V8 inferno prompts better safety call

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IOL mot pic may3 V8 Fire REUTERS The car of Australian V8 Supercar driver Karl Reindler (right) bursts into flames after he stalled on the start line and was rear-ended by the car of Steve Owen (just visible in the centre of the fireball) at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.

Australian V8 Supercar driver Jason Bright has called for safety improvements in the premier domestic series after his team mate Karl Reindler was engulfed in flames after a horror crash at the weekend.

Reindler, who was rear-ended by a rival after stalling on the start line, managed to scramble out of his car and escaped from the inferno with superficial burns to his hands and face.

“It was a horrible feeling with fire inside the car,” Reindler recalled on Monday. “I could feel my face burning, I couldn't get the chains (safety harness) off. Luckily the car and suit did what they were supposed to do.”

Reindler paid tribute to the prompt action by pit crews from his own and rival teams at the Barbagallo in Perth, while Bright said the response from the official fire crew had been too slow.

“It was pretty scary seeing the mechanics being the guys on the scene and fire crews walking up to the car,” Bright said.

“It was lucky Karl wasn't knocked out. I'm sure there'll be an investigation. The fire crew's car has pulled up close to the car that wasn't on fire, and I saw a guy walking up to the car casually, while the car's on fire with a driver in it.

“That's horrifying. You've got guys jumping the pit wall, at the car trying to put it out with a fire extinguisher. One of our guys went through two fire extinguishers before he saw anyone else helping him.

“We need to work on that. Drivers do everything we can to protect ourselves. Teams work very hard to build the cars as safe as possible. We also want to see everyone else performing at the same level.” - Reuters

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