JOHN MORTON of El Segundo CA has been released from Community Hospital Of Monterey Peninsula where he was taken Saturday afternoon after his accident in Turn Two at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Group 3A race at the inaugural Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. He was racing the 1958 Scarab Sports Racer in the class for 1955-1961 Sports Racing Cars over 2000cc. The car, only one of three ever made, is now part of the Miles Collier Collection.
The accident started exiting Turn One, going into Turn Two. Morton was coming up over the crest of the hill exiting Turn One, and tried to avoid the two cars already having an accident in front of him.
Sometimes fast cars have problems in qualifying and are at the back. It doesn’t always work for them to try and fly by slower cars. It’s like a freeway accident and can cause the ‘accordion effect.’ A yellow car in front of Morton locked its brakes and instead of going evasively around the slower white car in front of him. LARRY BOWMAN/No.2 1958 Lister Corvette was following, and tried an evasive move and failed, sending him careening across track. Morton also tried an avoidance maneuver and thought he was clear of the accident. He was facing straight on the right side of the track, but was hit on his left by his good friend Bowman. The whole left side of the Scarab is destroyed. Bowman’s in-car video caught the accident. The big purple car behind Morton spun and continued.
Morton flipped and side-rolled multiple times, taking many hits on his helmet, from the ground as well as from car parts. Being the good driver that he is, Morton held onto the steering wheel. He suffered no cuts or fractures. Morton was talking with the rescue workers during the extrication process, as he had concerns about fire due to leaking fluid. It turned out not to be gas, but coolant, possibly from a torn radiator hose.
Morton’s ears were full of sand, and the back of his driver’s suit is covered with dirt from being dragged. He was put on a backboard as a precaution and kept on a neck brace at the hospital until the cat scans came back negative. Morton doesn’t even have a headache. He is, however feeling the pain Sunday from a swollen left hand and right knee, and bruises; but ice packs and Arnica were applied and continue to be applied, which speeds up the healing process. He also bit his tongue.
John had a good hot tub soak Saturday night, and dined with friends and his crew. He plans to be at the track Sunday, but won’t race, although could if he wanted. His helmet is shot and the ambulance crew kept one of his gloves.
Before this weekend, the car was already set for restoration, although the accident wasn’t part of the pre-plan.
Morton will be having a friendly follow-up chat with his CHOMP doctor Sunday morning before coming to the track. Morton had nothing but good things to say about the SFR SCCA rescue workers, and thanks them.