Rally ace crashes and burns

THE damage inflicted on Jack Monkhouse’s Nissan Silvia in a huge shunt – and one of the highest impacts in recent rallying history – is probably not going to buff out.

In fact the Silvia is a pile of expensive scrap metal after a lucky escape by Monkhouse and co-driver Darren Masters in a high-speed moment during Rally South Australia.

The scary crash came when the Silvia, motoring swiftly in sixth gear, jumped over a crest and clipped a rock on landing. Monkhouse said the Silvia hit the rock, jumped in the air and landed on its side before slamming into a tree, still cranked at a huge angle.

“The passenger’s headlight is actually up six foot in the tree,”  he reported. 

The Silvia rolled and spun and cannoned backwards into a stout gum tree at a “massive rate of knots”. Fuel was everywhere, and the Silvia caught fire and burned to the ground.

“It’s a bit of a disappointing end, but very thankful that we’re both perfectly fine,” said Monkhouse, who miraculously emerged with only a stiff neck and a slight burn to his ankle, while co-driver Masters suffered a headache after a suspected minor concussion.

Monkhouse praised the integrity of the car’s Bond Roll Bars cage and Velo seats.

“The impact into the tree… we basically went from 170km/h to zero in about 10 metres. The car went in backwards and that’s probably the weakest point of the car. It’s just sheet metal; there’s no engine to stop anything. I reckon we shortened the car by about two metres, and yet the strength of the car meant we could still open the doors as soon as it came to a stop.”

The frustrating bit for Monkhouse was that he wasn’t in the rally to win, but just to enjoy it.

“The idea was to do a couple of rallies in the Silvia and then sell it for a house deposit. So that’s not going to happen now. It’s just a monetary thing; a car’s a car.”

Photo (main) courtesy of Ryan Schembri

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