18. Let It All Come Down (ARCA, Palm Beach, 2010)
In case you’re unaware, ARCA is a very…strange series. It’s famous for the term ARCA Brakes, which describes moments when drivers simply choose not to slow down either until the last minute or at all and make accidents even worse. This makes it all the more surprising that ARCA actually managed to get a RAIN RACE in.
Rain racing is part of motorsports. Every now and again, drivers throw on some rain tires and inch their way around the circuit as carefully as they can. Stock cars very, very rarely rain race, however, mostly because it’s almost always only a road course thing. Races like the Daytona 500 can NOT be held in the rain. NASCAR has rain raced on an oval once before with its European division (granted, it was at the Tours Speedway, a low banked oval that is literally, not joking here, set up in a parking lot, and hence has drainage systems at the bottom of the track), and the second tier Xfinity series has run road course races in the rain on I believe three occasions. The Cup Series has never used rain tires in a race, however. Not including the Elkhart Lake race in 1956, which came in a day where drivers could use almost any kind of tire they wanted as long as it was a certain width and height, the most the Cup Series has ever done in the rain is a practice session. ARCA, usually considered to be the joke series, where the untalented go to have their careers slowly die off, has actually rain raced, doing so in Palm Beach in 2010. And it went…just fine.
…How, how, HOW!?
17. One Who Gets In My Way (Renault Megane, Zandvoort, 1998)
Remember when Formula Three…oh wait, I already said this.
Masters of Formula Three`s relevance and necessity has decreased with F3 itself. The race, which is held at Zandvoort, saw 47 entries in 1998. It only saw 16 in 2016, none of those 16 coming from the national F3 leagues (British F3 doesn`t really count, it’s a Formula 4 league with increased engine power). On the other hand, Zandvoort is one of the greatest race tracks out there…so all is forgiven.
1998 saw a few support events as well, such as a Renault Megane one make event. A driver by the name of Van Der Waals spun in the last turn of the second lap of the race, and hit the tires hard and took to the skies, coming back down with a bit of a thud. Van Der Waals was okay, and a local yellow was waved. As he got out of the car, the safety truck came quite close to plowing him over a la Taki Inoue. However, Van Der Waals decided to stand near his car as the safety crew got ready to do whatever they were planning on doing.
Just then, Van Der Waals noticed two cars making contact and leapt over the barrier. Both cars slammed into the back of the safety truck with full force, sending the safety truck airborne and causing Van Der Waals` car to veer towards the inside of the track. A few seconds later, seemingly unaware of the fun that had just gone on, another safety truck arrived on the inside, where Van Der Waals` car had come to a stop, only for a third Megane to spin and strike THAT safety truck, after which a fourth Megane just decided not to turn and collided head on with the first safety truck. No serious injuries were reported.
There apparently was oil down which Van Der Waals slipped in, but with yellow flags being waved throughout the sector, for the rest of those who crashed, it was simply a case of no brakes, though only partially due to driver error. The Renault Meganes run in 1998 were much larger than today`s, and had rather poor braking systems, making it excusable for the first two who arrived on scene, who didn`t know where exactly the crash was, and it`s fully possible they hit the oil on the track`s outside. For the latter two, well…
The latter drivers arrived much later than the others on the track`s inside. By this point the crews HAD to have been telling them that there was a crash in the last bend along with possible oil, and that they should run an even slower pace than the normal safety car speed, and take the middle line.
Even still…what were the trucks doing out before the field was properly slowed? I don’t know either.
In the end, the crash can be blamed on drivers entering the yellow flag zone way too fast, and on the safety crew for parking in a yellow flag zone when there wasn’t yet a safety car. This incident is often remembered as yet another* example of the poor marshalling at the otherwise excellent Zandvoort circuit…more to where that came from later.
The race was restarted later that day and run to completion.
16. Can’t Hold Me Now (TC2000, General Roca, 1988)
…Ah, TC2000…yep, we`re back in Argentina, the land of tornadoes and flipping after the finish*, for a handwave by the officials more blatantly biased than when Alex Zanardi got a penalty forgiven because he was a Champion.
This was a battle so great that the word the article I got this info from used to describe its conclusion was, `apoteotico`. Now, I unfortunately never paid attention in Spanish class, so I know very few basic words in Spanish, let alone words as rarely used as this. What does it mean?
…It means `apotheotic`, which in turn means, `having to do with apotheosis`. Now, I did know what apotheosis meant, that being, `ascension into godhood`. Basically, this battle was so legendary that it deified the drivers involved. They became gods.
The two Renault Fuegos of J.M. Traverso and Silvio Oltra were the main pair dueling for first in this race, which was only the second race of the year, and they put on a whale of a show. I do apologize if anything is incorrect, my knowledge of the inner workings of a car is only average, and I can`t really imply too much in an article that I had to throw to Google Translate, as I legitimately do not know any Spanish beyond some basic words, and of course, Google Translate is not always correct. So bear with me.
Traverso led Silvio late in the going, but with Silvio hot on his tail, Traverso began to run out of options. Traverso had been holding back a bit due to an issue with his engine, for which the team had applied some lubricant. Traverso started making blocks in the middle of turns, and the extra cornering sent the lubricant flying, mostly through the ducts of the car and out the open exhaust area (he lacked an exhaust pipe), landing on the track or on the cars of his competitors. While rounding the last turn for the penultimate time, Traverso`s car had thrown all of its lubricant out, and soon the engine itself caught fire, sending massive clouds of smoke out from underneath the car`s hood and from its right rear, where the exhaust area was.
Traverso then did what all drivers do routinely, and lowered his window, deciding to lap the track that way. The Fuego…yes, I get the irony…was beginning to sputter, but Traverso STILL didn`t care. Eventually, the smoke became too much for Traverso, and he started having to GUESS his braking points.
Incredibly, Traverso held off Oltra for the rest of the lap and crossed the line…all without being DQ`d. Traverso would go on to take the title that year.
15. Knell Of Our Future (Formula Truck, Campo Grande, 2005)
Formula Truck…yep, this again. These gigantic beasts are, well, gigantic, and can easily plow over a wall, as shown by a start crash in 2005 at Campo Grande.
Fabiano Brito slowed on the start, probably not due to a mechanical failure and likely due to just getting a bad start. Jonatas Borlenghi and Roberval Andrade saw their opportunity and began passing Brito at the same time as one another. They ran three wide for a short distance, but as they began to clear Brito, either Jonatas or Roberval pinched over (they weren’t sure which), sending the pair around in front of Brito and causing a MASSIVE pileup. One truck, driven by Heber Borlenghi, leapt over the back of his brother Jonatas’ truck and came down with fourteen thousand pounds of force, collapsing the pit wall and sending bits of concrete and several pit wall decorations, including a flagpole, into the garage area. It went airborne again, cartwheeled through the air and came down once again, this time atop J.M. Reis’ truck. When the dust settled, nineteen of the twenty three starters had been involved.
Reis, however, was still in the truck. Like a dog not wanting to let go of a tennis ball, Heber`s truck had come to a stop atop Reis` cab. The race broadcast became an episode of one of those `How did I survive` shows, as the channel covering the race stayed live on the scene as Reis was extricated in a wild and somewhat sensational rescue that even saw the head honcho of Formula Truck give his assistance…imagine Brian France getting off his rear and assisting in helping a driver out of a mangled car. It took forty five minutes (…I guess it really WAS an episode of one of those shows, it sure fit the bill in terms of length…), but Reis was eventually removed from the cab with nothing more than bruises. The race was called off.
As stated, nineteen trucks were involved and pretty much all of the trucks were out of commission. Of course, cars are very rarely complete write offs, you almost always can use parts of a wrecked car on a new one if the old one is irrepairable. Well, not here. Just to show you the destruction caused in this accident, of the 19 trucks involved in this, at least eight and as many as thirteen were completely and utterly unsalvagable. Reis skipped the next round of the championship but returned for the round after. Heber decided against running for the rest of the year, and instead handed the truck back over to Geraldo Piquet, whom he had actually replaced a little earlier in the year. His teammate, Wellington Cirino, had to skip the next race due to his team allocating all of their finances towards getting a new truck, which made things complicated as he was the points leader. Despite missing the next race, Wellington would hold on to the points lead and win the championship that year.
14. Singlehander (IMSA, Portland, 1994)
Yes, Portland is a little bit more than `that boring track with no elevation changes where a town once stood*`. It has now become…`that boring track with no elevation changes where a town once stood and this one weird thing happened`.
After the end of the GTP class in 1993, IMSA became completely and utterly irrelevant, lasting until 1998, when it became the American Le Mans and promptly re established its old base…only to throw it away again in 2000* (it found it again in 2002). The bad publicity after the crash which ended the careers of Fabrizio Barbazza and Jeremy Dale in 1995 didn`t help at all. However, there was still one more entertaining moment in the series` run.
In 1994, IMSA made its trip to Portland`s road course. Built upon a town that had been demolished by a flood, PoIR`s little elevation change, large areas of runoff, and sweeping turns make for a track that is very easy to navigate, but very difficult to navigate well. Those who know the circuit can find passing zones in really every single turn…except maybe Festival.
Hugh Fuller was determined to show that a pass in the left hander at Festival is possible. After the late* Fermin Velez found an opening on the backside of the circuit for second position during the race, Fuller was in the mood for a crossover, and pulled one on Velez in the Festival Chicane. Entering turn two, he found an opening that closed right as he went for it. This sent Velez around, blocking Fuller`s path. This didn`t deter Fuller, who tried to get around Velez anyway, leading to one of the most bizarre accidents in all of racing.
Note that all of these pictures are screencaps
Fuller`s prototype went over the front of Velez`s car and flipped over onto its side, yet actually managed to balance like that instead of going all the way over. Fuller unbuckled himself without the assistance of the officials and hopped to the ground, then gave his car a push. The lightweight prototype, just barely balancing on its side, rocked once, and, with a second push, tipped back onto its wheels. Fuller, having flipped his car back on his own, hopped in and drove away like nothing had ever happened. Velez watched this in disbelief, then remembered that he had a race to run and drove off as well. Velez would retire from the race due to the damage. The kicker?
Fuller continued. He finished fifth.
13. Hearse On A Horse (Street Stock, Smoky Mountains, 1967)
I very nearly left this one off.
Quite famously, Buddy Baker was doing some racing at Smoky Mountains Raceway in Tennessee in 1967 when he wrecked his stock car. His ribs were bruised, maybe broken, but in any case, the guys in the ambulance strapped him to a stretcher and closed the doors to the back of the med car.
…Well…they didn`t actually secure the doors, and the gurney slipped out of the medical car and bounced along the rough dirt surface at high speed, Buddy desperately calling to the two idiots to stop before the REMAINING CARS come along and turn him into roadkill.
The gurney ran down the backstretch under caution for a fair distance, with cars continuing by at pace car speed, and Buddy was eventually able to get one hand unstrapped and start waving it, getting the notice of the fools in the ambulance, who slowed to a halt. This, of course, created a new possibility: smashing INTO the back of the ambulance. Before he did, however, the stretcher dug in and turned over, treating the audience to the rather unique sight of a GURNEY DOING BARREL ROLLS down the back chute under caution. It eventually landed upside down in the mud, and while Buddy was not injured any further, he wasn`t very pleased with the two guys in the ambulance.
Oh, and the ambulance? It was once a hearse that had been repurposed.
…What’s that, you say? You’re surprised there’s no joke? Well…yeah, there IS a joke. When someone is talking about having a Baker‘s dozen of something, what number are they referring to?
12. Super What? (SuperHatch, Mahem, 2015)
This is seriously the weirdest track choice I have ever seen.
SuperHatch is another series that isn`t insanely unique, but still fairly entertaining. It`s a hatchback racing league which runs on the road courses of the land of linguistics, South Africa.
Australia and South Africa both have rather similar tastes in oval racing. Both countries enjoy it, without a doubt, but most drivers in both countries never really got used to paved ovals. Australia has only two, a big oval at Calder, which used to see a lot of racing, but nowadays is only used for an annual karting race, and the short track at Adelaide, which mostly sees drag racing on a drag strip connected to the oval’s front straight, along with occasional drifting events on the oval itself. When the AUSCAR stock car series existed, both ovals were used very frequently, but after that went under in 2000, not so much. However, Australia has a massive love for sprint cars and midget cars (which are called speedcars in Australia), and as such dirt racing there is very popular.
South Africa’s taste in ovals is a little strange. I found a little bit of evidence towards a SASCAR stock car series, but I don’t know how long it lasted, and I have little to go on besides a clip of an accident that happened in 2004. South Africa’s interest in ovals seems to be a mix of Australia’s and Great Britain’s.
There is one big oval in South Africa, the Phakisa Freeway. It has been used for racing exactly once. The Phakisa Freeway’s road course, which uses a few bits of the backstretch and the pit lane of the oval, but none of the oval’s turns, sees heavy usage in national level series. There was also another American-style paved oval in South Africa, a short track by the name of WesBank Raceway. It was very popular, but unfortunately was demolished after just four years when it got very expensive to maintain and a contractor who wanted the site offered a large sum of money for it. Dirt track racing is big in South Africa as well, but they also have a few more British-style paved ovals. Most of Britain’s ovals are very short, maybe a third of a mile, and are not banked whatsoever. They are also usually run clockwise.
…Whew…well, that was very lengthy…so what does this have to do with SuperHatch?
Well, in 2015, they decided to run a race at Mahem.
Guess what kind of track Mahem is.
…Yup, this was a thing. While by all means they race a lot of different cars on short tracks in the few other countries that have them, for me, the thing that really seals the deal is something else. Mahem didn`t return in 2016, and was replaced on the calendar by a track by the name of Red Star Raceway. And here it is…
This is the replacement to Mahem on the SuperHatch schedule. You think it`s a good replacement?…I do.
11. Confusion And Delay (Nationwide Series, Elkhart Lake, 2011)
Even the aces can leave their brains behind.
I…don`t even understand what just happened, I`ve watched the clip many times, and I still don`t get it. All right, so apparently…
The second Road America 180, back when it was still a 200 miler, saw an intriguing finish when about five thousand cautions extended the distance even further. Justin Allgaier wrapped up the race in the lead, however he ran out of fuel while pacing his car under yellow to the finish. Reed Sorenson inherited the lead, but…no, Ron Fellows was out front in the #7. In fact, Ron was zooming down at well over pace car speed, which you are permitted to do if you are catching up to the pace car. The pace car was parked at the Kink (turn 10), Fellows was at turn six, so this was fine. However…why was Fellows out front? NASCAR reviewed the footage, and gave Sorenson the win…but what the hell just happened?
The guys in the booth did a horrible job overviewing the (admittedly, very confusing) rules, so let me try and sort them out.
Okay, so of course, you can not pass for position under caution. However, if a driver fails to maintain speed under caution because they`re out of fuel, like with Allgaier, because they aren`t paying attention, or because they have an issue, like with Ambrose the year before at Sonoma (he shut his engine off to conserve fuel, and had trouble getting it refired), you can pass them for position. However, failing to maintain speed has no listed magic number at which you can pass. If the pace speed is 45, can you pass if your competitor is doing 10? Yes, as long as their car is actually in trouble and they don`t have a decent reason (e.g. a large debris field). Watching what happened, it seems Sorenson started backing off a bit (probably to about 30mph) to make sure he had enough fuel to continue to the line, having seen Allgaier run out. Considering the two were teammates, it`s understandable that Sorenson would be concerned. Ron took those five seconds to assume that Sorenson was also out of fuel and dashed up ahead like a child ordering another to get to the back of the line because they aren`t `lined up properly`. Thus, Sorenson was handed first…holy hell NASCAR just made a decent move, how rare is that!?…Moving on, NASCAR did not penalize Ron further.
10. Peak Performance (Porsche Carrera Cup France, Navarra, 2015)
Time to delve into FIA classifications. This should be fun.
GTE: Used in endurance racing; Once known as GT2, and called GTLM in TUDOR
GTCup: Used in Porsche Carrera Cup, Ferrari Challenge, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo; Meant for those who race as a hobby, and not the same as GT3
GT4: Used mostly as track day cars, but can be seen racing in series such as GT4 European Cup, CTSCC (as Grand Sport), PWC (as GTS), and British GT
GT3: Used in absolutely everything; Called GTD in TUDOR, GT in a couple championships such as PWC, and GT300 in SuperGT
Keep in mind GTCup is not actually a class, and is more of a denotation. I’m only including it as one here for reference, as homologation is confusing. GT3 cars abide by GT3 rules, so any limits on car modification are specified by the series. GTCup cars, which, as stated, are mostly used in one make series, have their modification limits specified by the manufacturer as well as the series itself, with the manufacturer taking precedence.
Porsche Carrera cars are either GTCup or GT3, it`s usually in the series name. Honestly, though, I`ll probably miss a few, because there are just SO MANY ONE MAKE PORSCHE SERIES!…All right, let`s delve into what I know exists.
Supercup: Supercup (International)
GTCup: Australia, Britain, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, Asia, Japan
GT3: USA, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Middle East, Central Europe, Finland, Turkey, Chile, Scandinavia (fun fact, Finland is not part of Scandinavia), Switzerland (races in surrounding countries), BeNeLux
That`s a lot, but unlike Ferrari Challenge and Lambo Super Trofeo, these guys do have an issue.
The rather odd shape of the Porsche Carrera, coupled with its exposed wheels, and compounded by its flat top not extending the full length of the car (and thus throwing off the center of gravity), leads to a car that can turn over very easily. Flips in Porsche Carrera were for some time plentiful, with Australian Porsche Carrera Cup having four in 2005. However, this has mostly been rectified, and while the cars do indeed go airborne quite a bit, the abundance of flips is mostly due to just how many series exist. And no, believe it or not the forty ninth flip on this list…well, I`m not sure how many it has been, I should probably count.
…Well then. Fourteen so far. That`s…quite a bit, actually.
Where was I? I don`t even…oh, right. So Porsche Carreras have flat tops. Yeah. Uhm…well, what`s the relevance of them? Well, I suppose they`re what caused this…
This happened between Joffrey De Narda and Jules Gounon during the Porsche Carrera Cup France`s trip to Navarra in Spain in 2015. De Narda was spun out in the corner, and Jules managed to climb on top of him. So…yeah, red flag, all was well with the drivers, the Porsche held up wonderfully under a ton and a half of weight, and De Narda was okay. Jules hopped out a few minutes later, not willing to break his skull by slipping and dropping to the asphalt. And that, kids, is why you always bring a ladder!
…Why am I saying `kid`? I`m barely an adult myself…
9. Sacred Blame (ADAC TCR Germany, Zandvoort, 2016)
Okay, now that`s just selfish.
TCR is a good attempt at uniting many countries’ touring car leagues under similar rules, but they might be trying to expand much too quickly…that’s the only reason I can think of as to why they’d include a track on their schedule without even beginning negotiations with authorities. When authorities in Monaco said that TCR had never once approached them to say that they wanted to run a support race to the Monaco Grand Prix, the internet was not pleased. The International Series’ track choices are also a bit questionable, including the Hungaroring in Hungary and the Rustavi Ring in Georgia. As in, the country Georgia.
The Rustavi Ring is a good circuit, and the people of Georgia are big fans of TCR. In fact, they even have a local boy to root for. I’m curious to see how the officials at the Rustavi Ring handle their first major race…though this might be a little too major. It’s like jumping from karting to NASCAR. Easy steps are required in order to be successful, and if these guys want their country’s lone race track to remain on the calendar, they’ll have to take extra caution in overseeing how the event is run.
Other examples of TCR making some odd decisions include, but are not limited to…allowing touring car series in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and the USA to use their name and hence adopt their rules, which seems fair until you learn that these series all had no TCR entries, and having its Scandinavia Series decide to run a track in Finland (which is, again, not Scandinavia). While TCR’s owners usually sell organizers of touring car series the ability to use the TCR name and abide by TCR rules, they do actually manage two series themselves, the International Series and the Middle East Series. TCR was also planning on operating and managing a third series, the TCR Las Americas Series, but that had to be canceled due to, guess what, no entries.
Despite this all, the German Series is going very well.
At Zandvoort in 2016, Nederlander Bas Schouten crashed on lap one, damaging the suspension of the car and taking him out of the race. Under caution, Bas requested that the car be thrown on a flatbed and taken to the pits, as he believed he could continue after some minor repairs. First, Bas, 90% rule. Second, your car`s axle is snapped. But he wasn`t listening, and was livid when officials told him that they would stick to the protocol: tow the car to the pit exit via truck, then the team can either roll the car back or get a flatbed, and to fix the car for the second race later in the day. Bas, bitter that their recklessness in even towing the car had damaged the undertray due to the suspension being collapsed, ordered his team to put the car on a jack and just let it sit there at pit in, which they did. Admittedly, the undertray had probably been damaged by the tow, but towing is what they`ve always done and it`s what they`ll continue to do. Zandvoort’s marshals are not very bright, but what Bas did is completely and utterly ridiculous.
Despite the fact that both the medical car, safety car, and any potential box`xers could very easily get around the car, officials threw a red flag to get things sorted out. Now, the misconception going around (I even made this mistake) was that officials decided to call the race immediately after the red flag. As it turned out they did in fact resume the event after getting the car out of the way and ejecting Bas from the circuit. Officials attempted to get enough distance in so they wouldn`t have to give half points, but alas, they failed, and so 1/2 points were awarded. The second Zandvoort race was a rainy one, and only one green flag lap was completed in between the many safety car periods, but they awarded full points anyway for one reason or another, probably because two races with both awarding half points would really not be fun.
8. End Of Vermillion (Sprint Cup, Daytona, 2012)
HE HIT THE JET DRYER!
Yeah, Juan Pablo Montoya still receives you know what over this. The 2012 Daytona 500 had been postponed until Monday night due to rain, and the Daytona 500, normally a race that either ends at sundown or just past it, instead got started at seven at night. This was the first time Daytona had been held on a Monday…and you know what happened around ten that evening.
A caution had come out, as David Stremme had blown his engine and spun in turn three. The field had pitted, and Dave Blaney had stayed out to lead a few laps. Juan Montoya had run into some problems, and was being waved around to catch back up to the pace car, when something broke on the underside of the car and it snapped right. Unfortunately, the jet dryer was still cleaning some oil from Stremme`s motor, and…well, let`s just say that the Internet would never again be the same.
I can`t even imagine what Dave was thinking, wondering if he`d actually win the Daytona 500, as it seemed uncertain as to whether or not the race would continue immediately afterwards. The impact led to a flashover near the jet engine, after which the fire, not having any oxygen around it (it had consumed it all) and not yet having access to the leaking jet fuel, died down. Montoya used this opportunity to get out of his crumbled car, as did the driver of the jet dryer and his passenger. Terry Labonte drove over the fuel in the meantime, but did not ignite it (I dunno if you can ignite jet fuel with a simple spark like what was coming from the exhaust, but…), thankfully. Just as the officials arrived, though…
The fire found both some oxygen and access to the fuel and the blaze reignited itself. The track was absolutely coated in jet fuel, and flames were rising high into the sky, melting bits of the catchfence. A fire truck was called to the scene, and then another, in what was probably the only time that month that the fire hoses were needed. Eventually, the blaze surrendered, and the track was ruled to be in decent enough shape to continue on with the event. Matt Kenseth passed Blaney on the restart and dominated the rest of the show, crossing the line to win the race a couple minutes after midnight. Blaney still had a good run after that, as he finished fifteenth.
Montoya hitting the jet dryer has become something of a meme since, even overseas.
As a sort of side note, the jet dryer operator, who was later identified as Duane D. Barnes of Michigan, passed away in the summer of 2015 at the age of 55. His family did not give an exact cause of death, though they did say that his passing was very unexpected.
7. Terra Battle (24h Race, Nurburgring, 2016)
Well, this is a thing and a half.
The 24h Of Nurburgring is one of the very few times where drivers run the full loop at the Nurburgring, Green Hell and all. So how about we NOT run it in a hailstorm?
The 2016 24h Nurburgring saw well over two hundred starters as it usually does, from Ferraris to Ford Fiestas and everything in between. This year, however, pretty bad weather came with the green flag, as rain began to fall in buckets across the German countryside. Dozens of cars went off, including all of the invitational TCR cars. The weather just got worse and worse, as it soon turned to hail. Now, hail is indeed something seen now and again in racing (it once happened during a Caterham 7 race), but this was insane. After only having raced about fifty minutes, the cars were told to stop on track and wait for the weather to improve, as both giant puddles and rivers had formed on the circuit. What solidifies (*rimshot*) this moment on this list, though, was the sheetlike surface of the track during the red flag. It honestly looked like someone had taken a massive strip of saran wrap and had coated the circuit in it. While stranger instances of weather have indeed occurred, the track`s glossy surface during the stoppage made for one of the most incredible sights in racing, and one that probably won`t be repeated anytime too soon. I don’t think.
6. Reoccuring Nevermore (Winnipeg Sports Car Club, Gimli, 1983)
The Gimli Glider…
…Must I say more?
In short, on July 23, 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 operating as Flight 143 took off from Montreal to Edmonton. Due to a massive miscalculation between Imperial units (which Air Canada had used until then) and metric (which the brand new Boeing 767 used) and a failure of the fuel gauges, much too little fuel was added for the flight. Thankfully, they were already doing a stopover in Ottawa. But again, too little was added in Ottawa, and this time they weren’t doing another stopover. So………..
Yeah, they ran out of fuel in midflight. The co-pilot diverted to Gimli in Manitoba, which is where he had trained. However, while it was an airbase when he had trained there, it had since been decommissioned. It had since become a race track.
The pilots managed to put the plane down at one end of the runway. The plane quickly plowed over a guardrail and almost flattened two boys on bikes, who managed to get out of the way. The plane came to a stop just before the fence at the last turn, while local racers were getting ready for an open wheel race. No one was killed or even injured. All 69 people aboard got out okay, and no one was hurt on the ground.
Gimli is still active, and the plane itself was decommissioned in 2008. It languished in Tijuana for a couple years, and has since been broken up and most of it was recycled for new parts. However, if you know where to look online, you can buy pieces of the plane as trinkets.
Another: Roger Williamson is the prime example of Zandvoort’s poor marshalling. I’ll let you read about Williamson on your own accord. Be warned, it’s a tearjerker.
Finish: After the completion of the Turismo Carretera race at Parana in 2009, Marcelo Bugliotti, who finished third, turned second place Matias Rossi into winner Christian Ledesma, sending Rossi up and onto his roof. Bugliotti seemingly hadn’t liked how Rossi had raced him during the event itself, and took his anger out on Rossi on the cool down lap, not expecting Rossi to overturn. Matias and Ledesma were both unhurt, but this move almost caused a riot among the spectators.
Stood: The town of Vanport once stood where Portland International Raceway is now. Vanport was incorporated in 1942 to house workers in the local factories during wartime. It was destroyed in a flood in 1948 and was not rebuilt.
2000: In 2000, American Le Mans had races in Europe and Australia, which were supposed to help kickstart a European Le Mans Series and Asia Pacific Le Mans Series respectively. They were both failures, and the APLMS was canned. The ELMS did get off the ground, but only made it one season. A proper ELMS did start in 2004, and Asia got its own series (known as the Asian Le Mans Series) in 2013, but neither series is run by IMSA, the sanctioners of both ALMS and its replacement, the WeatherTech Sports Car Series.
Late: Fermin Velez died of cancer in 2003.