety features of their fast-paced machines, the news could have been much worse.
“Debbie is doing well and recovering, they have run a lot of tests and it seems like she will be okay, a little bit of bruising and a little bit of time and she will be okay,” said Steve Reed.
“It could have been a lot worse, it was an extremely high speed accident, but all of the safety requirements by ANDRA (Australian National Drag Racing Association) have made the car extremely safe.
“Everything did exactly as it was supposed to do.
“All of the safety harnesses, the helmets, the fire suits … every single thing that we had on that car did its job, her driver’s compartment was 100 percent intact and she was safe, apart from the bruising.
“Debbie and I haven’t spoken yet about whether she wants to continue driving but over the next couple of months, we will assess the situation and discuss things as a family, and find out where to from here.”