Sports Sedan racer thankful after Sydney fireball

Nick Smith (rear left) watches on as marshals extinguish a fire in his RX7. Picture: Fox Sports

Sports Sedan racer Nick Smith has paid tribute to the safety equipment in his Mazda RX7 after it was engulfed in flames over the weekend.

Racing as part of the support card to the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight at Sydney Motorsport Park, Smith struck trouble early in the opening practice session of the weekend.

Rounding the final corner onto the front straight, a fireball erupted in the cabin of the car, prompting Smith to make a hasty exit while the RX7 was still rolling.

The fireball engulfing the RX7’s cabin. Picture: Fox Sports

Taking to social media, he thanked marshals and fellow competitors for their assistance in what could have been a far worse situation.

“On the fourth lap of Practice 1 an o-ring on an injector failed and sprayed fuel everywhere,” Smith wrote.

“A fireball erupted in the engine bay and cabin. I was out of the car as fast as I could as my hands and suit were on fire.

“The fire bomb saved the car from burning to the ground for sure.”

Fellow competitor Daniel Nolan stopped to assist, offering his own fire extinguisher as Smith worked to fight the blaze prior.

Soon after, two marshals attended on foot before the fire truck ultimately doused the flame.

“I can’t say a big enough thank you to Daniel Nolan for pulling over and giving me his fire extinguisher to continue fighting the flames while we waited for the fire crew,” Smith noted.

“Also to the two fire marshals that ran from somewhere to assist before the fire truck arrived, thank you for making the effort.

“The car isn’t in great shape with a lot of damage throughout the cabin and engine bay.

“I was lucky to escape with some burns to my hand and face.”

Smith was attended to at the circuit before being transferred to Westmead Hospital for further attention, and credits the fireproof clothing he was wearing, some of which was new for the event, for the relatively light injuries he sustained.

“Thank you to the medical crew onsite and at Westmead Hospital,” he added.

“The fire proof clothing did its job as best it could. I was so lucky to have bought the new gloves a few days before the event from Mike at Revolution Racegear.

“Thank you Shane Nichols from Motorsport Connections Australia for getting the fire bomb to me that morning. If it wasn’t in the car it would have burnt to the ground.”

Smith is now looking to rebuild the car, which boasts a Honda K24 turbocharged engine.

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