SATURDAY SLEUTHING: THE DESTROYED PJ FALCON

The left overs of the destroyed Peter Jackson Falcon. These shots have never been published before until now. There's more that will be included in Glenn Seton's new book, out at the end of 2020. Image: GSR Archives.

THERE have been some massive accidents at Phillip Island over the years in all forms of motorsport, most of them captured by television cameras and replayed countless times over the following years.

But one of them wasn’t – and it was a crash that ended the racing career of Drew Price and wrote-off a race-winning Glenn Seton Racing Falcon.

The long-time karting identity was at the wheel of one of Seton’s Peter Jackson Falcons in a test in mid 1993 when it all went horribly wrong.

Price slammed head-on into the old earth bank at turn three, completely demolishing GSR2 – the Falcon EB that was Alan Jones’ #35 race chassis at the time. 

As the previously unpublished photos with this story show, the damage to the PJ Falcon was extensive.

The history of all of GSR’s Sierras and Falcons is covered within Glenn Seton’s new official autobiography, a 320 page hardcover book that is available to order here in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.

The crash came in the gap between the last two rounds of the 1993 championship. Seton had scored enough points at Barbagallo to be assured of his first Australian Touring Car Championship crown, though his team needed to complete a new car for the Oran Park finale in the wake of the Price shunt.

“I must have got knocked out, because I’ve never had a recollection of how the accident occurred,” Price told v8sleuth.com.au.

The crashed car had been Alan Jones’ during the 1993 ATCC up until the testing accident with Price at the wheel. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

“I can remember coming to when I had been laid on the ground out of the car. Amazingly, I didn’t really have very bad injuries, I fractured one ankle and fractured the other knee. Not severely though.

“I was certainly out of action for a while, but I didn’t have to have either of them put in plaster, but I had a brace on one of my legs and was on crutches for quite a while. All things considered I was very, very lucky.

“The only good outcome of the accident was that it made them remove the earth bank that I hit. Without that bank there it would have just been a high speed lose and I’d have gone off through the paddock a bit.

“But I hit it in a very precarious spot. I hit it pretty much right on the end; it was evident from the aftermath that I hadn’t just glanced it, I more or less managed to hit the end of it and nearly straight on.

The crash ended Price’s racing career. The former Toyota Team Australia driver never stepped back into a race car again.

“It was the last bit of driving I ever did,” he says.

“I was out of action for that particular year, the two enduros weren’t long after that, so I was out for that particular year and I never found the enthusiasm to get back to it as I felt really devastated that I had destroyed the team’s car. I never got back into a racing car after that.”

Price spent a few days in hospital in Cowes with internal injuries in addition to his ankle and knee fractures.

“My internals got a hell of a hammering,” he recalls.

“While you’re secured into the car (with seat belts), some of the bits inside you stop in a huge hurry against the outside of your body. I was in a lot of pain for quite a while. All things considered though, it was a very, very disappointing thing to happen, but a fortunate outcome.” 

 The crash wasn’t the only time one of Seton’s race cars was damaged in a testing accident at Phillip Island.

Formula Holden open wheeler star Simon Kane smashed one of the PJ Sierras there in a test in 1991 and Seton himself had a huge accident in one of his Ford Tickford Racing AU Falcons there in 2000.

Seton talks about that 2000 Phillip Island accident here in an episode of V8 Sleuth TV and opens up about it in his new book as well.

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.