Motorsport will never be completely safe, but it's astonishing how much of the risk has been negated even within our lifetimes. Odds are decent that the year you were born, serious injuries or even fatalities might have been sustained in the crash that took out one of the Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs last weekend at IMSA's Petit Le Mans.
The crash took place on a race restart, just over four hours into the 10-hour event. As Daytona prototypes took the green flag on the pit straight of Road Atlanta, GT cars further down the 42-car field bunched up at the chicane. To their rear was Corvette Racing's No. 3 C8.R, driven by Jordan Taylor, who was going flat-out down the back straight. He couldn't see the slowdown over the crest and through the Porsche he was chasing, and by the time he saw the nearly stationary No. 70 McLaren 720S GT3, it was too late to stop. Taylor slammed into the rear of the McLaren, his Chevy becoming one of the first two cars claimed in a confusion that would sideline a total of seven.
Off-board footage showed the crash to be violent enough, but the onboard was significantly more so and shows how little time Taylor had to react. Taylor could only see the McLaren for at most two seconds before impact, which took place at about 104 mph. Without a roll cage or head restraints, the crash may well have been fatal—fortunately, though, Taylor had both and was able to walk away safely.
"So thankful to everyone at Pratt & Miller, Corvette, and Chevrolet for building such a strong C8.R," Taylor said on Twitter. "Definitely a bit sore today, but just being able to walk away from that crash speaks volumes to the strength and safety of the Corvette."
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: firstname.lastname@example.org