A former boy racer who escaped horrific injuries in a road smash is now breaking into professional motorsport – and urging other street racers to give up the dangerous hobby.
Josh Pill, from Warmley, was knocked out and almost had his leg impaled in a two-car smash in Somerset in 2013.
The 23-year-old collided with another car while drifting, which involves losing traction of a car’s tyres when making turns, similar to a skid.
Josh’s car was completely wrecked in the smash and he left street drifting behind after the ‘lucky escape’.
This month he was accepted into the semi-professional Drift Outlaws series, drawing sponsorships and opening the door to competitions on racetracks nationwide.
He wants to use his story to warn other street racers the danger is ‘not worth it’ – and urge motorsport enthusiasts to visit racetracks instead.
“I had a few injuries from my accident and wrote off my old car and after that I was like, I’m not going to do it on the streets anymore, because it’s too dangerous, so that’s when I started building track time at proper places,” said Josh.
He describes himself as a former street ‘hoonigan’, a term used for people who drive recklessly on the streets, drifting or racing.
“I collided with another modified car on the road,” he said. “I T-boned the driver’s side of the car as I was going uphill. That’s as much as it was. My car was ‘banana-d’.
“I had simple bruising and a couple of cuts from the smashed glass. That was about it. I made a lucky escape. There was a part of the other car which almost impaled my leg. It was an inch away.
“I blacked out as soon as I crashed because I head-butted the driver’s side window.”
Josh had taken up street drifting aged 18, but the drama of the smash was enough to turn him away from the dangerous activity.
He had started after a drifting event at Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire and began practising in ‘secret’ with friends.