Moment pheasant hits teenage racing driver at 100mph

Moment pheasant hits teenage racing driver at 100mph

Moment pheasant hits teenage racing driver at 100mph in collision equivalent to being stomped on by an elephant 

  • Tommy Foster, 17, finished his lap at Yorkshire’s Croft circuit covered in feathers 
  • The 288,000N of force barely seemed to rock the adrenaline junkie F4 driver
  • Unfortunately the bird did not survive its 100mph impact with Tommy’s head 

This is the miraculous moment a teenage racing car driver shrugs off the impact of a flying pheasant which smacked him in the head at 100mph.

Tommy Foster, 17, pulled into the pits at Croft circuit in Yorkshire covered head to toe with feathers after the bird whipped up into his helmet on Friday.

But the 288,000N of force – equivalent to being stood on by an African elephant – barely seemed to rock the adrenaline junkie who continued his lap of the track. 

However, the impact – which Tommy likened to being clobbered with a brick – killed the pheasant. 

Tommy Foster, 17, pulled into the pits at Croft circuit in Yorkshire covered head to toe with feathers after the bird whipped up into his helmet on Friday

The Formula Four driver from Newquay, Cornwall, said: ‘It was at the end of my run on my in lap so I was still at full speed coming down the straight when all of a sudden – massive pheasant

The Formula Four driver from Newquay, Cornwall, said: ‘It was at the end of my run on my in lap so I was still at full speed coming down the straight when all of a sudden – massive pheasant.

‘I was just braking just before the impact so was moving 170kph – or 105mph – I had no time to react.

‘I just caught sight of it but it flew up too quick and that was that. I thought it was a pigeon but it turned out to be a pheasant. It felt like somebody had thrown a brick at my helmet.’

His helmet-cam captured the moment the game bird tried to soar out of the path of the zooming car, but instead crashed into Tommy’s helmet.

The video shows Tommy roaring around the tarmac track in a red race car and sporting a red Arai brand hemlet.

In the blink of an eye, a bundle of brown feathers flashes up on the screen and then instantly vanishes.

In the blink of an eye, a bundle of brown feathers flashes up on the screen and splatters across the helmet

A slow-motion replay of the footage shows the pheasant scramble up into the air and then, legs outstretched, whack into Tommy’s head

But a slow-motion replay of the footage shows the pheasant scramble up into the air and then, legs outstretched, whack into Tommy’s helmet.

Tommy’s head wobbles slightly but he keeps going around the course and remarkably walks away unscathed.

He said: ‘It was weird – I hadn’t quite fully shut my visor. There’s a safety lock which wasn’t shut so when the bird hit it pulled up my visor as well – so I was lucky the visor and helmet were strong enough to withstand it.

‘I came into the pits and there were feathers all over me, on the air intake, on the rear wing – it looked like a crime scene.

‘It could have been a lot worse. Felipe Massa had a stray bolt almost kill him a few years ago.

‘To have a pheasant hit you and just come away with a broken visor and chip in my helmet paint is hugely lucky.

Tommy, who rose through the ranks and now races for Arden Motorsport, left the race track unscathed

‘The headache was pretty serious but I actually went out again and carried on as normal.’

He added that despite being able to drive on a race circuit he is yet to pass his driving test.’  

Tommy has been racing since the age of eight and has competed internationally in the karting leagues.

He rose through the ranks and now races for Arden Motorsport, owned by Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.

A spokesperson for Tommy Foster Racing said: ‘The medical team checked him over to make sure he hadn’t suffered a concussion, they said they would have to check him again on race day to make sure he was ok to drive.’ 

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