Veteran Kiwi racer Kenny Smith has survived a spectacular crash in the Formula 5000 support race at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint in Pukekohe.

The 75-year-old had a piece on his car break, which threw him sideways at the end of the main straight, into a rival competitor before both drivers hit the wall.

The Lola T332 Formula 5000 car was built in the early 1970s and doesn't have all the modern safety features, prompting concern when Smith hit the wall at high speed.

But he immediately hopped out of the car on his own and gave himself a medical pass.


"I'm perfect," he told The Herald. "While we have that HANS on it is more your shoulders and everything that go - no I haven't got a sore neck or anything.

"The worst thing is when it went up on its side I could feel it going and I thought it could go over and then smash into the wall and that is bad when you have your body sitting in the middle of it."

Smith had no time to react and didn't know what caused the accident until he jumped out of the car.

"I dived in on Cody Banks' car and he knew I was there and then all of a sudden I wondered how we touched and I felt the bump and I wondered how the hell that had happened," he explained.

"The rear wing must have broken and flapped down and turned me straight into his car.

"Thank Christ he was there because it gave me a bit of a cushion otherwise it would have jammed into the wall head on."

Smith, who has nearly six decades' worth of racing experience, said it was one of the bigger crashes of his career.

"I had a hard one at Manfeild about four years ago. I haven't had that many crashes thankfully and I have never hurt myself."

The car is not in a great state sadly.

"It is pretty nasty but it is fixable," Smith added.