Despite all of the advances in tires, chassis, suspension, power management, and even traction control, nothing can change the fact that high-horsepower, short wheelbase doorslammers are merely caged animals just waiting for the zookeeper to forget to latch the gate. Certainly, these cars are safe — most of the time — but when things go bad, they’re rarely just a meager brush with the wall or a timing block.
Australia’s Darren Hubbard learned just how fickle a Top Doorslammer (Australia’s version of Pro Modified) car can be during a recent test session at the Sydney Dragway, resulting in an incident that all but destroyed his beautiful supercharged 1963 Corvette. Hubbard has been making laps over the last year to get his feet wet and acquire his competition license in the car formerly campaigned by Joe Cutelli.
Unfortunately, driving though tire shake is simply one of those aspects of driving that you cannot teach, but must simply learn through experience. And for Hubbard, that experience came at a cost. On this run, you can see Hubbard’s ‘Vette, said to be a de-tuned, 5-second-capable car, shake the tires just off the starting line, forcing him to back out of the throttle momentarily. A second crack at the throttle, however, sent the car back into violent tire shake, from which Hubbard could not recover.
The car rocketed across the centerline, completely out of the control of Hubbard and struck the guardrail with incredible force, causing major damage to the passenger side of the car. Luckily, though, Hubbard was alert and able to bring the car to a safe halt and climbed out under his own power.
Video credit: Fast Performance Videos