A lucky driver received a round of applause after escaping serious injury during an epic crash at a demolition derby in Napier.
Meeanee Speedway held its latest meet on Saturday night, which concluded with the derby race.
During the first lap, one car rolled before another car hit it head-on.
The crash looked serious, as the overturned driver’s-side cabin bore the brunt of the collision.
In the stands, the sickening collision was captured on video by Kerihia Renee, who described it as a “gnarly crash”.
“It was hit right on the driver side,” she said. “[But] the driver was able to climb out and walk away after some help from the firefighters, and the crowd cheered.”
The race was temporarily stopped as a result.
“The roll bar did its job ... and he walked away from it,” Meeanee Speedway club promoter David Jones said.
“We had a chat to him at the end of the meeting, during our debrief, and he was as good as gold.”
Jones said the demolition derby was able to finish after the stoppage, and it was a good night with a “really good crowd”.
Jones said all cars which enter demolition derbies have to meet Speedway NZ requirements, such as having a roll bar installed.
“It is the first time I have seen a demolition derby car, in the last few years, actually roll over. It was a bit unlucky.
“It was right in the first corner of the first lap.”
Meeanee Speedway is preparing for a massive event to begin the New Year, hosting the NZ Superstock Championship on January 4-6.
“[The speedway’s chance to host the event] comes around about every 14 years,” Jones said.
“We would be expecting somewhere in the vicinity of 6000 to 7000 each night for that event. It will be huge.”