Belfast Telegraph

McCoy tells of lucky escape from crash that wrecked £60k Porsche

The Porsche following the M4 incident
The Porsche following the M4 incident
The former Champion Jockey with his wife Chanelle

By David O'Dornan

Horse racing legend Sir Tony McCoy has broken his silence about a motorway pile-up that saw his Porsche written-off but left him without a scratch.

The Moneyglass man walked away unscathed after smashing into two vehicles at 70mph four years ago.

The record 20-time Champion Jockey crashed near Swindon in Wiltshire in November 2015, wrecking his new £60,000 sports car.

He said: "When I finished racing and went from being driven around all the time to driving myself, I wanted something a bit sportier.

"Obviously, I've got two kids and I like playing golf, so the Porsche Panamera is a good compromise.

"I got it pretty much as soon as I retired in 2015.

"I was thinking of changing it and getting an Aston Martin or something, but then a fella who was driving in front of me fell asleep at the wheel of his van on the M4 one Monday morning.

"He hit the central reservation and ended up in the middle of the road, then a Mercedes SUV hit him and the both of them ended up in the outside lane where I was.

"I was coming along, doing the 70mph speed limit, and I had no time to react so ploughed into them.

"Somehow nobody was injured, but the van ended up 50 yards down the road on its roof, the Mercedes was mangled and my Panamera was written off. I couldn't believe how well it took the impact, though - so I bought the exact same car again that very evening."

AP (45) may have escaped without a scratch, but he was no stranger to injuries during his illustrious career, including a broken back, shoulder, ribs, cheekbone, ankle and leg.

And he revealed it was after one of his earlier injuries as a rookie jockey in his teens that he passed his test - only to write off his first car as well.

He said: "I started learning to drive pretty much after my 17th birthday, but I broke my left leg on the gallops not long after.

"That meant I wasn't long out of plaster when I took my test. In fact, I was only just able to walk, so it was quite a task to press the clutch on the Toyota Corolla.

"I passed the first time, though, and got a second-hand Peugeot 205. It lasted about three weeks before I wrote it off. I was going too fast, but it was a good lesson to learn at the time."

AP was gifted a number of complimentary cars for being Champion Jockey from Saab, which sponsored racing, but he told Top Gear magazine that often he had his own chauffeur.

He explained: "Throughout a lot of my career, cars were all about comfort. I was lucky enough to have a driver most of the time, but it wasn't a flash thing.

"I wasn't being a big-time Charlie or whatever. We just did so many miles and to do my job you needed someone to get you from one racecourse to another during a day.

"We'd do around 75,000 miles a year.

"I probably drove around 10,000 of them. I hated driving to work, but after a day of racing I was often so high on adrenaline that I'd jump in the car and drive home."

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