This is the final part. Beforehand, I’m going to go over the list so far.
50. TIRE CHANGER JIMMY WATTS BRINGS OUT CAUTION AT ATLANTA, 2009
49. RON BURCHETTE PROVES THAT ARCA BRAKES EXIST AT DAYTONA, 1995
48. WTCC CARS PILE UP UNDER RED FLAG CONDITIONS AT MACAU, 2013
47. JEAN ALESI GETS MASSIVE JUMP START AT BAHRAIN, 2009
46. JARED CARLYLE JUMPS STEEPLECHASE HURDLE AT PUKEKOHE, 2007
45. NICOLAS MAYR-MELNHOF FLIPS AT PIT-IN AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, 2011
44. PACE CAR GETS STOLEN BY DRUNKARD AT TALLADEGA, 1986
43. MASSIVE RAINSTORM HITS DURING ETCC RACE AT SILVERSTONE, 1984
42. RUBEN GARCIA ALMOST ENTERS CROWD AT RIVERSIDE, 1988
41. MASS DSQ CONDUCTED DURING ITALIAN F3 FINALE AT MONZA, 2012
40. ARCA ACTUALLY COMPLETES RAIN RACE AT PALM BEACH, 2010
39. DRIVER GETS TASED DURING FIGURE EIGHT RACE AT ANDERSON, 2017
38. RENAULT MEGANES PILE INTO SAFETY TRUCKS AT ZANDVOORT, 1998
37. JOHN PRIOR FLIPS AFTER CHECKERS DURING ARCA RACE AT DUQUOIN, 1985
36. RON FELLOWS MAKES STUPID MOVE UNDER YELLOW AT ROAD AMERICA, 2011
35. CRAIG JARVIS ROLLS FERRARI DURING QUALIFYING AT KYALAMI, 2017
34. DRIVER’S SPONSOR STEALS HIS RACE CAR FOR STUNT AT ALTAMONT, 2006
33. HANS HEYER ILLEGALLY STARTS GERMAN GRAND PRIX, 1977
32. BERND MAYLANDER HITS MANHOLE IN THE STREETS OF SHANGHAI, 2004
31. FIRE LORRY FLIPS DURING SAFETY CAR PERIOD AT BRANDS HATCH, 2011
30. UTV CROSSES TRACK DURING INDOOR MIDGET RACE AT TRENTON, 2017
29. FORMULA THREE CAR DRAGGED OVER BY TOW ROPE AT SNETTERTON, 2003
28. DRIVER FLIPS ON SIDE, ROLLS OWN CAR BACK, CONTINUES AT PORTLAND, 1994
27. INFLATABLE ORANGE GETS BLOWN ONTO TRACK AT CHICAGOLAND, 2004
26. MARCOS AMBROSE’S INFAMOUS TIRE ROLL AT CANBERRA, 2001
25. IDIOT DRIVES CIVILIAN CAR ON TRACK DURING RACE AT BRANDS HATCH, 2014
24. FIERY INCIDENT INVOLVING MANHOLE ENDS RACE AT MONTREAL, 1990
23. EXPANDED GRID SIZE MADE MOOT BY START CRASH AT INDIANAPOLIS, 1997
22. PETER BRAID RAMPS ONTO SHELTER ROOF AT BLANDFORD, 1949
21. MASSIVE START PILEUP DURING BIG RIG RACE AT CAMPO GRANDE, 2005
20. MERCEDES CLR PROJECT EPIC FAILS AT LE MANS, 1999
19. SEVERAL CARS SPLIT AFTER HITTING FAN GATES AT BRISTOL, 1990/2002
18. R. KORDECKI STUPIDLY WRITES OFF FERRARI AT SLOVAKIARING, 2010
17. TEAM FINDS BLOWUP DOLL IN STALLED PORSCHE AT SEBRING, 1983
16. INCREDIBLE WEATHER DURING ENDURANCE RACE AT NURBURGRING, 2016
15. J.M. TRAVERSO WINS DESPITE CAR BEING ON FIRE AT GENERAL ROCA, 1988
14. DRIVER THROWS AWAY WIN AND TITLE AT MAR DEL PLATA, 2000
13. BUDDY BAKER’S INFAMOUS GURNEY FLIP AT SMOKY MOUNTAIN, 1968?
12. PORSCHE DRIVER CLIMBS ATOP ANOTHER’S ROOF AT NAVARRA, 2015
11. ALL CARS RUN OUT OF FUEL AT FORMULA FOUR RACE AT SEPANG, 2017
Now then, let’s get it all started.
10. A SCHOOL BUS ENTERS THE TRACK (2017, USF4, AUSTIN)
NEW TO LIST
I…have no idea what to say about this one.
School buses are often used at the Circuit of the Americas when it comes time to pick up marshals at day’s end, and are also used to give tours. One day in September 2017, the school bus driver was told to head out and fetch the marshals from their posts at 19:00 local time, when the racing would be either done or almost done. However, the day’s events ran very long, and at 19:00 there was still a United States Formula Four race going on, the last race of the day. The unidentified driver, having never been told not to set out at 19:00, did so. One wrong turn later, he found himself pulling onto the race track at turn six, leading to the 30 seat bus briefly driving backwards on the circuit.
Thankfully, the red flag was waved, and the field of about 30 to 35 was able to avoid the bus. Once it was assisted off the circuit, officials decided that they had the time to finish the event, and it was run to completion.
09. TWISTER DURING A RACE IN ARGENTINA (2016, TC MOURAS, CONCEPCION DEL URUGUAY)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 32ND
We aren’t done with weather…
On November 27th, 2016, the TC Mouras series, a lower tier series feeding into the Turismo Carretera, a stock car series which serves as the highest level series in Argentina, was running a race at the Concepcion Del Uruguay circuit when a storm struck. The storm quickly grew worse, with heavy rain and lightning every which way. To make things even worse, a tornado touched down.
With the safety car out, the drivers pulled to the side of the track and sought cover. The tornado’s gusts measured to about 65mph, more than enough to damage the track’s facilities. In the nearby town, the tornado damaged the water facilities and power stations, knocking out those utilities for the next couple hours. During the storm, a rainfall of about two inches in two hours was recorded. Thankfully, despite the twister and extremely heavy rain, no one was badly injured in the storm. The race eventually resumed a few days later.
08. BAS SCHOUTEN’S SABOTAGE (2016, TCR GERMANY, ZANDVOORT)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 9TH
Okay, that’s just really selfish.
During a TCR Germany touring car race at Zandvoort in 2016, Dutchman Bas Schouten’s SEAT collided with a fellow competitor’s Volkswagen right out of the gate, damaging the suspension of the car and taking him out of the race. Schouten appears to have believed his car could continue after repairs, and was not pleased with Zandvoort’s officials dragging the car on its damaged suspension from the starting area, where he had crashed, to pit exit, which, admittedly, certainly made things worse. Apparently, officials also told him that he’d have to either have his car wheeled back or get a flatbed himself. Out of anger, Schouten told his team to put the car on a jack and leave it at pit exit, which is exactly what they did. With the medical car unable to access the circuit due to Schouten’s car being in the way, the red flag was flown. Schouten was ejected from the circuit, and the race was eventually resumed, though due to the lack of time to run many more laps, it only gave half points. Schouten would be excluded from race one and did not start race two.
I have never seen that sort of sabotage and bitterness during a race…
07. TAKI INOUE (1995, F1, MONACO/HUNGARY)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 5TH
Formula One driver Taki Inoue really didn’t have a very good 1995.
During the season, he was struck by the course car not once, but twice. First up was at Monaco during practice. The Footwork suffered a failure, and a flatbed lorry started taking him back to the pits, with a towrope towing the car behind it and its nose just atop the flatbed itself. Out of nowhere, the safety car, a Renault Clio who according to autosport was driven by Jean Ragnotti, a rallyman, with current FIA President Jean Todt in the passenger seat, rounded the corner and struck the Footwork in the back. The crash lifted the footwork up and sent it onto its lid. Taki had undone his belts and his helmet, though he still kept his helmet on. The crash ended up dumping him partially out of the car, dealing him a concussion and several other injuries. The FIA reviewed the incident and blamed neither Ragnotti or Inoue, and said that they would negotiate damages with Footwork. Inoue was allowed to use his second car in qualifying, but he chose to skip qualifying and only run the race itself, which didn’t last very long as the Footwork blew up early on.
Things only got worse for Inoue at the Hungaroring later that year. The car caught fire during the race and he pulled to the side of the road, looking to fetch a fire extinguisher. Once he found one, he ran back, failing to notice the presence of an approaching course car. Oops.
Inoue is retired now, and he’s more than willing to make fun of himself on social media.
06. TREE FALLS OVER (2010, BATHURST 12H, BATHURST)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 3RD
Bathurst is one of the most exciting circuits in the world. Between long straights leading into sharp turns and sweeping esses with heavy elevation changes and little runoff, navigating the Mount Panorama Circuit is one of the biggest accomplishments by any drivers.
Rain marred the 2010 Bathurst 12 Hour, the last edition of the race before they switched from production cars to sports cars. About 40% of the race was spent behind the safety car either due to crashes or heavy rain.
Around hour seven of the race, a red flag was suddenly warranted. Drivers scrambled to find out what was wrong, and soon found the issue: a tree had come down at the coincidentially named Forrest’s Elbow, a turn named many years prior when motorcycle racer J. Forrest scraped his elbow away in the 1940s. Thankfully no one was injured, and the only damage was to a spectator’s vehicle according to drive.com.au. The tree was removed with a chainsaw, which delayed the race by an hour.
The 2009 edition of the Bathurst 12h completed 239 laps at the end. The 2010 edition, through all its delays, only finished 202.
05. MONTOYA HITS THE JET DRYER (2012, NASCAR CUP, DAYTONA)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 8TH
The 2012 Daytona 500 was bizarre. A race that had never been delayed by rain was pushed off until Monday night at 19:00, and then things only got stranger from there.
Around lap 160, David Stremme’s car blew up, spilling fluids everywhere. A pit stop cycle was conducted, and Dave Blaney decided to stay out. Little did he know that he’d soon be trying to persuade the officials to award him the win in the most important race in his life.
Juan Pablo Montoya was in the pit lane believing that he had a severe vibration. According to a later Yahoo! article, the team briefly looked around the car and could not find an issue, and he was sent back out. It turned out that his concern was warranted, and entering turn three, an axle snapped on the car, sending it straight up the circuit and into the back of a jet dryer, which had been lapping the outside of the circuit in an attempt to clean the fluids spilled. The jet engine in the back was jarred into the air, and it swiftly exploded. The jet fuel was spread down the backing, found a spark in the passing car of Terry Labonte, and began to burn. Juan quickly bailed from the car, and officials quickly helped the jet dryer’s driver, identified as 52-year-old Duane Barnes of Michigan, from his vehicle. Nobody was injured.
NASCAR looked upon the scene and briefly weighed whether they should bother continuing on with the race, but eventually decided that they could complete the show. After a two hour cleanup, the race resumed, and Matt Kenseth swiftly got a jump and never looked back. By the time Kenseth took the checkers, it was 02:00 on Tuesday morning. Blaney finished 15th.
Apparently, Montoya, who has moved to sports cars, is frequently reminded of the incident, with even his sponsors unable to help themselves. Duane Barnes passed away in July 2015 at the age of 55. His cause of death was not given, though it was considered unexpected.
04. WHEEL FALLS OFF CAR AND REMOUNTS ITSELF (BEFORE 2000, HOBBY STOCKS, BAKERSFIELD)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 4TH
Featured on an episode of RealTV was an incredible incident at the Bakersfield Speedway, which saw a hobby stock driver by the last name of Nolan or Noland or something like that spin in turn three and strike a stalled car. The #5 hobby stock suffered a loose wheel in the incident. As he rounded turn four, the wheel came off the frame and rolled alongside his car for a bit, then rolled back into the car, somehow remounting itself. Of course, the tire was deflated, and the #5 was headed to this pits anyway, but it was still an unforgetable sight.
I was never able to find very much on the incident, so it was time to go searching.
First source was the track owner, who said he took over in 2003, and it did not occur during his ownership. RealTV ended after 2001, so it wasn’t 2002. Due to the show getting a new host in the middle of 2000, and not the end of the year, I can fully eliminate 2001, and can all but eliminate 2000, though it’s possible that it was in early 2000 and the incident was shown on RealTV in the summer.
I found a driver name in some results dating back to 2000, running a #5 car and possessing a very similar name to what was audibly heard in the clip, that being Raymond Noland, Sr. The Noland family has raced at Bakersfield for years, with Karl, Sr. and Raymond Noland, Sr. both finding a lot of success in the Hobby Stock division. Their sons, Karl, Jr. and Raymond, Jr., respectively, have picked up the torches.
So while the driver is almost certainly Raymond Noland, Sr. and the division is almost certainly Hobby Stocks, I don’t have a year. If you have any further information, let me know.
03. ROLLING INTO THE SAFETY CAR (2008, DUTCH SUPERCAR, SPA)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 2ND
Supercar Challenge, also known as Dutch Supercar Challenge, is one of the most unique series in the world. In it, touring cars, sports cars, and prototypes alike race alongside one another, sometimes in the same class. This can lead to some bizarre, yet exciting, photographs, though this one might be taking it too far.
Shortly after the start of the first race of two during the Spa Euro Races weekend at Spa in 2008, the safety car was warranted when a Porsche spun off course. The safety car, however, ended up picking up the second place ex-DTM Audi #103 of Arjan Van Der Zwaan instead of the leading #109 Marcos Marcorelly of Cor Euser. Euser took off, with the safety car in hot pursuit, attempting to catch back up. After a minute or two of pure confusion, officials eventually instructed the safety car to pull off to the side of the road and let the field pass it by so it could pick up the leader. It did so at Blanchimont.
As the Seat safety car slowed to a crawl, the #138 of Paul Hogarth in a Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 slammed on the brakes to avoid him. #416 Joost Den Ouden, running a BMW E36, reacted in the same way, but could not avoid plowing into the back of Hogarth, his car’s brakes being far inferior to that of Hogarth’s. The BMW ramped the Lamborghini, flipped onto its side, slammed into the Seat, sending it off course and into the tire wall, and did several rolls before coming to rest on its door. After a few seconds, the #333 Marcos Mantis of José Bermudez De Castro spun around in avoidance, only for the #323 BMW Z3 V8 of Willy Angenent to pile into the Mantis, soon followed by another, unidentified BMW. A third BMW, the #308 BMW Compact driven by Laurens Gooshouwer, then plowed headlong into the back of the Mantis with incredible violence. Amazingly, no one was injured, and the driver of the Seat quickly scrambled over the barriers. The race was abandoned shortly thereafter, with Euser being awarded the win.
02. CRASHING THE PACE CAR (1971, USAC, INDIANAPOLIS)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 1ST
In 1971, muscle cars were selling poorly, and no one wanted to provide a pace car for the Indianapolis 500. Enter Eldon Palmer, an Indianapolis dealer who headed a local effort to provide the track with several vehicles to choose from. They chose an open top Dodge Challenger out of the lot, and Eldon was given the position as its driver in return.
Eldon practiced his pace car run the day before, and he decided to set down a marker to indicate when to brake. No one knows what the marker was or if there even was one, but come race day a marker wasn’t there. Not helping the fact was that, apparently, Eldon believed that he would have to beat the field to the line. What he thought would happen if he failed to do so is unknown.
On race day, Eldon, Tony Hulman, ABC broadcaster Chris Schenkel, and special ride-along guest John Glenn all hopped into the pace car and led the field around. As poleman Peter Revson held the inside of the front row and waited for the green, Eldon accelerated down the pit lane, reaching 125mph. He noticed that his marker was not where he thought it was, and mashed the brakes. The Dodge slid sideways and plowed over a photographer’s stand, in an incident that didn’t even warrant a yellow. Many of the photographers on the stand were injured, but amazingly, no one was killed. Schenkel was badly shaken and sat out the broadcast, but did not suffer any broken bones or sprains. Hulman twisted an ankle. Palmer and Glenn were unhurt.
After this, officials decided to solely use professional drivers. Eldon eventually sold off the Challenger, which was restored and as of 2014 is in good condition. Eldon Palmer passed away in 2016, at the age of 87.
01. THE GIMLI GLIDER (1983, WINNIPEG SPORTS CAR CLUB, GIMLI)
RANK ON PREVIOUS LIST: 6TH
On July 23rd, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 took off from Montreal for Edmonton, with a stopover in Ottawa, with 69 aboard.
Canada had recently begun to switch from Imperial to Metric, and Air Canada had just purchased a few Boeing 767s, which used Metric instead of Imperial. According to the National Post, the computer that calculated how much fuel was needed was out of commission, so the ground crew had to calculate by hand.
Jet fuel’s volume depends on the temperature, so it was impossible to know them by heart. The ground crew checked their papers and saw that the conversion factor to kilograms at current temperature was 1.77, so they multiplied the factor by the amount of liters aboard for the current fuel load, subtracted the result from how much fuel in kilograms was needed for how much fuel to add, and divided that result by 1.77 to get the amount of fuel they needed to add. These equations led the ground crew to believe that they only needed to add 5000 liters to the about 8000 already in the tanks.
However, 1.77 was actually the conversion factor for liters into pounds. The actual conversion factor for liters into kilograms was 0.803, and they actually needed 20000 liters, meaning they only had fuel for half the flight. The pilots doublechecked and found the conversions to be sound, again using the incorrect factor.
Over western Ontario, the inevitable happened. The plane ran out of fuel in mid-flight, forcing the pilot to glide. By a stroke of luck, he had been trained as a glider, and his co-pilot, upon recognizing that they couldn’t get to Winnipeg, suggested the base where he’d been trained, Gimli, Manitoba. He was unaware that it had since been decommissioned, and had become a race track.
While the crowds lined up to watch the start of an open wheel race, the hulking behemoth came in for an emergency landing. The pilot had not only gotten to Gimli, something Air Canada’s finest were unable to duplicate in a simulator, but he had put the plane on the ground without injury, just a few hundred feet from the race track’s guardrail.
Gimli Motorsports Park’s still open, and hasn’t changed very much over the years. The Glider plane itself has been disassembled, though if you’d like you can purchase a little piece of the plane in the form of a trinket online.
Well, that’s the end of that. Nothing beats a plane coming in during a race, eh? Thank you for being so patient with me, and it’s great to finally have this list over and done with. If you are curious as to why something was not included, let me know and I’ll tell you if I considered it and why it wasn’t included, or if I completely forgot about it, because with a list this big there’s bound to be something for me to forget.
Now before I end this, here’s a bonus entry. Due to the circumstances surrounding it I could not include it (the subject of the incident was killed and it occurred after the race’s completion), but it’s just too strange to not mention. So, I decided I’d talk about it at the end. If I could include it, it probably would have slotted in in around 9th or so. Well, thanks for reading through this monstrosity, and I’ll leave you with this bonus entry. See you later!
00. CRAZED MAN ENTERS THE SPEEDWAY (1991, CART, INDIANAPOLIS)
NEW TO ‘LIST’
Early in the morning on Wednesday, May 29th, 1991, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had just held the 75th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and permanent and civilian employees alike had gathered to clean the track up. However, they had an unexpected guest.
Stephen C. White, a 31-year-old self employed carpenter, entered the speedway through a gate, presumably by a track worker who believed that White, driving a ’79 GMC C/K, was a temporary worker who was there to help out, of which there were apparently a few hundred. Instead, White began to do several hot laps of the speedway in the old truck, waving and smiling along the way according to The Indianapolis Star. He completed about four laps before Luther Wray, a speedway foreman, drove a Dodge Caravan onto the circuit and began waving White down. White instead veered towards the Caravan and collided with it at about 100mph. Wray avoided injury by darting towards and climbing the catchfence, but White died on impact.
Though toxicology reports appear to have not been made public, White was stated to be a manic depressive on medication who had last been accounted for the night prior. Police theorized that this was a suicide attempt on the part of White.