You are here’s top rally crashes of 2012

  1. Don’t worry, we understand, internet readers: Gangnam Style has permeated every fibre of your being, to the extent that you can barely concentrate on feeding yourself without getting caught up in the chorus riff of that YouTube sensation…

    A perfect time to recalibrate your synapses, then. With some spectacular footage from this year’s collected rally series. It may have escaped your attention, but motorsport is actually quite dangerous. Rather than sedating the original chaps who thought up the premise of driving really very quickly across unstable and slippery terrain, the world instead decided to grant them their own race series.

    Of course, rallying is a rigorous test of spatial awareness, driver inputs, quick wits, intelligence, and of course, bravery. Courage. Heroism. The stuff they can’t teach you. The stuff you are gifted with. Driving flat-out across dirt and snow with little more than a man with a notepad sat next to you requires something deeper than a deft right foot.

    But it’s also a rigorous test of your gentleman vegetables. Because lots of crashing occurs in rallying. Lots and lots. Just yesterday we showed you Juho Hänninen’s rather splendid demonstration of his supermarket car-parking skills. Suffice to say, he probably began offering gratitude to many new deities.

    This got us thinking: 2012 is fast becoming a vintage year for spectacular offs. So here’s some we rounded up. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, so if you’ve spotted something more outrageously crashy and smashy - and nobody was hurt - send it in to We’ll publish more of your favourite suggestions later this week…

  2. Petter Solberg, Rally of France

    Solberg’s got a handy set of skills about him. Sadly, even these couldn’t help the 2003 WRC champ earlier this month when his Ford Fiesta RS made a beeline for a vineyard at the French rally. He speared through the verge, rejoined the road, headed straight for a second vineyard and smashed into a power pole. Which then toppled. Explosions happened. Miraculously, nobody was hurt.

    Watch it here

  3. Nico Diaz, Rally de Catamarca

    Top Gear’s collective mouth was wide open upon seeing this spot of four-wheel-drive carnage. Argentine Nico Diaz, participating in the Rally de Catamarca, apparently suffered a brake failure while driving really very quickly. Words can’t describe what happens next, but there are words that we’re pretty sure he uttered when it happened…

    Watch it here

  4. Fredrik Ahlin, Rally Finland

    Clearly, Fredrik Ahlin has been preparing himself for this year’s Big Bond Movie Skyfall by watching Casino Royale on repeat. Clearly, Fredrik thinks he can barrel-roll like Bond. Here, at the Finnish rally, he attempts to prove he’s got larger vegetables than 007 when his Fiesta spectacularly rolls into a field. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

    Watch it here

  5. Jeremy Foley, Pikes Peak

    While we were attempting to climb a really big mountain in Colorado to watch some cars go really fast, we saw Jeremy Foley’s Evo IX plunge off the side, roll a few times, and then find rest on a boulder. OK, pedants, Pikes isn’t strictly a rally. But whatever, this smashery involves a Mitsubishi Evo. And if you know your bobble hats from your thermos flasks, that’s a proper rally car. We’d like to venture that when approaching a corner named ‘Devil’s Playground’, maybe exercise some caution?

    Watch it here

  6. Toomas Heikkinen, X Games

    Finnish rallycrosser Toomas Heikkinen required a brief stay in hospital following this little shunt. And by little, we of course mean not really very little at all. His ankle was in a shoe cast, he had stomach pains…and he actually bruised his gentleman vegetables. You see, when your airborne Ford Fiesta comes to a sudden halt, the only thing stopping you sliding into the engine bay is a seat strap. A strap buckled between his legs. Ouchey.

    Watch it here

  7. Mistubishi Evo, Rally Poland

    There’s a point, midway through a rally crash, where you’re faced with two instantaneous decisions. 1) Do I lift off, crash, and begin thinking of explanations as to why I’ve totalled the team car, or 2) Keep the throttle buried, probably crash, begin thinking of explanations etc. Most would opt for scenario 1. Not this chap, who - in an unmitigated display of bravery - keeps it flat out when all is going south, and somehow manages to save it. Yes, it’s not a crash, but it very nearly could have been…

    Watch it here

  8. Sebastien Loeb, Rally of Portugal

    When you win the world rally championship driver’s title nine times in a row, you too can afford the odd off here and there. Of course, with Seb, it’s largely infrequent. This of course, happened earlier this year, way before he’d wrapped up his record ninth WRC crown, at the Portugese rally. We forgive you, Seb. It was pretty dark after all…

    Watch it here

  9. Bike vs deer, West Virginia Rally

    OK, so we’re stretching the definition of ‘rally’, here, but there’s no way we could leave this little gem out of our line up. A chap who goes by the YouTube name of ‘ft4lbch’ posted a video of him driving across Special Stage 13 of the Rally West Virginia. By his own admission, “after over 300 miles of racing I slam into a deer at 55mph on the final stage”. That’s right, a deer. And amazingly, said deer ran away “under its own power”. Driver was fine too, in case you were worried.

    Watch it here

  10. Tony Stewart, Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, Talladega Superspeedway

    Ok, this isn’t a rally at all, but it’s the most spectacular NASCAR crash we’ve ever seen, period. When you’ve got 30 cars all packing the same performance as one another, the only excitement and tension you get is waiting for one of them to spin. And then watching the whole field get knocked out, like bingo night at the bowling alley. This still sends shivers of terror down TG’s spine…

    Watch it here

  11. Juho Hänninen, Rallye Sanrem

    And finally, back to the most astonishing parking manoeuvre we’ve seen this year. There’s parking, and then there’s parking. Juho might be the most successful driver in the IRC, but even he isn’t above the laws of physics. Watch as the Finn misjudges a corner and goes for the scenic route through the barriers, before barrel-rolling onto the top of a garage. You couldn’t make this stuff up, honestly.

    Watch it here

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