Wall aiming for WA

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Factory Volvo V8 Supercar driver David Wall is recovering well from a skin graft to his burned big right toe and is confident he will get the green light to go racing when he meets with his surgeon on April 13.

Wall suffered what has now been confirmed as a third degree 'full thickness' burn to the toe in Race 1 of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship at the Clipsal 500.

He survived the rest of the weekend on pain killers, did not compete in the non-championship F1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and then returned to the cockpit at the Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprint.

He drove at Symmons Plains using numbing gel, pain killers and an over-sized boot that could fit his bandaged foot, then had skin grafted from his hip to his toe the next afternoon in Melbourne at Knox Private Hospital by plastic surgeon Dr John Crock.

Dr Crock was recommended to Wall by V8 Supercars medico Dr Karl Le.

"He has got previous experience with motor racing people, he treated (MotoGP rider) Jorge Lorenzo when he chopped his finger off at Phillip Island a few years ago," Wall told v8supercars.com.au. "He was the guy who ticked all the boxes for me."

Wall is now at home in Sydney recuperating with the foot bandaged in a moon boot while he is getting around on crutches.

"We're going okay," Wall said "It's all bandaged up so I haven't seen it yet, but I go back on April 13 to have it looked at and find out what happens next.

"Hopefully all will go well and we can get on with things."

That means racing in the Perth Supersprint on May 1-3 at Barbagallo Raceway.

"I have no plans whatsoever to miss it ... not unless I go down to the doctor on April 13 and he has a grim look on his face. But it feels better now than it did at Symmons Plains so I would assume I am going to be fine," Wall said.

The injury has only been part of a tumultuous start to the 2015 championship for Wilson Security Racing GRM, which has endured three engine failures- including one for Wall on the opening lap of the double points Race 6 in Tasmania - and various other issues.

As a result star driver Scott Mclaughlin runs only 13th in the championship, while Wall - who shifted to the Garry Rogers-owned team after a year at Dick Johnson Racing and two years at Brad Jones Racing - is only 22nd.

Wall has suffered burns previously to his feet during races but they have healed without dramas naturally. He suffered this injury because his height - he is 190 cm - meant his seating position brought his feet closer to the firewall than anyone else who has driven the S60 V8.

"It was the longest run I had done in the car," he explained. "Halfway through that first race at Clipsal I could feel my foot burning but there wasn't much I could do.

"The team have addressed the issue with a couple of areas and I have got another pair of boots that should be better again than what I was wearing. I would be very disappointed if I had an issue again."

Frustratingly for Wall, the injury has meant he has been unable to fully come to grips with the S60 V8.

"It definitely takes your focus off things when you get off the brake and get the steering column on the bit that is sore," he said. "That happened a couple of times.

"Over a lap it affected me around a tenth to a tenth-and-a-half and over a race when it was getting far sorer it was probably costing me a couple of tenths per lap.

"I haven't done a race in the car without an injury yet ... so far I haven't been able to jump out of the car and say 'that is as much as I have got'.

"I am looking forward to the day when I get out and say 'that's as good as I can do' and see where we are on that day."

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