Car racing is a sport of stress, strategy, and danger. But sometimes these elements only become truly apparent when they’re laid out directly in front of you. Check out our top five moments of incident, agony, and all-round confusion during racing from around the world, from the weekend of August 1–2.
Nascar driver Brad Keslowski takes out pit crew at Pocono
Team Penske Ford-driver Brad Keslowski is still trying to recreate the circumstances that saw him take his maiden Nascar-series victory in 2012. But his fortunes looked bleak early in the Windows 10 400 in Pocono, when he struck two members of his own pit crew after entering his pit box too fast and failing to slow down in time.
The crew members in Nascar are renowned for being some of the toughest, most well-built members of the racing world. So unsurprisingly, after getting hit, the jack man and wheel man simply dusted themselves off and got the job done. Legends. Better still, Keslowski bounced back to finish second — not such a bad weekend after all!
Timo Scheider asked to ‘push out’ rival driver in DTM, then does so
Acts of deception and vengeance aren’t looked upon too fondly at the best of times. But in motorsport those concepts are even less welcome, with even the rough-and-tumble Nascar series adopting a negative view on such behaviour. This makes it all the more surprising that this kind of incident would take place in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), a class that was labelled the best touring-car series in the world in February 2015 by Autosport magazine.
After being muscled out of the way by Mercedes-Benz–driver Pascal Wehrlein in the second race of the weekend at the Spielberg circuit, the German order “Schieb ihn raus!” (which translates to “push him out”) rang into the ears of Audi driver Timo Scheider. And, quicker than you can say ‘mate, steady on’, Scheider snookered fellow Mercedes-Benz–rival Robert Wickens into Werlein, spinning both cars out of contention. To the shock of absolutely nobody, Scheider was later excluded from the race, with stewards deeming the incident to be “caused on purpose”, in what will probably go down as the easiest sports investigation of all time.
Raphael Matos and Thiago Camilo collide in the Brazilian Stock Car championship
Those who follow the Brazilian Stock Car series will know how much it’s grown in the last few years, with the series now harbouring some serious racing talent, which includes past Formula 1 drivers such as Ruebens Barrichello and Bruno Senna, as well as past IndyCar drivers including Raphael Matos. Unfortunately for Matos, his weekend at the Curitiba circuit ended prematurely, following this violent accident.
Closing on the limping yellow No. 21 car of Thiago Camilo, Matos was the unfortunate driver in the chasing pack not to spot him until it was too late, slamming into the back of him at extremely high speed, and prompting numerous other cars in the group to take evasive action. Considering the scale of the impact, with carbon fibre and debris spewing out onto the circuit and into the air, it’s remarkable to think that nobody was seriously injured. Camilo and another driver were transported to hospital, but are reportedly OK.
Hayden Paddon crashes out of Rally Finland
Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon looked set to continue his fine form in Rally Finland over the weekend. But on the sixth stage of the rally while holding down fifth place, the Hyundai pilot unfortunately clipped an unseen rock, sending him directly into a group of trees at high speed.
Paddon explains: “We were pushing this afternoon to try and make up some time, and the splits were good, and we were amongst the leaders. Unfortunately on a fast right-hander there was a rock hidden that we didn’t have noted, and we just clipped the rock. That broke the steering arm, and from there we were just passengers. It sent us sailing into the trees and over a couple of times.” Ouch.
V8 Supercar driver Todd Kelly has full-on brain explosion after engine failure
We all have bad days at the office from time to time, where we contemplate turning over a few tables, throwing a few chairs, and writing a few firmly worded letters to try and get the point across to those around us. Former Bathurst 1000-champion Todd Kelly had one of these bad days at the office on Sunday, when the engine of his Nissan Altima V8 Supercar expired just a few minutes away from the end of the final race of the Ipswich 300 in Queensland. After pulling off the circuit, Kelly reached his emotional boiling point … Warning, the video features language that is definitely not safe for work, or school, or home, or really anywhere. But you should watch it anyway, because it’s fantastic.
It’s easy to have a giggle at the incident as an instance of petty language invading what was intended to be an innocent G-rated Sunday afternoon of television. But what the incident also underlines is the amount of stress and pressure that even Todd Kelly, a driver outside of the championship hunt, faces each weekend. Now I feel like giving him a big ol’ bear hug.