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WTCC news - Yellow peril - 2009
A safety car causing a crash during a race is one of those properly ironic things like, y’know, having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. Or a traffic jam when you’re already late.
Actually, it’s nothing like either of those. Because it’s actually, properly ironic. We think. And it happened this weekend, at the WTCC race in Pau, France.
Take a look at the video, and prepare to wince:
Here’s the analysis, Brian: a minor crash has caused the race to be yellow-flagged behind race leader Franz Engstler in his BMW. As he eases down the main straight, the safety car - a Chevrolet Cruze driven by Philippe Cholet and Jean-Pierre Colas - pulls out of the pit lane and straight into his path. Ouch.
A stewards’ investigation after the race concluded that Engstler could have done nothing to avoid the crash, that the safety car was not given the signal to leave the pit lane and that it crossed into the middle of the track instead of using the acceleration lane. That’s a sizeable blot on Messieurs Cholet and Colas’ copybook, we fear.
And here’s the really maybe-ironical bit: Engstler was forced to retire from the race, allowing Alain Menu to take the chequered flag. In… a Chevrolet Cruze. Honestly, it’s like rain on your wedding day…