If you've been involved with the Honda community for even a short amount of time, you've probably heard the name Hasport more than a few times. Well known for offering high quality replacement and engine swap mounts, Hasport not only develops new kits constantly, they also tend to be at the forefront of engine swap research and development. The key reason for that is an individual by the name of Brian Gillespie.
Brian has spent substantial time in Hasport's R&D sector but that hasn't kept him from climbing behind the wheel of all types of motorsports from drag racing to road racing, even land speed racing. In fact, just a week after SEMA, Brian and his crew packed up their K-powered Honda Insight and headed for El Mirage dry lake bed - the same location that he'd set a record in the Blown Gas Modified Sports class in June of this year (179mph). The changes that had been made to the car not only bested his previous outing, but they landed him in the coveted 200mph club, a huge accomplishment for Brian. However, the celebration was short lived as a follow-up session at El Mirage the next day proved almost fatal.
As the accompanying video shows, Brian's Insight began closing in on 200mph, but something went terribly wrong and the car began to sway ever so lightly. Of course, at speeds like this, even lightly being pushed left or right can be catastrophic. As the vehicle begins to get sideways, the wheels catch and the car tumbles violently, eventually somersaulting head to toe until it comes to a stop. Other than the rear wheels and quarter panels, there wasn't much left of the car. Thankfully, as the video continues and the cloud of dust left behind by the lighting fast Insight begins to close in, you can see Brian moving inside of the cabin. The safety crew had to cut the cage in order to get Brian out of the car after which Life Flight transported him by helicopter to a nearby hospital. Few details were released but his wife and son both took to social media to keep all of his friends informed of his condition. After what seemed like an eternity, word was spread that Brian was in fact improving and would be able to go home in a few days. As much as I wanted to post the incident on the Honda Tuning Facebook page to let readers know what had happened and that Brian was in fact doing quite well after his ordeal, I refrained. Seeing some of the comments online, I just didn't feel that a large portion of our community had the maturity to appreciate the magnitude of not only what happened, but the effect that Brian's knowledge and know-how has had on this industry as a whole. To see kids laughing and making snide remarks about something this serious is sad but not completely unexpected by today's standards.
I've known Brian for a number of years now and he's not only served as a vital resource for just about anything Honda-related, but he's an avid, active member of the Honda community and you won't find a nicer guy to chat with. He's seen it all and done it all though he never learned how to be arrogant or bragadocious - that's just not his style. I could go on and on about safety and the dangers that come with any type of motorsport activity but I think the video does a great job of that on its own. Brian has always been serious about safety and the roll cage and HANS device were key to his survival in this crash. To be completely honest with you, it was tough to watch the entire video and when all is said and done, I'm just glad my friend is alright. Be safe out there...