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Rally ace crashes and burns

By Peter McKay, 11 Aug 2014 Motorsport

Rally ace crashes and burns

Jack Monkhouse loses house deposit as his forest racer is destroyed in fiery crash

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