Heath Bunting Racing made their second appearance of the season when they hit the track at Avalon Raceway on March the 29th only for things to go horribly wrong when the car steering broke and sent the Hamilton resident slamming into the concrete at full speed and ending his race meeting in his first heat only a few laps into the race.
Having earlier in the season had mechanical issues cause him to almost knock down a photographer at Western Speedway at Hamilton this race meeting was meant to rejuvenate Buntings pride as he raced in front of his girlfriend and friends and redeemed himself however another mechanical issue only caused worse results for Bunting.
A busy couple of months with work and life hasn’t left a whole lot of time to work on the race car however he was able to get done all the required changes to make it out on the track with the help of Dehne Sparrow another racer in the Hamilton area and owner of Hamilton Exhaust Centre.
Together the two worked out the engine issues and the power plant was running like a dream and other bits and pieces were done to have the car ready for make a mark at Avalon.
Heading out for his first heat and starting from the back of the field Bunting took time to check out the car and sat back a little from the field and after feeling good in the car for the first couple of laps confidence set in and he decided to have a go and started to chase Robyn James.
Running mid track around about lap four or five Bunting committed to a passing move on the outside of James between turn three and four. Bunting had steered the car in and was about to hit the apex when the steering broke sending the car into the wall at full speed.
Immediately Bunting was in pain yet a typical racer his first priority was asking crash crew what was broke on the car not knowing he might have a serious injury. Unable to be sure of what might have broke to cause the accident Bunting then informed the crash crew that they were going to need an ambulance. He showed Bob Barry his knee and Barry quickly organised the ambulance.
Medics stabilized Bunting in the car with the happy stick as the plan was hatched together to get him out of the car without cutting the chassis and with Buntings insistence the medics reluctantly agreed for Bunting to pull himself onto the window bar and then let the safety team extract him and do their thing.
Bunting wanted to get the rescue quickened up so that everybody else could go racing. From here onwards there isn’t much Bunting can share with us as pain killers kicked in and the ambulance headed to Geelong Hospital.
Medical crews did what they needed to and unfortunately that meant that the expensive race suit has been cut to pieces and is destroyed so that a surgeon could put what turned out to be a severely dislocated knee back into place, Bunting will know if there is any lasting injuries in around a week when he see’s local doctors at Hamilton.
So the question everybody wanted to know is what happened? It turns out the steering column came out of the steering quickener before the race began.
With the damaged car being taken care of by Frank Thierry with the engine shifting on the mounts and the gearbox snapping amongst other damage Bunting is looking on the bright side of the accident. “Although I had a bad night behind the wheel, this sport was very good to me tonight. A big thankyou to Bob Barry and the Avalon safety crew for their professionalism and excellent service. To the Amca Nationals crew thankyou you for your concerns. I'm led to believe that when the car made it out to the pit area, it could not be seen from the amount of people that were chipping in and getting the car well enough to be loaded back on the trailer. This is why I will be back out next year with a bit of luck. Thanks again to Renee Ackerly and Radley's Trailers in Hamilton for supplying me a trailer for the night and once again a big thankyou to my fellow AMCA friends for helping me out yet again.”
A further thank you for those that called to check on his welfare including Chris Overall and Avalon promoter Jeff Drew.
Heath Bunting Racing thanks the following for support: DMT Sports Media Hamilton Exhaust Centre Geelong Citrus Packers Radley’s Trailers & Caravans Hamilton Ramsdale Wreckers
Written by Dean Thompson DMT Sports Media for Heath Bunting Racing