That wreckage used to be a 1400hp open wheeler. It was driven by Paul Dallenbach at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an event he has won six times. Amazingly, despite thinking to himself, “This is it. I’m dead,” Dallenbach escaped with little more than a few stitches and a fair bit of bruising.
Speaking to The Aspen Times, the 45-year-old elaborated: “I consider myself blessed, lucky. I’ve been bombarded with phone calls and messages from people who can’t believe I’m alive. Even people in racing can’t believe I made it.
“My throttle got stuck wide open. At that moment, you’re thinking, â€˜How am I going to get out of this? What should I do?’ I tried to hit the brakes, but nothing was happening. The front ones locked up. The thing I needed to have was a kill switch, but I don’t know if I would’ve had enough time to be able to use it.
â€œThat’s when I ducked my head and closed my eyes.â€
Dallenbach is now a living example promoting the benefits of the HANS device. â€œThankfully, the head-and-neck-restraint system worked. If I didn’t have that, I would’ve broken my neck,â€ he said.
It’s the second lucky escape we’ve brought you from the 2012 PPIHC and while the first crash was more spectacular you always felt the crew should be okay. With this one, though, there’s not too many other thoughts that cross your mind after watching a car hit a tree at 200km/h+ than fatal ones. Thankfully, there was a safe ending to this story.
[Thanks to Stu for the tip]