Speedway celebrity charity event rolls on after freak accident


Pictured above: A streetstock race car flips over a fence about 4m high and lands in a spectator area, narrowly missing a group of teenagers walking by, during a race accident at Beachlands Speedway on Friday evening. IMAGES: SUPPLIED


A freak crash at a Dunedin speedway did not get in the way of a group of New Zealand celebrities banding together to go head-to-head in a race to raise money for charity.

Battle of the Streetstocks was back at Beachlands Speedway on Friday and Saturday, and was one for the club’s history books in more ways than one.

On Saturday, 16 celebrities including former All Blacks prop Kees Meeuws, I Am Hope’s Mike King, as well as a crew of Highlanders, an ex-Black Cap and a few local Dunedin DJs whizzed around the track to raise money in the I Am Hope Celebrity Challenge, for Battle of the Streetstock’s day-two events.

However, the night before, the speedway was the scene of a "freak accident" when a streetstock flipped over the track’s fence and narrowly missed landing on a group of teenage girls.

A video posted to Facebook from Friday night’s racing showed a car driven by Invercargill man Brent Bradley flying high over the fence and into the spectator area after a collision mid-race with Dunedin man Brian Nicolaou.

Mr Nicolaou said his streetstock rolled several times before landing in the fence Mr Bradley’s car had flipped over moments before.

"It was a bit of a wild ride, to say the least. I’ve been in a few decent prangs when racing but nothing like that." 

"I was in a bit of disbelief.

"I looked and his car was upside down in the crowd, and it was completely dark since the power also got taken out."

Mr Nicolaou said he did not realise where Mr Bradley’s car was until he had left his own.

"The adrenaline was surging still hours after, but I’m very relieved nobody in the crowd, as well as Brent, got hurt.

"Landing on your roof — that’s never ideal."

The drivers and spectators were all uninjured and both cars only suffered minor damage considering the scale of the crash and should be fixed for next season.

The crash would be investigated by Speedway NZ.

Speedway vice-president Gareth Kelk said the Friday night crash did not pull the plug on Saturday’s events.

Surf Life Saving national health and safety adviser Scott Weatherall took the No 1 spot, and I Am Hope’s very own founder Mike King came in a close second. Mr Weatherall took home a gumboot trophy and bragging rights for his win.