The official team press release read “As many of our followers must know already, El Martillo Racing is sadly out of the 2015 Dakar Rally after an impressive end for end roll over that caused irreparable damages to the race car.”
The crash took place at what was supposed to be a shallow water crossing, where Campbell and co-driver Luis “Fito” Ramirez, along with navigator Nico Ambriz, based on the tame “Danger 2” sign along the course.
Campbell, after noticing that the danger shouldn’t be that high, sped towards the obstacle at over 100 miles per hour.
But instead of skimming over a mild stream, as expected, the nose of the car plunged straight into over 5 foot-deep water, the momentum catapulting the vehicle high into the air and into a series of end-to-end flips, each impact smashing pieces off the machine, before it finally exploded in flames.
“The car was built to withstand that, and there’s so much safety equipment aboard,” said James Maxim, a friend of Campbell’s and publicist for the team.
“Still, when I watched that video, my heart came into my throat.”
“The race car was moving at a speed of 174 km/h (108 mph) when suddenly they found the water cut 5 feet deep. There was not much to do but hang on and resist the crash. The affectations are quite notable, the car was completely destroyed,” reads the El Martillo team press release.
Everyone in this video walked away with only minor bruises and scratches.
A picture of the aftermath of the Matt Campbell Dakar crash: