The safety car is considered a necessary tool across all disciplines of motorsports. When an incident occurs on the track, the safety car is there to resolve it. On some unfortunate situations, however, their intervention has resulted in a serious incident.
Here you can read about the curious and strange cases in which the safety car has become a danger for pilots and their machines. Raise your hand if you have never had a bad day at work! Dont´ miss the worst safety car performances in Motorsport.
The safety car, a jam and string of collisions
One of the worst safety car performances in Motorsport history took place at the 2011 edition of the 6 Hours of Le Castellet, the French round of the Le Mans Series. It was assumed by everyone that after completing one formation lap of the French circuit, the safety car (red Audi RS5) that led the squad would leave the track on crossing the finish line.
Then, and once the green light was off, the race would commence. But things did not go exactly like that. On crossing the finish line, the safety car continued to roll along the track at a very low speed ahead of the group. ll the while drivers were completely unaware of what was happening and so when the lights went off they put the pedal to the metal… and ran into the safety car.
All cars had to slam the brakes in an attempt to avoid passing it, a move prohibited by the regulations. There was a monumental traffic jam that resulted in multiple collisions. Wonder what the driver of the safety car that caused the incident was thinking?
A very dangerous exit
During a race of the 2009 World Touring Car Championship, a Chevrolet Cruze caused a very serious incident. He joined the urban track of Pau (France) in an extremely reckless way.
In one of the worst safety car performances in Motorsport, the offending safety car caused a terrifying accident with one of the race participants. The race was ruined for the car involved and leader of the race at the time, a BMW driven by F. Engstler.
American-style accident in the Indy 500
Perhaps, this is not one of the worst safety car performances in Motorsport but is surely one of the most embarrassing ones. Before the start of the second race of the Detroit Grand Prix of 2018 at the Belle Island Circuit, the safety car in charge of arranging the formation was a spectacular Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
At the wheel of the powerful vehicle was a pair of inexperienced hands: The head of Product Development of General Motors, Mark Reuss.
The CEO wanted to feel the adrenaline of being part of such an event…and so he would. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed against a wall causing a terrifying pile-up of cars behind him. Imagine the poor man’s face as he walked into the office on Monday!
The mother of all mistakes
One of the worst ever mistakes by a safety car dates back to the 500 Miles of Indianapolis of 1971. That’s where it all started. In the said race, a convertible was in charge of formation. To that effect, he drove down the pit lane at full speed, and in parallel to the finish line, while everyone else also speeded up.
The problem was that he was unable to stop in time and crashed at the end of the pit lane and against a group of photographers who were stationed there. Worst of all and as we have seen in this post, it seems as if it set a precedent for safety car recklessness on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course, it was one of the worst safety car performances in Motorsport.
As it is to be expected, the top discipline in competition has also contributed its story to this shocking list of the worst safety car performances in Motorsport. Take a look at what happened in the Monaco GP of 1995.
In one of the Principality’s luxurious avenues, the safety car, a Renault Clio at the hands of rally driver, Jean Ragnotti, hit the Arrows of Japanese driver Taki Inoue. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
Images of ‘worst safety car performances in Motorsport’: F1.com