The organisers of a drag racing event in Albany in which a competitor died say they are facing insolvency.
The revelation comes as the head of Australia’s peak motor sport body gave a scathing review of the Racewars event at Albany Regional Airport in March.
Brody Ford, 26, pictured, died after competing in the 1000m “Vmax” drag race — which organisers promoted as the only one of its kind in Australia — after the Shelby GT500 he was driving left the runway, broke through a fence and caught fire.
One competitor had earlier exceeded 350km/h.
Confederation of Australian Motor Sport chief executive Eugene Arocca said he believed organisers were unprepared for the event.
He said his organisation had refused to support Racewars because no Australian venue could safely host a 1km drag race.
“It’s just setting up for an accident,” he said.
“Racewars did apparently seek sanctioning from CAMS in the past and we flatly refused.”
Mr Arocca has assisted the Coroner’s inquiry into Mr Ford’s death, which is ongoing.
Racewars this week defended its safety online and declared it was facing insolvency.
The Facebook post from the group asked for City of Albany and commercial-partner support to keep the event running.
“Our safety standards are among the best across any grassroots motorsport event,” the post added.
“We continue to benchmark ourselves against other events nationally and internationally and will continue to work to deliver the biggest, best and safest runway racing event in Australia.”
The City of Albany is due to receive a 2019 Racewars report next week, set to include a recommendation to request a business plan for the 2020 event.
The officer who wrote the report also recommended the council consider developing an arrester bed at the runway to mitigate the risk from drag racing overruns.
Mr Arocca said the proposal showed a lack of understanding.
“To think a sand trap will be the solution to all the issues that arise from allowing cars to run at that speed in those circumstances is naive,” he said.
Albany mayor Dennis Wellington said the city would not pay Racewars’ debts.
“It has been a great event for Albany and we’d like to see it continue, but that won’t be at any cost,” he said.
Racewars event director Jon Murray said many key office holders within his team were “qualified and active senior CAMS officials”.
“Racewars welcomes the wealth of experience and expertise that they bring to our event,” he said.
“Racewars also has an ongoing dialogue with specialists and key personnel within CAMS and other bodies with the view to ensuring the event continues to operate to a standard in line with or surpassing the requirements set by CAMS for grassroots-style events.”