Dramatic crash at speedway

23:57, Nov 26 2012
Nevil Basalaj
AIRBORNE: The car of Nelson speedway driver Nevil Basalaj executes a flip at the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park Speedway.

Crashing during a race is nothing new for Nelson speedway driver Nevil Basalaj. Crashing a new car in its first outing is a novelty, though.

Basalaj, a former New Zealand test team driver, debuted a brand new Breka chassis car during the midget club championships at Nelson's Tahuna Beach Holiday Park Speedway on Saturday. Nine laps into its debut, the car drifted wide to the wall and barrel-rolled twice sideways, also flipping end-for-end.

Basalaj climbed unhurt from the wreck and the car was repaired for the later championship heats, with the marine engineering company director finishing third overall behind Nick Marquet and Gavin Wilkie. He said the spectacular crash was the result of having to debut the car at a championship meeting.

"We didn't have any setup time and you want to push hard when there's a title on the line so I took the car out high by the wall and it developed a mind of its own from there."

He hadn't seen footage of the crash, one of many in a long speedway career, but said it "took a long time". "The first roll was pretty violent, then the next bit seemed to slow down and I switched off the ignition and just waited for the landing."


The Nelson Mail