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Spectator comes to driver’s aid after mammoth Bathurst crash
By Mat Coch
Friday 3rd February, 2023 - 7:52pm
A spectator jumped the fence to aid Keith Kassulke after he suffered a high-speed crash at The Chase during Practice 4 at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Marc Car driver appeared to suffer a brake failure on approach to The Chase, skipping through the grass before becoming airborne.
He impacted the tyre barrier with such force that it rebounded and flipped upside down.
VIDEO: Kassulke Bathurst 12 Hour crash
In response to that, a spectator rushed to the scene, climbing a fence before entering the race track and tending to Kassulke.
Witness reports recounted that a senior official near the flag point on drivers’ right approaching Turn 21 was the first official to enter the circuit.
Images obtained exclusively by Speedcafe.com corroborate that sequence of events.
They were followed by another from the flag point on drivers’ right exiting The Chase complex.
An ambulance was quickly scrambled to the scene by Race Control. The medical crew arrived while the spectator was still at the scene with rescue crews already on site.
Luckily, Kassulke emerged without serious injury, though did report a sore neck and back.
“Motorsport Australia is aware of, and is looking into the circumstances of how and why a spectator entered a live circuit following an on-track incident,” read a Motorsport Australia statement issued to Speedcafe.com.
“We are working with event organisers to determine if any further action is required.
“As we have said before, under no circumstances should spectators enter the circuit.
“Not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they are also putting the safety of others at extreme risk.
“This is simply not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
It marks the second time in recent years that a spectator has entered the circuit at The Chase following a heavy crash.
In 2019, two fans cleared the fence in response to Tim Pappas crashing the Black Swan Racing Porsche.
Pappas had lost control of the car, which reared into the barrier exiting The Chase before catching fire.
In that instance, the spectators wielded fire extinguishers to temper the fire before officials arrived on the scene.
The concrete wall at The Chase is covered by a dual layer of tyres, with a conveyor containing them.
Behind that, there is little in the way of fencing or protection between the circuit and Rydges Hotel.
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