NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE-
OLSON IN FORMULA RENAULT TESTING ACCIDENT
For Immediate Release
January 5, 2006
Zhuhai, China –
American race car driver Pete Olson celebrated New Year’s 2006 at 35,000 feet on a 747 over the South China Sea, on
pain medication due to his massive high-speed crash in Formula Renault testing at the Zhuhai International Circuit just
48 hours before. After hauling 20 kilos worth of race gear across the infamous 1000 meter-long border crossing from
Zhuhai to the exotic city of Macau to catch his plane, despite his bruised body, Olson was content to relax on the Eva
Air flight and chat with the friendly stewardesses who have seemed to have taken a liking to the racing champion.
Olson has made quite a racing debut in Asia - through victory at Shanghai’s Formula One [F1] Circuit to a high-speed
accident at the Zhuhai Circuit just a few days ago, despite the pain and the sacrifice, Pete Olson has shown a steadfast
determination to reach the top in what is considered one of the highest-level auto racing series in the world:
280kph/174mph Formula Renault, the series that has launched several racing drivers directly from Formula Renault into
F1 and Indy.
However, in what can only be called significant irony, just four years ago to the day, Pete Olson’s younger brother Matt
died tragically. Olson said “If there is someone watching over me, it’s Matt. He has always been there for me, and
always will be. He has taught me that there is nothing to fear.”
Olson lost control of his race car at over 200kph/124mph in one of the most difficult corners of the circuit.
“The new regs [regulations] require a Hans device [neck restraint as used in Indy/F1] for Formula Renault races” said
the highly aggressive driver. “But, they don’t require one for practice. I figured it was no big deal…until I was spinning
out of control at a couple of hundred kilometers an hour…I knew I would hit bad, and I knew there was nothing I
could do about it. I remember I thought ‘Oh, s*#@, this is gonna hurt.”
Olson’s car impacted sideways in the high-G accident, crushing the left side pod and suspension, which snapped his
neck to one side and caused mild spinal injury which resulted in the loss of feeling to the left side of the driver’s body
for several days and left a permanent black scar on his ribcage.
However, the next morning Olson was back in a race car at the ZIC. “I found that hot showers and warming up the
muscles helped” said the aggressive racer in typical brash understatement. “The next day I realized the value of the
Hans device – 40kph faster I heard I could have snapped my neck, or worse, be crippled and not able to race anymore.
But there’s nothing I can’t handle in a race car. I had to drive all right hand, right side muscles the next day after the
accident. But I figure I should drop the US$1,000 for the Hans neck harness. It’s worth it to prevent something like a
neck problem that would prevent me from getting back in the cockpit.”
Quite a statement from the hot shot American driver who seems to put racing before anything else.
Formula Renault is without a doubt one of the most exciting race cars ever built. With recent power upgrades, the
exotic and aggressive-looking race cars reach a top speed of 280kph/174mph [photos], and 0-100kph [0-62mph] in 3.0
seconds. Formula Renault racing is the proving ground for the most highly competitive open-wheel racecar drivers in the
world, having given current Formula One [F1] Championship competitors Kimi Raikkonen and American Scott Speed
[www.scottspeed.com]their ‘Dream Shot’ into F1. Formula Renault combines F1 chassis and engine design with a
carbon fiber monocoque [survival cell] produced in the same factory and made by the same manufacturer [ATR] that
supplies the monocoque for famous six-time F1 Champions Team Ferrari.
Olson has definitely made his mark in Asia. Will he once again be spraying champagne from the top of the podium
during the China Formula Renault Championship Series this year, in front of millions of motorsports television fans? No
one knows the future, but one thing is certain: the determined racer definitely has the guts to reach the top.
For more information on Pete Olson, visit his website at www.peteolson.com.
For more information on Peter Olson/Racing for Children contact:
Christian Children’s Fund
Media Relations Contact Agent for Pete Olson:
Christian Children’s Fund
2821 Emerywood Parkway
Richmond, VA 23294
Olson Motorsports, LLC
Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.
Tel: + 886 9 3567 8609