The humble safety car. The forgotten bridesmaid of motorsport. Fans don’t want to see it – it’s a sign that the racing is not going as planned – and drivers certainly don’t want to see it. The inherent disappointment of a safety car or pace car appearance is usually offset by the fact that it’s some kind of fire-breathing sports car, which is always nice to see. It is, then, a paradoxical element of motorsport usually overlooked over the course of a race weekend. So, following the unveil of the World Touring Car Championship’s Volvo V60 Polestar, here is our tribute to the safety car; a celebration of its finest moments. Oh, and also its worst moments. Because they’re funny.
1. The falsest start – Le Mans Series, Paul Ricard, 2011
The field of the 2011 6 Hours of Le Castellet was preparing to charge in 2011, having completed the warm up lap. But as they came around the final corner, the Audi S5 pace car didn’t pit as it would normally do. Unfortunately, the person in charge of the starting lights wasn’t told, and he changed them to green to get the race underway. The field roared away but then the leaders saw the pace car ahead of them and slowed. Behind them, carnage, accompanied by incredulity in the commentary box.
Source – Munir Ahmed