Safety car shouldn't have been on track

The FIA has revealed the safety car that collided with Franz Engstler in the latest round of the World Touring Car Championship at Pau was not given the authority to enter the circuit.

Engstler, who was leading at the end of the opening lap around the French street circuit, was caught out in extraordinary circumstances when the safety car emerged in front of him at slow speed, the impact causing significant damage to both machines.

Following investigations by the FIA Race Director, it was confirmed that while the alert was given to marshals to wave yellow flags and show the SC boards, the safety car driver was not given the go-ahead to drive onto the circuit, let alone cross straight into the centre of the track

For Engstler's part, telemetry shows he did slow down significantly as he entered the opening corner and the FIA was satisfied he could have done nothing to avoid the safety car ahead of him.

The Stewards, taking into account the gravity of the facts, decided to forward their report to the FFSA (French sporting authority), recommending to take appropriate sanctions against Philippe Cholet and Jean-Pierre Colas who were in charge for the safety car and any other responsible official

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Franz Engstler collides with the safety car at Pau
Franz Engstler collides with safety car [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
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Nicky Catsburg, Lada, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
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Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, [Credit: WTCC media]
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Rob - Unregistered

May 19, 2009 1:54 PM

BUT Engstler should also have been travelling at a much slower speed as there were yellow flags & safety car boards displayed around the circuit. "For Engstler's part, telemetry shows he did slow down significantly as he entered the opening corner and the FIA was satisfied he could have done nothing to avoid the safety car ahead of him." Engstler was not in the wrong and the FIA agree.

rich ard

May 19, 2009 3:20 PM

rob, sincere apologies, you are right and i was totally confused. i was thinking of further in the race with menu and farfus being at the head of the field. but i still believe that the safety car was not released properly. as i have said and another poster has agreed, there was only a casual wave frm the pit exit marshal, and it was the fault of the release instructions (as confirmed by fia) AND very poor driving by the SC driver. it shows the need for professional SC drivers!

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