Kent

Racing driver recovers from 130mph smash at Brands Hatch

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Media captionThe moment of impact was caught on camera

A racing driver is recovering after his car spun out of control and hit the pit wall at Brands Hatch at 130mph.

Rod Birley, 62, from West Kingsdown in Kent, suffered concussion, bruised ribs and a bruised spleen in the high-speed crash during a race on Sunday.

Mr Birley, who has more than 20 years of racing experience, was driving a Ford Escort in a modified saloon race at the circuit.

He has admitted to being "extremely lucky" to be alive.

Image caption Rod Birley said he knew it was a "big one"

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Birley said: "I knew from the initial impact that it was going to be what they call 'a big one'," he said.

"The wall at Brands Hatch is very unforgiving and I didn't expect to test it at the sort of speeds that I was doing at the time."

'Heavy impact'

Describing the damage to his car, he said there was "fuel spraying everywhere".

Mr Birley's website revealed he had to have a full CT scan as there was a concern about internal bleeding.

Image copyright Digitex Television
Image caption Despite the experience, Mr Birley said he was looking forward to returning to the sport

"The doctor's diagnosis is a bruised spleen and very sore ribs, which will take a while to heal.

"Our car is in a very sorry state. Crash helmet is scrap, but the HANS device saved Rod's life according to the doctor," the statement on the website continued.

His mechanic, Stuart Bevan, added: "It really was a very heavy impact, a very high speed.

"I have seen people with less of an impact not get out of cars... so he is very lucky indeed."

Despite the experience, Mr Birley said he was looking forward to returning to the sport.

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