A VIOLENT rollover at Simpson Speedway and an emergency flight to a Melbourne hospital has failed to deter Warrnambool driver Wayne Williams from taking his seat behind the wheel again.
Home from hospital, still feeling a bit stiff and sore and sporting a black eye, Mr Williams told The Standard yesterday he was keen to get back to racing as soon as he could.
Mr Williams had to be cut from his Super Rod after a spectacular crash in the final heat of the Trevor Podger Memorial at Simpson last Saturday night.
His car clipped the concrete wall, bounced back onto the track before doing a series of cartwheels and smashing into the pit gate. The car's roll cage took most of the impact and witnesses at the race said it was the most violent crash they had ever seen.
He was flown to Melbourne's The Alfred hospital with head injuries.
Mr Williams, who was released from hospital on Monday afternoon, said he could not remember anything about the accident itself.
"I remember the lap before the crash and then being loaded into the road ambulance, that's it," he said.
"It took them about 30 minutes to cut me out of the car, and I don't remember any of that.
"When they were loading me into the ambulance I was wondering what was going on. I figured I'd had a crash, but I had no idea how bad it was."
Mr Williams said it was the first time in 25 years of racing that he had to be taken to hospital after a race crash.
"I had a bit of bruising across my forehead, a black eye and was stiff and sore. I was knocked out for a bit as well," he said.
"I think they flew me to Melbourne as a bit of a precaution more than anything.
"Everything is going well. I'm still a bit sore but the bruising has settled down. Other than that I'm feeling good."
He said his helmet was destroyed in the crash but top-notch safety equipment in the car saved him from more serious injuries.
"It was a brand new car that we built at the start of the year.
"I made sure it had a containment seat as well as proper seatbelt and harness systems. That's what made the biggest difference.
"I'm very lucky and very thankful to everyone who helped out or called to see how I've been going."
Mr Williams isn't allowed to race for eight weeks, but said the car was already being stripped back to be rebuilt.
"It hasn't put me off at all. My brother Graham has already started on the rebuild," he said.
"I'll be able to drive again around Easter. I need to get a new helmet and race suit so it will all depend on the cost of that.
"But I'll drive again, that's for sure. It hasn't put me off at all."