Watch an 1,100-HP Ford Mustang Ride the Wall in Wild Formula Drift Crash

Driver James Deane called it the hardest hit of his career, and it's easy to see why.
James Deane via Instagram

Formula Drift pros are masters of car control, but even then, bad wrecks can and do happen. There’s proof of that in this clip from last weekend’s 2023 season finale at Irwindale Speedway. Three-time series champ James Deane was on the outside in his Autozone-liveried Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5 when Matt Fields’ Corvette came crashing in, not only sending the ‘Stang into the wall but up onto it.

It was a wicked shunt, one that Deane later called “the hardest hit of [his] career” on Instagram. The Irishman went airborne when the two cars’ front wheels touched. You can’t see it from every angle, but the Mustang nearly performed the automotive equivalent of a skateboarding darkslide. Even worse was that it was on the driver’s side as Deane’s car is right-hand drive.

This clip from Deane’s Facebook provides the clearest angle:

And you can see it from an aerial POV in this clips uploaded to YouTube:

It’s worth noting that the crash took place during practice, which meant there was little time for Deane’s RTR Motorsport team to repair it before the points-paying battles later on Saturday. They pulled it off, though, and Deane actually wheeled the machine onto the podium with a third-place finish.

The Mustang had seen better days, surely. Its hood was missing, as was its right-side fender and headlight. None of that mattered in the end, and it looked even cooler shredding tires without the bodywork. It takes courage to drive these cars within inches of another in the first place, but to do so after your head came extremely close to slamming the track wall is on another level.

Deane and his 1,111-horsepower Ford finished this Formula Drift season in fifth place after a three-year hiatus from the series. He clearly hasn’t lost the touch that initially won him three consecutive FD championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019. You don’t need me to tell you he’s pretty great at what he does.

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