How a chance Supercar drive 'saved' Crompton's life

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 30/09/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Neil Crompton has revealed how a chance opportunity to drive a Walkinshaw Andretti United Supercar played a key role in his cancer diagnosis.

Crompton was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April and was subsequently absent from the commentary team for the Darwin and Townsville events.

The Supercars Hall of Famer underwent surgery and has made a steady recovery.

He returned to Supercars broadcasting in July, presenting remotely from Sydney for the second Townsville event.

Crompton made a permanent return to broadcasting in August, hosting all six rounds of the Cash Converters Supercars Eseries coverage.

Crompton’s much-anticipated autobiography, Neil Crompton: Best Seat in the House went on sale this week.

Working with the V8 Sleuth team, the 352-hardcover book depicts Crompton’s journey from humble beginnings to rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in world and national motorsport.

In the book, Crompton explains how the offer to drive the WAU Supercar during a ride day at Sandown in March led him to discover the cancer.

"Normally I’d have said no," Crompton wrote.

"But I was keen to have another run, knowing that at 60 years of age, I was much closer to the time when I’d no longer be able to take this sort of opportunity."

Crompton had undergone a medical as part of a life insurance policy change prior to WAU's offer, where an abnormal result prompted further action.

"It was not considered a big deal and a follow-up test was suggested," he explained.

However, in preparation for the ride day, Crompton was required to undergo another medical assessment to reactivate his National Competition License, as mandated by Motorsport Australia.

During his appointment, Crompton told his doctor about the anomaly found in his previous test.

"He didn’t like the sound of that and told me the exact day he wanted the follow-up test done," Crompton said.

"The outcome from test two was both good and bad.

"There was no evidence of blood trace, but in the space of just 14 days, my PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels had jumped significantly."

Subsequent tests confirmed he had cancer; with Crompton receiving the news while at Symmons Plains in April.  

"The potential life insurance policy change started the process and the MA license renewal had brought what became a serious issue sharply into focus," he said.

"I could have just ditched the life insurance policy change and been none the wiser.

"As fate, passion, or serendipity would have it, I wanted to drive a Supercar again, and this desire may well have saved my life, or at least extended it."

Crompton’s much-anticipated autobiography, Neil Crompton: Best Seat in the House is available to purchase through the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.

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