Last weekend, while racing at Brands Hatch during Britain's Carrera Cup, a Porsche 911 GT3 race car was sent flying through the air and got stuck in a tree. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Although, one race marshal, who was almost crushed by the flying car, is lucky to be alive. If I were them, I'd need a new pair of pants.
Will Martin, the 19-year old racer for Comline Richardson Racing, was the driver behind the wheel during the crash. Martin was coming out of a corner when he was shoved slightly by the car behind him. That sent his 911 spinning backward onto the grass and into a tire wall. The latter ended up acting as a makeshift ramp, launching the 911 at speed, into a tree. Fortunately for the race marshal that was standing in harm's way, the Porsche ended up stuck in the tree and didn't come down. Otherwise, the marshal would have been seriously injured or even killed.
In the second camera angle shown in the first video below, you can see that marshal standing next to the marshal's post, almost directly beneath the Porsche stuck in the tree. Had the tree not been strong enough to support the weight of the car, he'd be in very bad shape right now.
The marshal's son Keiron Salmons took to Twitter to express his relief for his dad's safety. "Just glad that my Dad is still here to tell the tale," he said. "Not sure how that happened but a small piece of catch fence saved his life! Yes my Dad is the marshal underneath the car in this photo."
It's weird to see a car leave the track backwards with enough speed to launch into the air after a crash. However, Martin was accelerating hard out of the corner when he was hit and then spun backward and went downhill on slippery grass. Being that the car's extreme aero doesn't work in reverse, the car probably lost very little momentum when it finally hit the tires, concrete barrier, and catch fence. Which is why it plowed through all of it.
It's a pretty outrageous crash that's interesting to watch now that we know no one was hurt. However, it's scary just how quickly things can turn deadly under the wrong circumstances. The tree is the real hero of this story because people would likely have been killed without it.
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