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The SVG-esque injury Super2 ace overcome

TEEN wunderkind Kai Allen’s sensational 2023 was made all the more spectacular by the circumstances in which it began.

Having fallen just short of the Super3 crown last year, Allen made his Super2 debut at age 17 in Newcastle.

But largely kept on the downlow was the broken collarbone he’d suffered less than a fortnight beforehand which had threatened to derail his season.

It was more or less a repeat of the injury which Shane van Gisbergen sustained prior to the 2021 Sandown SuperSprint, Allen too having come unstuck on a mountain bike trail.

“I went over the handlebars… luckily I was with a mate so I could walk all the way down and go to hospital, and I was straight into surgery that night,” he recalled to V8 Sleuth.

“It was 10 days before Newcastle. I snapped it completely, a bit like SVG in 2021.”

Kai Allen in action at Newcastle. Pic: Ross Gibb

For van Gisbergen, what followed was an incredible Sandown sweep, including winning from 17th on the grid.

In Allen’s case it was a less dominant fourth and sixth in Newcastle, but those points proved crucial towards the title he’d ultimately clinch eight months later in Adelaide.

“I flew straight to Melbourne the next day after the surgery and started the rehab, went into hyperbaric chambers,” Allen continued.

“There was a couple of doctors who didn’t want to touch it but I found one who knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“He had a crack, pieced it all together, put a big plate in it, I think it was about eight screws, and then it was basically straight to Newcastle.

“We made a big pad up for my left collarbone, because it’s your gear-changing arm and anti-rollbars, you want to make sure that it is strong enough.

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“We had to get a new harness, a Simpson one, because the pressure was too much on the collarbone. I went out in Practice 1 and it was all sweet.”

Allen ended up getting the plate removed late last month, the day after the Supercars Gala Awards.

“It’s all pretty much back to normal,” he said.

“I just can’t be too aggressive on it… I think there’s about six or eight holes in my collarbone now so I can’t do any contact sport in case it breaks again.”

Allen, who was also at the centre of a Dick Johnson Racing Bathurst wildcard, will again tackle Super2 with Eggleston Motorsport in 2024.

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