Watch a Ford Fiesta R2 Rally Car Roll at the Mt. Washington Hillclimb
After crashing in practice, both occupants walked away and drove a backup car for official runs.
Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins wasn't the only one to have a spectacular crash at Climb to the Clouds. On their second run on day two of practice, "Savage Dave" Wallingford and co-driver Ryan Scott took a tumble at the Signal Corps spectator area one turn away from the finish of practice that day. Fortunately, both occupants walked away from the crash unharmed.
Many people initially thought that the 2016 Ford Fiesta R2 had understeered off the road, dug in, and then rolled. But the rollover clearly began on the paved road, as the car pivoted over its left wheels on the painted center line. In an interview afterward, Scott joked that the strong wind had blown them over. The true story, as Wallingford related, is that he is accustomed to the gravel surface that he normally races on, and his inexperience on tarmac caught him out. Where he normally would have oversteered a bit on gravel, the rear tires hooked up unexpectedly. That, plus the weight transfer from the sharp left hairpin turn immediately before this right caused the Fiesta to roll over.
The two were in good spirits after the crash, chatting with spectators and waving to fellow competitors as they paraded down the mountain. After their car was on its wheels back at the service area, rally master Tim O'Neil inspected it and confirmed that it could not be repaired in time for official runs the next day. Instead, they borrowed an older Fiesta R2 from Team O'Neil Rally School, less than 50 miles away, to compete in. They finished in fourth place out of seven in R2 class, with a best run of 8:04.52. That's quite good considering they rolled over the day before and competed in a car they hadn't driven in practice. The team is already hard at work rebuilding the car to be ready in time for the New England Forest Rally in less than two weeks.
Savage Dave wasn't the only driver to leave the road in practice. Cameron Lane rolled his Datsun 240Z near the summit on the first day of practice, and Bill Petrow dropped his Nissan 240SX into a deep ditch near the start on day two. While the damage to Lane's car was too extensive to repair, Petrow and his Broken Motorsports team managed to put his car back together in time for official runs.