The fatal crash at Taupo Motorsport Park was the first at
the track. Photo / Daily Post
The driver of a Ferrari taking part at a track day at
Taupo Motorsport Park yesterday was driving at around 190km/h
before fatally crashing.
Andy Bass was taking part in the Hawke's Bay Club's annual
track day when he crashed his Ferrari 360 Spider into a wall
of tyres around 1pm.
He was rushed to Taupo Hospital in a critical condition but
died as a result of his injuries, police said.
An 18-year-old male passenger, described as a friend of Mr
Bass, survived the crash with minor injures.
Taupo Motorsport Park track manager Ian Bowater said the
tragedy happened during the Hawkes Bay Club's annual track
"The car was reasonably badly damaged, it came off the track
at speed and hit a wall of tyres. It would have been doing
190km/h when it left the circuit.
"Our condolences go out to the family."
Hawke's Bay Club president Alan Cooper said Mr Bass had
joined the club only recently. He said he didn't know him
well, but his home had been re-piled by Mr Bass around 30
years ago. "He's an old acquaintance and he'll be sadly
The track days were an annual event and around 20 of the
club's members had attended this year, he said.
"I know they're very strict on safety and they try to do
their best. It's a tragedy for us."
A fellow club member who was a trained doctor was one of the
first on the scene, Mr Cooper said.
Mr Bass had also put a fresh pair of tyres on his Ferrari
just minutes before crashing, he said. "They'd just stopped
for lunch and had a bit of a rest and let the marshalls have
a rest. He put some brand-new tyres on. How that impacts, I
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he had had lunch with Mr Bass
15 minutes before the crash, and he seemed like a hell of a
"It was an incredibly sad ending to the day."
While it was the first fatal crash at the track and there had
been serious incidents in the past, rigorous safety protocols
were in place, Mr Bowater said.
"When a private club wants private hire of the race track,
they inspect the circuit before they go onto it.
"They sign an agreement to say that 'yes, we're happy with
the track' and FIA Grade 2 licence and a MotorSport NZ Grade
1 licence - it's one of the highest graded tracks in New
"Each driver, after they go through a rigorous drivers'
briefing by the organisers of the club, sign an indemnity -
taking all blame away from the circuit and the car club. It's
a standard form that all race tracks in New Zealand have."
Hawke's Bay Club members participating in the track day were
required to wear helmets and fireproof apparel. Their
vehicles must also be registered, warranted, mechanically
safe and comply with Motorsport NZ regulations, the club's
MotorSport NZ general manager Brian Budd said as the track
was being hired privately at the time of the crash, it wasn't
subject to the organisation's rules. "We've got no
jurisdiction over it."
The Ferrari 360 Spider is a 400hp vehicle with a top speed of
more than 290km/h. It accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.9
The Serious Crash Investigation Unit was investigating the
crash on behalf of the coroner, police said.
- Brendan Manning of APNZ, additional reporting Harrison
Christian of Hawke's Bay Today