WPS/WOW members quick to stop fire
Members of Australian V8 Supercar team, WPS/WOW Racing have been praised for their immediate actions which helped avoid serious injury to one of their crew at Queensland Raceway today.
A clear-burning methanol fire ignited shortly after the team had topped-up an open-wheel Champ Car with fuel which was to be used in a demonstration run at the Ipswich circuit by Team Australia star Will Power.
The demonstration was to be a part of a week-long promotion of this year’s Lexmark Indy 300 to be held on the Gold Coast from October 18-21, involving Power and English driver Justin Wilson.
WPS/WOW Racing is owned by Queensland businessman Craig Gore and is the “sister” team to the US-based Team Australia Champ Car outfit, which is co-owned by Gore and Derrick Walker.
The actual car is a 10 year-old Reynard which is personally owned by Gore and presented in Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards colors for promotional purposes in Australia.
WPS/WOW Racing’s chief engine technician Craig Hasted received partial thickness burns to his right forearm and forehead before being doused in water by his teammates.
They continued to irrigate Hasted’s burns and assisted on-track paramedic, Glenn Dudley, who was quickly on the scene and who later praised the team members for their efforts.
Hasted was transported to Ipswich General Hospital, where he was released a couple of hours ago.
“The race team members did an awesome job,” said Dudley.
“The team worked as exactly that – a team, and they can be proud of the way they handled the incident.
“The first thing to do in any situation like this is to irrigate the effected areas and they were straight onto it.”
Power, who will remain in Australia until the end of next week helping promote his home race, said the incident obviously came as a complete shock to everyone at the scene.
“I have never seen anything like that happen before,” said Power.
“Thankfully Craig (Hasted) did not receive more serious injuries and after the job the WPS/WOW boys did I would certainly be proud to have them on my team.
“I was looking forward to cutting a few laps today for the local media and the V8 Supercar guys here at the test. That did not get to happen, but all that matters is that Craig is going to be fine, although a little sore for a while.”
WPS/WOW Racing owner and Team Australia co-owner Craig Gore, who is in Europe on business, was contacted immediately about the incident.
“My thoughts are firstly with Craig (Hasted), but thankfully no one was more seriously injured,” said Gore.
“By all reports the WPS/WOW boys reacted perfectly in a situation few of them have been placed before. A clear methanol fire is certainly something we don’t see often in this country.
“The car is an old one, but was running perfectly in the morning. We will pull it down and go over every possible cause and produce a report which we will send to the US to other owners who have Reynards of this vintage in their garages.”
The demonstration vehicle boasts an impeccable safety record and was started and tuned this morning in preparation for Power’s demonstration.
The car also ran flawlessly when it ran a similar demonstration run at the WPS Bathurst Motor Festival earlier this year when driven by WPS/WOW Racing’s Max Wilson.
Power and Wilson will be special guests at the official launch of the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise tomorrow night.