140km/h crashes all part of the thrill

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Ready for war . . . Sprintcar racer Mathew Anderson, of Dunedin, is ready for the War of the Wings race at Beachlands Speedway in on Saturday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes talking with Dunedin motorsport enthusiasts about their passion for their form of racing.

Tell me about your sprintcar?

It was built in 2007 and weighs more than 600kg. The engine is a 410 cubic inch Chevrolet V8, running on methanol fuel, producing about 730hp.

Is your sprintcar competitive?

Yes. I’m sixth in the [South Island] War of the Wings race series, in a field of more than 30 cars. The race at Beachlands Speedway in Dunedin on Saturday will be race eight in the 11-race series.

How long have you been involved in speedway racing?

I started speedway racing when I was 12 years old and I worked my way up the levels. This is my third season racing sprintcars.

Are sprintcars the fastest speedway vehicles in New Zealand?

Yup – they can do 400m on the dirt in about 13 seconds.

What does it feel like at that speed?

Exhilarating.

Racing an addiction . . . Sprintcar racer Mathew Anderson, of Dunedin, is ready for the War of the Wings race at Beachlands Speedway in on Saturday. PHOTO: TREVOR PALMER – T J PHOTOS

Had any spills?

I’ve had some major crashes and been upside down in a big way a couple of times. I’ve never been injured – I’ve always been able to walk away.

What speeds were you travelling at when you crashed?

About 140kmh. Before a crash, things slow down but then it’s bang, bang, crunch and then you have to start working out which way is up.

What do you do for a job?

I’m an accountant.

I thought accountants were naturally risk adverse?

I got involved in speedway before I became an accountant. Racing is an addiction – once you’re in, you’re in.

Why should people come along to Beachlands to watch the racing on Saturday?

It’s a great show – good, close, fast racing, a great spectacle, a cheap night of entertainment and the methanol fumes smell quite nice.