Amanda Gambacorto dies when her three-quarter midget crashes.
A student at the Green Flag Driving Experience, which advertises that it “deals in adrenalin,” was killed Saturday when her three-quarter midget race car crashed at Wall Stadium Speedway, a one-third-mile paved oval in New Jersey.
Amanda Gambacorto, 21, was pronounced dead at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center at 1:20 p.m. ET, less than one hour after the crash, according to the New Jersey State Police.
The Green Flag Driving Experience offers instruction to beginning racers in either three-quarter midgets – which, with 600cc motorcycle-based engines, are less powerful than larger midgets – on in Legends cars or full-sized modifieds. One of the photos accompanying this story is of a winged TQ midget, but it is not one of the school cars.
Apparently Gambacorto, a college student at State University of New York at Stony Brook, lost control of her car and struck the wall. The Green Flag Driving Experience says that it supplies fire suits and helmets to its students, but the company web site does not mention head and neck restraints. In a photo gallery of the August 9 school session, it does appear that foam collars are available for student use. It is not known at present what sort of injuries Gambacorto suffered. A photo taken at the scene shows a yellow TQ midget that appears to have hit, and badly bent, the double Armco steel barrier outside the racing surface.
The cars “used in the Green Flag Driving Experience are actual team cars built for and raced in the auto racing series. You drive them just as they are raced- fully equipped with the latest performance and safety equipment,” says the company web site.
Every moment on video?
Five-lap sessions in a TQ midget are listed for $55, and for $199.99, you get 15 laps. “After an introduction and vehicle orientation covering safety and operational issues you will suit-up, climb in and take control of your own car! One of our experienced racing staff will demonstrate driving techniques as you follow out of the pit area, past the grandstands and into turn one. Then, you pour it on! Feel the thrill as the flag drops and you accelerate to a heart racing pace around our high banked track at the wheel of your very own race car! And we'll capture every moment of your drive on video for you.” The car, the site says, can reach "in excess of 90 mph.”
Wall Stadium Speedway had races scheduled for Saturday night, including a 25-lap TQ midget race, but the speedway web site posted that, “With heavy hearts, we have cancelled tonight’s racing events.” Apparently a monster truck show and demolition derby scheduled for August 17 is still on.