Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia co-driver John McCarthy is on the mend after a significant crash during the Supercheap Auto Coffs Coast Rally.
Calling the notes for Harry Bates during the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season finale, the duo were leading the Australian component of the event until the crash on the third last stage of the event.
While Bates was unharmed, McCarthy ended up suffering a concussion as a result of the impact.
The severity of the incident saw event organisers red flag the stage as Chief Medical Officer Dr Matthew Croxford directed a Medical Intervention Vehicle (MIV) to the site.
With an ambulance arriving on the scene shortly after, McCarthy was then taken to hospital, where he spent Sunday night under observation.
Although McCarthy has improved considerably since the incident, he will spend another night in hospital before being released on Tuesday morning as doctors treat him for the concussion and heavy bruising on his chest.
McCarthy was pleased to walk away from the incident and was grateful for the concern of the wider rally community.
“I am feeling much better today than I was yesterday,” McCarthy said.
“The pain has been ramping up and down today but all the tests have come back clear, which is good.
“So far, the recovery is looking fairly straight forward and it shouldn’t be too long before I am back to normal.
“I just want to thank everyone for their concern and I appreciate their well wishes during this time and I am looking forward to getting back home to my family.”
As for Bates, who is currently staying with McCarthy until his discharge, he was was relieved to see McCarthy’s fast recovery, praising the fast response from the event and medical teams.
“It was the third last stage of the rally and we were on a brilliant run until we reached a right hander three kilometres from the end,” Bates said.
“My mistake was I picked up the throttle too early and when the corner tightened, I went too wide on the apex and we slipped off the road.
“We were going around 100km/h at the time when we crashed, with the main impact behind just behind my door, which has the biggest effect.
“After the crash, John initially presented as okay and was walking around, but over the next few minutes, I realised there was an issue as he wasn’t sure about what happened or how he got there.
“Amazingly the MIV, which had professional paramedics in it, was with us within three minutes which was brilliant and they were fantastic until the paramedics arrived.
“For the whole time, everyone was super professional. We were both transported to hospital where I was cleared straight away despite being quite sore.
“Staying the night in hospital, John has recovered better than I suspected and is improving with every hour.
“Looking back now, it was amazing to see how professional and quick everyone was in dealing with the incident. From the MIV, Dr Croxford and the Paramedics to event organisers and Rally HQ, everyone did an amazing job in dealing with the direct aftermath.
“It’s also a testament to the GR Yaris that we’re okay after what was the biggest crash I have ever been in.”
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia