Drag racer hits sand trap at 438km/h
Pieter De Wit. Supplied picture

A drag racer had a miraculous escape when his jet-powered vehicle slammed into a sand trap after reaching over 400km/h during an event at Perth Motorplex in Kwinana.

During the final round of the drag racing event on Saturday night, South African jet dragster driver Pieter De Wit careered off course after the parachute on his jet-powered car malfunctioned.

De Wit, piloting the dragster Gravity Storm, wrecked the vehicle when it hit the sand trap area of the motorplex after topping 438km/h during his run.

After being extracted from the wreckage, De Wit was helicoptered by the RAC Rescue Chopper to Royal Perth Hospital for observation.

Perth Motorplex general manager Kevin Prendergast said De Wit was racing American Chuck Haynes in J60 Pratt and Whitney Jet powered Dragsters on the Perth Motorplex quarter mile dragstrip.

"After completing a 5.7-second run and travelling at approximately 440km/h, De Wit experienced parachute issues with the Dragster," Mr Prendergast said.

"As a result the Jet Dragster hit the sand-trap and safety net area at high speed causing significant damage to the vehicle.

"De Wit was trapped in the car for a period, but was extracted by emergency crews with no life threatening injuries.

"During this period, De Wit responded alertly to all safety crew in attendance and was communicating with them until he departed the venue."

Mr Prendergast said De Wit remained in hospital under observation with a fractured kneecap and burns to his back.

The West Australian

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