Fire is something all car enthusiasts are concerned about at one time or another. It’s an issue for the average Supra or Mustang and even an EV like a Tesla under certain circumstances. And just because it’s uncommon doesn’t mean it can’t happen, as famous female drifter Collete Davis learned a few days ago while behind the wheel of her C6 Corvette.
If you’re watching car videos on YouTube, there’s a good chance this video has popped up in your trending section. So what exactly happened?
The footage from her helmet-mounted GoPro is like a nightmare for anybody. You’re doing your thing on the track when suddenly flames shoot out from under the dashboard and your life could be in danger.
The Corvette was a brand new build; the paint was barely dry and livery hadn’t even been applied yet. Collete had just one her first drift competition battle a week prior and was participating in the sideways action at HyperFest.
As I said, the footage is extremely scary. The V8 can be heard tearing it up when suddenly flames jet out from behind the carbon dash. Collete has seconds to react.
She quickly unbuckles, removes the detachable steering wheel, and reaches for her fire extinguisher. This gets caught for a fraction of a second, so by the time the drifter exits her Corvette, she has to step out into flames.
As she struggles to get the extinguisher started, we see the flames doing damage to the expensive new paint job and bodywork. And while she is wearing some fire-resistant safety gear, her ankles are clearly exposed and half of her attire isn’t protective. Yeah, this could have been very bad if she hadn’t exited so quickly.
She wasn’t hurt, and the drift car will be put back together, hopefully with a safer fuel-delivery system. Props to the YouTuber for showing not only the positives in her driving career but also the lows.
What caused Collete’s fire? During the drift battle, a fuel rail became loose and leaked gas inside the engine bay.
“I didn’t have a fire suppression system in the car, but will be installing one,” Davis says in a post on Facebook. “It’s not required for the series I compete in, and wouldn’t have stopped the fire completely – but definitely would’ve helped contain it.”
Collete and her Corvette
Collete is so famous in the car world right now that even old-timer figures know about her. A month ago, Richard Hammond did a video roasting her “Barbie” Nissan 350Z drift car. By the way, I love the heart-shaped wheels; they’re very JDM-style, even if the Hamster doesn’t get them.
Anyway, the drift car build traces its roots back to December 2020 when Adam LZ announced he was gifted a new car to his girlfriend for Christmas. In his words, the Corvette was not a traditional gift, but there’s nothing Collete would want more, and he was right.
The build really picked up in recent months: widebody kit, full cage, custom bodywork, a front-mounted gearbox to get rid of the torque tube, and the fancy multi-color paint job. The crown jewel is a Texas Speed billet 440 LS engine. I believe it’s naturally aspirated and makes more than 600 horsepower.