Chris van der Drift is in a stable condition in a Dartford hospital after suffering a huge accident in the second Superleague Formula race at Brands Hatch on Sunday. The New Zealander was attempting to pass Julien Jousse for fifth place along...
Chris van der Drift is in a stable condition in a Dartford hospital after suffering a huge accident in the second Superleague Formula race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
The New Zealander was attempting to pass Julien Jousse for fifth place along the fast Pilgrim's Drop section of the Kent circuit when his front left wheel clipped the AS Roma car's right rear, sending him skywards, then sideways into the parapet of a bridge.
The Olympiacos car span through the air having broken in half, as it is designed to do, with Chris and the tub detaching from the rear assembly of engine and gearbox, before landing half-way down the straight.
Despite the severity of both impacts, van der Drift was conscious throughout the accident and incredibly climbed unaided from the wreckage before emergency teams could assess his injuries.
It's understood that the 24-year-old suffered a broken right ankle which will be operated on today, broken right little finger and a severely grazed finger on the left hand which will require plastic surgery. Moreover he has a fractured shoulder blade and ribs.
"He was quite okay even though it was a horrible crash," said van der Drift's manager Ruth Gandorfer. "We were talking to him at the hospital and his first question was whether it was on video because he wanted to see it! He remembered everything and didn't black out. He also wanted to climb out of the car on his own."
Superleague Formula's Elan-built chassis was designed and tested to withstand the FIA's toughest crash tests. That the survival cell remained in one piece after such a violent impact and unusual accident is testament to the car's strength and safety.
"I remain amazed that he survived it," said the championship's Competitions Director Robin Webb. "This was a huge accident. I inspected the bridge that he hit afterwards and even the metal at the top has been bent. All the car's safety systems and crash tested equipment worked perfectly. The Brands Hatch medical staff, both immediately at the scene and then in the medical centre, were all fantastic so a big thank you to everyone who helped Chris.
"I was able to spend some time with Chris and his family last night. We had some laughs and he was in good spirits."
Everyone at Superleague Formula would like to wish Chris a full and speedy recovery.