Abu Dhabi: Memories of a horror smash, last year in Perth, came flooding back to Karl Reindler of Fair Dinkum in the third race of stage 13 of the V8 Supercars at Yas Marina on Sunday.
After a third lap altercation between Jason Bright and Dean Fiore on turn 17 in front of Yas Hotel, Reindler T-boned a stationary car sideways across the track and his vehicle burst into flames with him still inside.
It took four laps of a safety car to clear the wreckage but Reindler escaped unhurt.
The incident comes just 18 months after Reindler was hospitalised for a week with severe burns after a similar fireball fracas in Perth.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw fire in the car again. I felt heat on my face and the first thing I thought of was back to Perth. I just had to get out of there as quick as I could. I didn’t worry about unplugging anything and just figured if I ran fast enough they would all snap off and they did.
“The memories of last year came flooding back but I have to deal with that. It was an unfortunate incident but I will be fine — I took a few breaths and just had to shake it off,” said Reindler.
“The fuel tank split open, the fire wall split open and I looked over and saw flames. Where the fuel tank is at the moment, it is just so vulnerable. This is not the first time it has happened since my accident. There was one at Bathurst and one at the Australian GP. It happens continually and thankfully there are only two races to get through.”