A drag racer has died after a horrific crash at a Queensland race meet on Saturday night.
Driver Sam Fenech, a New South Welshman who had travelled to Queensland for the event, has been honoured online after his car flipped during a race at Willowbank Raceway before 7pm.
The crash shocked onlookers as emergency services rushed to the Ipswich track soon after.
Confronting footage of the crash shows Mr Fenech’s car skid out before crossing his opponent’s lane and launching over the barrier.
It is then shown rolling several times, becoming severely damaged before coming to a stop.
“I am still shaking from what I have just witnessed,” one onlooker posted to New Year Nitro event’s Facebook page.
According to Queensland Ambulance Service, Mr Fenech was critically injured and died at the scene.
A camera operator was also taken to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
Race fans wasted no time in honouring the stalwart on social media.
“Drag racing is one family no matter your class, past, present and future and all the fans are a part of that family as well,” Dee Potenxza said.
“You were also such a gentleman. May you Rest In Peace.
“My thoughts and prayers and condolences are with his family, friends, crew, everyone at Aldeco and WestEndPerformance and everyone who has the pleasure to know Sam.”
Hume Performance shared its devastation for the racer.
Vale Sam Fenech. We are absolutely devastated to hear of the untimely passing of Sam from Westend Performance,” they said.
“Sam was a dear friend of Joe’s, they both had the same passion in their work and in racing, and both had hearts of gold.
“There are no words … just heartbreak as we know what his family is going through right now.”
Top Fuel Australia and the Willowbank Raceway published a statement.
“It is with great sadness that Top Fuel Racing Australia announces that Sam Fenech, driver of the Fabietti Racing Doorslammer, has succumbed to injuries suffered in a racing accident at Willowbank Raceway and passed away this evening,” it said.
“We send our love and support to the Fenech family and the whole team at Fabietti Racing.”
“The accident is under investigation by QLD Police and other agencies, and as such, there will be no further public comment.”
The Courier Mail reports that Queensland Police’s Forensic Crash Unit is assisting Workplace Health and Safety with investigations.