“On my command, unleash hell!”
We assume that’s how the race stewards started this vintage event at Road America. The thing is though, that we don’t need to assume. That’s because the race steward (or someone claiming to be the steward) chimed in to a preserved piece of Internet forum. Here’s what they had to say regarding the mass destruction and insanity that resulted right out of the gate of this classic-car race:
I was the operating steward for this race. The pace car did what was the right thing to do. We gave them instructions for each group. The two pole guys admitted to running up the hill at 5000 rpm in 3rd gear. The fifth place guy was racing well before the green flag and tried to force his way between the wall and the car in front of him. He started scraping the wall and the guy behind him checked up and the car that hit him started to spin and then it was one after another into them. I am
amazed that no one was killed. All the drivers except two had hans devices.
The green flag was in deed thrown. I red flagged the race with in 3 seconds of the green. Even with the red flag the drivers in the back just keep driving into the rear. The red was shown at corner 15(the walk over bridge). The drivers just did not pay attention. All drivers were forced to attend a meeting right after the incident. They were all yelled at. Interesting that in a few classes they are not allowed to pass until after turn 1 (Historic Gran Prix) and turn 3 for Can Am. One historic Gran Prix driver was banned from their series for life due to an incident in the kink.
I have to agree that the drivers in this group are some of the most agressive drivers I have ever seen. More distrubing to me were how many fist fights started after drivers started getting out of there cars. I feel that if they were able to get out they should have been happy they
could even move after a incident like this.
I was very happy with how all of our crews came together to work in the heat. We had a steady flow of water for all the rescue crews, ambulance crews and wrecker crews while they were working in over 90 degree heat.
What a great team.
So it sounds like there was racing happening even before folks hit the green flag. The run up to the Start/Finish line at Road America involves a crest. And for the cars towards the back of the pack, they’re running hot as the come over that crest, which gives them little time to react to the accident along that front stretch. The resulting chain reaction of mangled vintage metal is wild.
It’s crazy that no one was killed here.
For some pics of the carnage, head to justacarguy.