NEWS // VAN DER DRIFT ON ROAD TO RECOVERYNew Zealander Chris Van Der Drift has spoken at length about the violent crash at Brands Hatch two weeks ago that so nearly cost him his life. The 24 year old, who has now returned home following surgery reflected about the circumstances of the accident and the extent of his injuries. Whilst we here at Cold Track Days were lucky enough to be able to accompany his words with the only still images of the horrific crash, as captured by talented young UK Motorsports Photographer Danny Dzenis of DD Photography... [read more]

With Van Der Drift finishing the first Superleague race at Brands in seventh place he found himself starting the following (Reverse Grid) race down on the outside of the sixth row.

After making up positions right from the start Van Der Drift began to catch the the AS Roma car of Julien Jousse as the race neared its conclusion and on the uphill run from “Surtees” the New Zealander made his move.

“For a few laps, I saw that I was catching Jousse really fast, the car was going really good and I felt really good” began Van Der Drift.

“I was finally close enough to make a pass on him and just before going down the hill (Pilgrim’s Drop), he was to the left so I decided to pass him on the right. I was flat out in 5th gear just about to go in 6th with push to pass still activated. Then he moved once to the right and I knew it would be really tight to pull off the manoeuvre and then he moved the 2nd time and he completely shut the door and I didn’t know where to go except for the grass.”

“And then it all happened in a split second, we touched wheels and my car launched itself up into the air and took off like an aeroplane. And that’s as far as I remember. The technicians downloaded the data and the last recorded speed before the datalogger got destroyed was 252 km/h” (157 miles/hour).”

NEWS // VAN DER DRIFT ON ROAD TO RECOVERYAccording to Van Der Drift he passed out at this point but came around once the car had come to rest:

“I realised I was in a lot of pain. I saw my left index finger was completely mangled and I had massive pain in my right foot. The only thing I wanted to do was to get out of the car."

"The medics wanted to leave me in the car at first, but I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to get out. I managed to undo the buckle with my mangled left hand and then fell down onto the ground. I tried to wriggle my way out of the car. From that point the marshals and medical people took control and took me into the medical centre.”

Various things were going through my mind at this point, firstly I was angry in that I felt I wouldn’t be able to race again straight away because of my foot”, said Van Der Drift. “And of course the holiday that I was going too with my girlfriend on Friday crossed my mind.”

After being stabilised in the circuit's medical Centre Van Der Drift was taken to Dartford hospital where the full extent of his injuries was diagnosed on Sunday night.

The New Zealander had suffered two broken fingers, two cracked ribs, a cracked right wrist and a dislocated and cracked right shoulder, on top of his right ankle being broken in two places and the badly lacerated left hand index finger. Fortunately the Kiwi could undergo surgery on his ankle on Monday afternoon, having a plate, pins and screws inserted.

Keen to return home as quick as possible and with the hospital at Dartford unable to operate on Chris’s finger he was discharged home to Milton Keynes on the Tuesday afternoon.

Superleague doctor, Chris Ruddlesdin then offered his assistance in finding the a suitable specialist for the delicate finger surgery.

“I must sincerely thank him for his help as he was able to recommend and help me get admittance into the hospital in Northampton for plastic surgery on my finger. He has been very helpful throughout the accident and my surgery. ” The New Zealander then had a successful operation on his finger on the Thursday afternoon.

NEWS // VAN DER DRIFT ON ROAD TO RECOVERYThe doctors at the "Darent Hospital" in Dartford indicated that Van Der Drift needed to work on a recuperation period of at least three months but the Kiwi thinks he could be back behind the wheel sooner.

“I have spoken to the doctor who treated Robert Kubica after his crash at the 2007 Grand Prix of Canada. He said that I could recover quicker than in three months. Everyone needs to be wary because my injuries won’t stop me. Not now, not ever! It is my goal to be racing in Portimao in Portugal at the ninth round of the championship on 19 September.”

Editorial: Neil Tozer
Info: Chris van der Drift
Images: Danny Dzenis and Superleague Formula


  1. Scary photos. He is lucky to be alive. Best of luck and a speedy recovery.

  2. Indeed that accident is creepy, good thing He survived and to think that his mind is clear and even though the pain is severe he still pursue to get out of the car as soon as possible. Not unlike Greg Moore who died at the same age as him.