That’s not gone well

BMW 2 Series prototype crash in Germany

Last time we brought you photos of BMW’s forthcoming new 2 Series we had a big smile on our face. We liked the front end that has done away with the gawkiness seen on the 1 Series hatch on which it is based.

This, we don’t like so much. Here you can see the aftermath of a 2 Series prototype following a coming together with the guardrail on the A72 near Zwickau in Germany.

As far as we can tell the driver suffered minor injuries and nobody else was hurt. Although, as many as four other cars travelling in the opposite direction were also damaged, forcing the highway to be closed in both directions while the mess was cleaned up.

Normally you’d reckon a cushy test driver gig with BMW would be a great job to have. But it just goes to show even factory test drivers have a bad day at work sometimes.

[Source: SZ-Online via 2addicts | Thanks to John for the tip]


Great balls of fire!

V8 Supercar driver Karl Reindler has walked away from this astonishing crash with nothing more than second degree burns to his hands. The incident happened at Barbagallo Raceway this morning after Reindler stalled his car on the starting grid and was hit from behind by Steve Owen, who also escaped without serious injury.

Speaking after the accident Reindler said, “I loaded the clutch up and it stalled. I had my foot all the way down; I didn’t even release the clutch. I couldn’t get it going at all. There’s nothing I could do.

“Before I knew it I saw flames inside the car. I guess I panicked and tried to get out as quick as I could. My body’s fine, it’s just my hands.”

[Source: Speedcafe]

UPDATE: New video has been added above which shows Channel 7 pitlane reporter Mark Larkham inspecting the burnt wreckage of Reindler’s car. Replays and subsequent commentary from Neil Crompton and Mark Skaife follows. After the break you can see footage of the incident as it happened.

MINI Motorsports

MINI All4 crashes out of Dakar

MINI All4 Racing

Word has come through via twitter that the MINI Countryman All4 has crashed out of the 2011 Dakar Rally. Ironically the race-ending incident happened during a test run on the rest day.

Despite suffering technical problems on the first day of racing and dropping to 78th, the MINI had been making good progress since then and had consolidated a top ten outright position.

It’s understood that while driver Guerlain Chicherit was kept under observation following head trauma, he was not hospitalised and no major injury was suffered.

UPDATE: Picture of the crashed MINI added—look at the state of it—courtesy of the Stage 7 Dakar update (see below).

[via MotoringFile]

MINI Safety Issues

MINI Countryman granted 5-star crash rating

MINI Countryman

The love it or hate it MINI Countryman now has one less reason to hate it. It’s performance at the latest round of Euro NCAP testing saw the not-so-MINI awarded a 5-star crash rating. The Countryman scored 84% for the Adult Occupant category, 83% for Child Occupant, 63% for Pedestrian and 71% for Safety Assist.

Interestingly the model tested was a right-hand drive Countryman Diesel, so these results are directly relevant to the Australian market. Most cars tested by Euro NCAP are left-hand drive.

You can read the full Euro NCAP report HERE. After the break you can watch video footage of the Countryman’s test, as well as reading the press release from MINI PR.

[Pic: Euro NCAP]

Holden Motorsports

Fabian Coulthard’s Bathurst crash from the inside

Fabian Coulthard's Bathurst crash

We’ve already shown you the spectacular footage of Fabian Coulthard’s first lap crash from the 2010 Bathurst race. We’ve even shown you amateur footage captured from the side of the track. Now, Walkinshaw Racing brings us the view from inside the car. It’s an amazing piece of action. Check it out after the break.

Holden Motorsports

Another look at Fabian Coulthard’s spectacular Bathurst crash

Here’s a couple of new YouTube clips of Fabian Coulthard’s violent crash from lap 1 of the recent Supercheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst. The two clips were recorded by fans from the inside of The Chase and give a good insight into the crowd reaction.

Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey hospitalised after Ginetta G50 crash

Adrian Newey

Adrian Newey, full-time F1 technical director for Red Bull Racing and part-time racer, found himself in a spot of bother on the weekend while taking part in a Ginetta G50 race at Snetterton in the UK.

On lap 10 of the 18 lap race Newey was pushed wide by a competitor before suffering reasonably heavy contact on the final corner with Tony Hughes. After the impact Hughes was able to free himself from the car and he appeared okay. Newey, however, was taken to hospital for observation.

Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta chairman released the following statement, “Adrian has been taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure after being clipped by Julien Draper of Barwell Motorsport which caused Tony Hughes of Speedworks to have a side on collision with Newey’s DynoJet car.

“It’s testament to the strength of the G50 roll cage that the car withstood heavy impact and there were no serious injuries.”

A YouTube video of the incident is available below.

[Source: autosport | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1 Lotus Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber’s spectacular crash at the European GP

Mark Webber's crash at European GP

BREAKING NEWS: Mark Webber has crashed out of the European Grand Prix at Valencia after a spectacular incident with the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen. The contact with Kovalainen happened on lap 9 of the 57 lap race. Importantly, both drivers walked away with no injuries and have been released from the trackside medical centre.

After a poor start from second on the grid Webber had dropped back to ninth place by the second lap. Webber’s Red Bull team brought him in for an early pit stop in a bid to escape traffic; the Valencia track is notoriously difficult to pass.

Webber’s bad day continued with a less than perfect pit stop after the crew had problems changing his front left wheel. However, things were about to get much worse. After rejoining the race Webber found himself fighting with Kovalainen for track position. The Finn swerved to defend his place and the rapidly closing Webber was left with nowhere to go except up. And up, and up!

Webber’s car flipped and landed on its roof before crashing into a tyre barrier at high speed. It was an incident reminiscent of Webber’s crash during practice at Le Mans in 1999.

After the break you can see a series of screen grabs of the incident, including the view from Mark’s in-car camera. There’s an animation showing the incident, as well as footage from Webber’s Le Mans crash.

UPDATE: Webber’s teammate Sebastien Vettel won the race ahead of the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. A full race image gallery will be online in the next 24 hours.

Lamborghini Motorsports

Lamborghini Super Trofeo driver survives horrific crash at Brno

Super Trofeo crash @ Brno

The driver of this Lamborghini Gallardo competing in a Super Trofeo race in Brno yesterday has survived with relatively minor injuries. Unconfirmed reports suggest the lucky driver escaped with a broken arm and first degree burns to his legs. (See update below.)

Such injuries would usually be cause for concern, but take a look at the series of images after the jump and you will understand just how fortunate this guy is to be alive. It’s a sickening crash. Fortunately the impact happened on the main straight and Czech Republic marshalls and safety officers were quickly on the scene.

As well as the images below you can also see a YouTube clip of the accident. More images can be seen by following the source link.

[Source: | Thanks to Chris for the tip]

UPDATE: Here is a link to an official statement from the Super Trofeo website. It reads, in part: “The driver of car number 22, Giorgio Bartocci, was taken to hospital following an accident at the start of the first race of the weekend.  He remains in intensive care in hospital in Brno, where his condition is currently stable.”

MINI Challenge

2010 MINI Challenge – Round 3, Queensland Raceway

2010 MINI Challenge - Australia

At the end of an action packed Round 3 Chris Alajajian still leads the 2010 Australian MINI Challenge. But he didn’t have it all his own way. A qualifying infringement cost Alajajian points and sent him to the back of the grid for Race 1.

Alajajian made good progress in the opening race to finish in sixth place. Defending MINI Challenge champion Paul Stokell crossed the line first, but it was that spectacular accident from Kain Magro that grabbed the headlines and made news clips around the world. Magro’s car rolled seven times, leaping into the crowd on its journey. Amazingly just two spectators suffered minor injuries. Magro also walked away from the crash unscathed.

The second race returned to normal on track action and was won by a fast charging Alajajian. Race 3 was red flagged following Sarah Harvey’s rollover. It happened on the same corner as Magro’s crash the previous day. Despite heavy contact with the tyre wall, Harvey suffered no serious injury. These MINI Challenge racecars are tough little buggers it would seem.

Races 3 and 4 were both won by Alajajian, with Warren Luff and Stokell sharing the podium. In fact, Luff and Stokell finished in the top three placings for all four races over the weekend. Even though Luff didn’t win a race, his consistency and Alajajian’s lost qualifying points ensured Luff claimed the round win. Stokell finished the round in second place and in the process moved up the points table from fifth to second, cutting Alajajian’s overall series lead by four points.

Television highlights, driver quotes and the current championship table can all be seen after the jump.


Crash test dummy

Volvo S60

Sometimes you just shouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. That was probably the conclusion Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars, came to after a demonstration featuring the new S60 saloon went a little bit pear shaped.

Assembled media and onlookers were supposed to see how the svelte looking S60 could avoid a rear end accident thanks to its collision warning system. As you can see from the image above things didn’t quite go to plan. Fortunately there was only a crash test dummy at the wheel of the car at the time of the 35km/h impact.

You can see a video of the incident below and listen to a red-faced Broberg explain what went wrong. If you can speak Swedish you might even understand him. (As of Monday 10 May the video has been removed from YouTube, an animated GIF below shows what happened). Apparently a battery failed causing the system to remain inactive. Volvo say had a human been at the wheel of the car they would have realised the system failure and had time to take evasive action.

[via World Car Fans]

UPDATE 10 May: It would seem Volvo are keen on removing footage of this oops crash from the interwebz. For now, a new video can be seen at the end of this article sourced from a Swedish news report, which starts off explaining how the system should work.

MINI Challenge

Another MINI Challenge crash at Ipswich 300

Sarah Harley's MINI Challenge racecar crashes into the tyre barrier

The MINI Challenge series has seen another spectacular crash at the Ipswich 300 event held at Queensland Raceway today. Sarah Harley’s car reportedly had a sticking throttle, forcing her car to understeer off the track and into the tyre wall. The impact happened at high speed and she was lucky to walk away with no serious injury.

After the incident Harley was taken to hospital for observation but was soon released. On her return to the track she said, “That was a really big hit this morning and it is a testament to the MINI and its strength that I walked away with just a bit of whiplash. It was scary heading into the tyre wall so fast I kind of tensed up and braced myself. It was a hard impact but all the safety features on the car did their job and officials worked really quickly to help me out of the car and secure the situation.”

News footage of today’s incident from Channel Seven can be seen after the break. The clip also includes a brief interview with Kain Magro, the driver involved in yesterday’s dramatic incident.

In on-track news the round was won by Warren Luff, who was making his MINI Challenge debut. Defending champion Paul Stokell ended the round in second place, while current series leader Chris Alajajian came home in third. A highlights package of this round will air nationally next weekend on the Seven Network (check you local guides for details).

Photos of the two crashes can be seen at the Catch Fence Photos forum.