Tom Brown shrugged off a spectacular barrel roll in his heat and a subsequent hospital visit yesterday to take part in today’s Walter Hayes Trophy running.
Recovering from a first lap spin after contact with Sebastian Job, Brown on the last lap of his heat collided with Paul Mason’s Swift Cooper at Becketts while contesting eighth place.
It pitched Brown’s Van Diemen RF79 into a roll in which Brown’s crash helmet made contact with the tarmac. Mason recovered to finish eighth.
Brown was sent to Northampton Hospital as a precaution on Saturday evening, and having been cleared both there and at the circuit’s medical centre this morning he took part in the morning’s Progression race as a late addition in a RF91 that had been brought as a back-up and to test. Both the RF91 and the RF79 belong to his father.
Having started the Progression race at the back Brown finished eighth and therefore progressed to the Last Chance Race.
He retired from that race early as having replaced his wing mirrors, which fell out in the Progression race, he found his rear view distorted and thought it safer to stop. He also plans to participate in the Janet Cesar Trophy race for cars from 1982-1998 later today.
“Wasn’t the most enjoyable [24 hours]!,” Brown said.
“I went to pass Paul Mason around the outside of Becketts and we wanted the same piece of tarmac! My right-rear hit his left-front and went barrel rolling.
“I’m OK, the doctors said I’m fit to race. In the medical centre they checked me and said I was OK, but sent me to hospital just to be sure. So they just did some more checks there and said I was absolutely fine. Been to the medical centre this morning and they’re happy for me to race.
“I feel absolutely fine, just a bruise on my knee.
“When the car went upside down the roll hoop collapsed a bit so my head skimmed the floor and I got a crack in my HANS device. Scrutineering seized them so I’ve had to borrow a helmet and borrow a HANS device.
“It’s a good job we brought it [the RF91]!”
Mason felt that Brown was to blame for the accident. “He must have been much quicker through Copse and he got a run on me, so I covered the inside for Becketts,” Mason said.
“And he went down the outside. He turned in and tried to make the apex while I was still there and didn’t give me anywhere to go. He just ran over my left-front wheel and that pitched him over.
“If he’d left one car width on the inside he’d have still got me and we would have both got round, but he tried to make the apex. I tried to back out at the last minute but I couldn’t brake any more!”
Additional reporting by Ian Sowman