Porsche 911 Cup Car Lands in Grandstands After Flying Through Fence

No injuries were reported, but this kind of crash isn't supposed to happen at all.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup crash in the stands at Portimao
@wls350z on TikTok

A Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was filmed tumbling into the grandstands at a racetrack in Portugal on Friday. Luckily, no injuries have been reported as a result of what could’ve been a catastrophic crash.

The wreck occurred Friday morning at Algarve International Circuit, known as Portimão for the city where it’s located. According to Road and Track, it all took place during a practice session for Porsche Sprint Challenge Ibérica—a supporting category for the FIA World Endurance Championship that weekend. One spectator in the grandstands at the end of the pit straight was filming track activities when one of the Porsches sailed across the gravel trap, bounced over the tire wall, through the fence and into the seats in front of them.

The Porsche’s driver Alex Areia later explained on social media that the brakes had failed on their 991.2 GT3 Cup racer.

“I ran out of brakes at the end of the straight, I practically became a passenger,” Areia said on Twitter. “Luckily no one was in that area of the grandstand and I managed to get out of the accident unharmed, thanks to the safety level of that car.”

Low attendance for the Cup cars’ practice session means no injuries have been reported. Had the crash occurred during the race, it could have injured or killed numerous spectators.

The FIA told Motorsport that the damaged grandstand will be closed until further notice, and that it will investigate the crash. “A review by the FIA Circuits Commission will follow,” a statement read.

Portimão is an FIA Grade 1 circuit, meaning it has the highest standards for crash safety. The rating is a requirement for hosting Formula 1, which the track did in 2020 and 2021 as the series’ calendar crumbled during COVID-19 lockdowns. A crash like this just isn’t supposed to happen, and it could lead to a reevaluation of what criteria an FIA Grade 1 track must meet—or Portimão’s status as such a track.

Regardless, this incident and the fatality of World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen on Thursday serve as ugly reminders that motorsport is inherently dangerous, whether you’re in the car or not.

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