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The two co-drivers seriously injured in rallies in NSW in July are both well on the road to recovery after nasty accidents. Ray Winwood-Smith was sitting beside former Australian Rally Champion, Nathan Quinn, at last weekend's Bulahdelah Rally when their Lancer Evo X left the road and hit some small trees. "It wasn’t a big accident, but somehow during the accident I hurt my back and I was transported to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle," Winwood-Smith reported. "It was found that I had broken my sternum and my back (broken L2). There is no permanent damage, but I will be out of action for some time and in a body brace while I mend." The impact had only been at 50km/h, and Quinn only received bruising from the seatbelts. Winwood-Smith wasn't so lucky however, most likely because he didn't have time to brace himself before impact. He has already left hospital and is convalescing at home. "I just wanted to say big thank you to the excellent staff from John Hunter Hospital, who I can’t thank enough. To the event organisers and the FIV team that supported me at the accident, thank you for your professionalism!
"You will see me back in a car when I’ve mended and I can’t wait," he said.

Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith in action before their accident. Photo: Gravel Pics

The other co-driver was Victorian Chris Aggenbach, who suffered a broken collarbone and broken fingers when he and driver, Les Adams, left the road in the Rally of the Bay. The pair's Datsun 1600 was destroyed in the high speed accident, but the safety gear installed in the car did its job and possibly saved their lives. The car left the road at 120km/h, and had an initial impact of 11g with an earth bank on the outside of the road, which flipped the car into a series of five violent rolls. It came to rest on its wheels, but Aggenbach was briefly knocked unconscious and was later transported to Moruya hospital. Once stabilised, he was transferred to a Canberra hospital where he underwent surgery on his collarbone and hand. Now recovering at home in Wangaratta, Aggenbach says he doesn't remember the accident, but has watched a video of it to try and understand what happened. "We were pretty lucky that the car landed on its wheels and not on its roof," he admits.
"The shoulder and hand surgery I've had was successful, and I'm recovering well."
Both Adams and Aggenbach have been suffering the after effects of concussion since the crash, but that is also improving with time. As to when he'll be back in a car, the Victorian says he hasn't thought that far ahead. Needless to say, you don't lose your love of rallying overnight, so he'll be back in some form or another. Both co-drivers have paid tribute to the safety equipment used in their cars, and to the medical teams that assisted them after their incidents. "We've had tremendous support from the medical teams and those involved within the sport, and we can't thank them enough," Aggenbach added. RallySport Magazine wishes both Ray and Chris all the best in their continued recoveries.
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Author

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
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