Small hatchback racing is a thing of beauty. The cars are quick, evenly matched, and you can even buy them and race them and not spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a season. LONG LIVE THE HATCHBACK!
So imagine when it all goes wrong in one of these races. Surely the cars are light and nimble enough to avoid one another right? Well, yes they are light and nimble, but when it all goes wrong in racing, even if it’s only at 70-80mph, it goes wrong in a big way. Here’s proof to that claim.
A Nissan Micra race was held in Canada which has a racing series dedicated to the tiny hatch. The cars can be flung around tracks and they’re pretty fun to watch. But check out what happens up near the front of the field in this Micra race when all hell breaks loose.
And just like that, in the blink of an eye, it all goes wrong. This video comes from YouTuber Brian Maske who talked to Jalopnik about his ordeal.
I was on the left side of the starting grid and spotted the flag, so I got the jump. I pulled out to the left and had a better run than Frederic Bernier. Instead of lifting, I gave him a bump and followed him through.
Before I turned in for the first corner, I had a feeling things were going to go sideways and you can see me lift a touch in the video as were barrelling into the first turn.
From there, you can see Fred get some oversteer, then correct, and then collect those two white cars.
At the same time, I see cars barrel rolling down the right side of the track and at this point, I’m overwhelmed and preparing for impact. I’m on the brake just hoping I can clear some of these cars. In the back of my mind I’m thinking “Ah, man, I do not need to crash a brand new race car today!”
It’s one of those situations where it’s impossible to consciously think through a solution. My years of concentrating on processing visual inputs is undoubtedly what got me through the crash. Every car I avoided was still moving at the time, and my brake and steering inputs were purely instinctive. I’ve got to thank my great teachers over the years for that discipline.
Sure, having a front row seat was pretty exciting, but I’m really happy that all of my competitors are ok. Those were some really big crashes and the Micra Cup cars are thankfully very stout.
Here’s another from a spectator’s POV.
Per Jalopnik, thankfully no one came out of this with serious injuries, but this is a stark reminder that racing at any level comes with a high degree of danger.