McLaren driver charged with careless driving

Skidmarks were visible for up to 80 metres on the road before the crash site (Newshub.)
Skidmarks were visible for up to 80 metres on the road before the crash site (Newshub.)

The driver of a McLaren F1 car which crashed in Queenstown on Saturday has been remanded at large on a charge of careless driving in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

The Australian driver, 63-year-old Barry Leigh Fitzgerald, didn't appear in court, however his lawyer was there on his behalf. His next court date will be in January.

The incident happened during a convoy of 31 McLaren cars traveling from Auckland to Queenstown.

The crashed car was a 1994 McLaren F1, capable of traveling at almost 400km/h. McLaren denied speed was involved.

Skidmarks were visible for up to 80 metres on the road before the crash site. The driver was taken to the Queenstown Medical Centre with minor injuries.

Local photographer James Allan claimed McLaren officials went to great lengths to cover up the crash.

Mr Allan was first on the scene. He'd heard word this was no run-of-the-mill car crash.

"Because it was a McLaren - then we heard it was possibly the F1 version. Sounds like a bit of a good story to me."

Mr Allan took some pictures, then says he was approached by someone kitted out in McLaren clothes asking how much it would cost to give them his pictures.

"Said to me, 'Yeah, we'd just rather not have this getting out. It doesn't look good for us, so how much to make it go away?'"

He struck a lucrative deal before other media showed up, rendering it pointless.

A McLaren spokesperson told Newshub it's standard protocol for the company to cover the car after an accident to protect the owner's privacy and to prevent further damage.

Newshub.