The British Touring Car Championship is one of the more fun races to watch as you can see your favorite (read: affordable) cars wring it out on awesome tracks like Donington Park, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, and Silverstone Circuit just to name a few. Just because these cars aren’t as powerful as their more exotic counterparts does not mean the racing is any less exciting and less risky. In fact the accidents can be quite scary, just take a look at a Chevrolet Cruze doing its best somersault into a TV tower during the beginning of a race at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit.
The trainwreck began when a Ford Focus was taken out, presumably by a PIT (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver, a move typically employed by police officers to take down fast moving criminals. This little crash between the Focus and the Passat CC caused the Ford to face 180 degrees and created a blockage in the middle of the straight. The Chevrolet Cruze couldn’t evade in time and sideswiped the Passat CC at high speed, initiating its best rendition of Black Swan. The flipping act caused the Cruze to rollover into a TV tower which had a cameraman in it.
Here it is in slow motion:
Hunter Abbott, the driver of the Chevrolet Cruze, recollected the crash when he hit Mark Howard’s Passat CC:
When I clipped Mark’s car and it started to go over, I just thought ‘I can’t f***ing believe this’. I’ve rolled a car before, and have landed on top of the barrier before, so I knew what to expect and I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to go over it into the crowd.
I wasn’t even aware until I left the medical centre later that I’d hit the camera gantry as that was the point when someone told me it had gone over, and it was just the worst feeling imaginable. As drivers, we sign up to do this and are aware of the dangers but we are prepared for them. People like the cameraman and the spectators trackside aren’t – they don’t have the roll cage and safety things that we have to protect them.
The car stood up really well to the impact which allowed me to come out unharmed, and I’m so thankful it was the same for everyone else too.
(Source: Touring Car Times)