Shelsley Shunts

As I am sure everyone who is reading this is aware by now, as well as some cracking class action and a couple of very exciting Top 12 Run Offs, the big news at Shelsley Walsh over the weekend involved a couple of very big shunts involving two of the single-seater runners.

Wallace Menzies DJ Firestorm

Wallace Menzies after his Run Off win at Gurston.

 

The two incidents, which occurred during the qualifying runs for the Run Offs, involved DJ Racecars drivers Wallace Menzies and Ash Mason.

The first of the two offs was during the opening qualifying runs when 2-litre class DJ Firehawk driver Ash Mason got it slightly wrong at Kennel Bend, clipped the Recticel barrier on the outside of the corner before leaving the ground and flat-spinning a couple of times prior to landing between Kennel and Crossing. The ever hard-working marshals were on the scene in seconds and fortunately Ash was perfectly ok. The supercharged Firehawk shed all of its dangly-bits as it rotated, but the unique spaceframe chassis is completely untouched and will be back in action soon.

Ash Mason DJ Firehawk

Ash Mason’s DJ Firehawk in the Loton Park paddock.

 

A couple of members of the mainstream media have been getting very excited about the second big incident of the day, and it is easy to see why as it was a very spectacular off. Top Championship contender Wallace Menzies was on his second qually run and trying hard in the ferrocious V8 engined DJ Firestorm. The Scotsman appeared to leave the course after the kink, whilst travelling at well over 120mph, before being launched by the inside earth bank between the Kink and Bottom Ess. The launch threw the car into a series of cartwheels before slamming into the undergrowth on the inside of Bottom Ess. There was a long delay while the orange angels carefully extracted Wallace from the car. The popular Scot was taken to hospital by local Ambulance and was released early on Monday morning with a cracked cheek bone and cuts & bruises.

Again, the DJ tub (carbon monocoque this time of course) proved that it a very solid bit of kit. We spoke to DJ boss Del Quigley yesterday and he confirmed that the tub is, barring a couple of paint chips, completely undamaged and that the car could have been ready to compete at Loton Park this weekend if necessary. The crew have scratched their Loton entry in order to get completely ready for Doune in a few weeks time, also due to swelling Wallace would probably struggle to get a crash helmet on this weekend.

These unfortunate incidents will undoubtedly highlight safety on the hills, we must look at these incidents once the dust has settled and make sensible decisions about what is and is not required and not over-react. One thing is certain though, top-line hillclimb chassis are very, very strong bits of kit.

We send our best to Wallace for his recovery, and to DJ and Ash for their re-builds.

Comments

  1. Mark McTavish says:

    Good strong cars are a must with that level of performance. I’m sure everyone is relieved that it held together so well.

  2. Lewis duncan says:

    I have not raced there myself but from videos it seems like these land scraping verges are the reason why people have crashes if they go off as they launch the car in the air . The safety of the track should be greatly considered compaired to other hillclimb tracks this is not as safe as others ,owners/ organisers should put metal barriers up and artificial crash pads it’s worked for the majority of big tracks such as doune and Prescott why should shelsey be treated differently when it comes to health and safety?

    • mike tregoning says:

      If Wallace had landed astride an armco barrier I think almost certainly he would have died on the spot, a squared up banking as has been constructed around the crossing area of the track would I think provide a safer solution.

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