As a PR person, seeing the headline “Marshall ‘lucky to be alive’ after 100mph crash” after a pre-event test day isn’t usually the type of coverage you’re trying to achieve. In the case of Ashley Marshall however, the fact he’s back on track two weeks later is testament to the strength and safety of Ginetta cars.
Sadly, incidents are a part of motorsport. I challenge anyone to head to a race track and have a day free of contact / yellow flags and safety cars. That is why it’s important to make sure when any driver jumps behind the wheel of a racing car, they feel as safe as they can be.
Ashley Marshall races with Ginetta in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge and found one of his pre-event tests brought to a rather rapid end when a simple mistake sent him hurtling towards a safety barrier at a bone-shaking 100mph.
Now, if he was on the M62 and driving a 1995 hatchback, we might not be sat here celebrating such a ‘lucky escape’ but thanks to the incredibly strong build of all Ginetta race cars - plus the mandatory safety equipment the driver wears – we are currently sitting watching Ashley return to the scene of the accident as he tests at Croft Circuit.
Although he was forced to sit out the Silverstone meeting on doctors order – better to be safe than sorry – Ginetta and Optimum Motorsport have rallied together to get him back on track. We caught up with Ashley to get his take on what happened:
“Basically I just ran out of talent. I had been doing well so far and my times were consistently dropping. Due to a lack of experience I had a small but costly mistake on the entry to "Sunny In" where I slightly missed the apex which unsettled the car and exited the track at 100mph. I had to go onto the grass which dragged in straight into the barrier nose first.
"The car really kept me safe as it was a huge impact so it really goes to show the strength of the Ginetta cars. After a check over by the medical staff both in the car and the circuit medical centre, the damage was little more than some bruising and a headache. If the car safety standards we not as high as they are I feel things could have resulted very differently for me, so I can only thank Ginetta.
"The car is going to need a complete rebuild and me not being 100% fit I had to miss the Silverstone round which really was painful for me having to watch everyone else out there but we decided not to take the risk of having another accident which could result with my injuries becoming more serious than they are.
"From now I would just like to forget about what happened and focus on the future because I can't change the past but only learn from it.”
We wish Ashley and his fellow GT5 Challenge competitors a safe and successful weekend.