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Formula Vee driver amazingly walks away from her car after an airborne 180

Kathys Formula Vee Crash Barbagallo 18 jun 2017
Ask anyone at a race track why they choose to compete and you’ll likely hear an answer that will contain the words “adrenaline rush.” An Australian Formula Vee driver named Kathy Lisson got enough adrenaline to last her for at least a decade when her car flipped twice after getting rear-ended.

The extraordinary incident happened on the Barbagallo Raceway, which is located in the far outskirts of Perth in southwestern Australia. A GoPro camera mounted on Lisson’s car shows the group of cars slowing down before a turn, mere seconds before the impact. Something evidently caught the entire race by surprise; a car a few positions ahead of Lisson is seen veering off the track and into the grass, while the car directly in front locks up its brakes.

The pilot behind Lisson didn’t brake in time and rear ended her race car, which is an ultralight model powered by a 1,200cc engine. The impact propelled her into and over the car in front. She flipped, banged her head against the pavement, and came to a rest upside down on the side of the track. Miraculously, she walked away with only a sore neck and a few bruises. It looks a lot worse, doesn’t it?

“I do remember thinking, ‘oh, I’m up in the air’ and then lots of bangs. It happens very quickly,” Lisson told Australian television station 9News, according to a Motorsport report.

Rod Lisson, the pilot’s husband, was competing in the same race in a car powered by a bigger, 1,600cc engine. He watched in horror as the scene played out in front of him. He explains it takes a powerful impact to send a car spinning through the air like a football.

“From that point, the acceleration to get up in the air and turn over twice like that, you’ve gone from zero to that speed in no time. It must have been a real shunt from behind,” he told 9News.

Footage captured by the car in front of Lisson’s shows the accident in a different angle. It looks bad, like the kind of tragic accident you don’t walk away from. The fact that Lisson escaped from her car without any serious injuries is a testament to how important safety gear is in all kinds of racing, from entry-level events like Formula Vee to top-league events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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