Driving onto a live racetrack accidentally should be very hard to do. Actually, it should be impossible! But for the second time in little more than a month, a motorist has ended up stranded on the Interlagos circuit in Brazil, even though there was no intention to do so while cars were running laps.
Twitter user @bmantovani shared a clip of the latest incident, in which a Mercedes-Benz GLA is seen blocking the pit lane exit on what looks to be a track day. The first car to arrive at the scene, from which we have onboard footage, slows to a stop the moment it comes around the bend and the driver spots the wayward GLA. At this point, the Mercedes is perpendicular to the pit lane; its driver is mired in a fruitless attempt to complete a multipoint turn that would send the car against the flow of traffic.
That’s when the second track day participant arrives, locking the brakes in a far more dramatic stop right before striking the Mercedes. At this point, the GLA driver evidently gets the message that maybe going in the planned direction is a bad idea. Eventually the GLA leaves the pit lane, coming to a stop in the sliver of asphalt between the track and pit lane exit.
Nobody seems to know how the GLA ended up where it did or what caused the comedy of errors that led to any of this happening. Input from some Reddit commenters suggests that perhaps the circuit’s signage isn’t as clear as it could be, particularly on days when there isn’t a headline event happening and marshals aren’t guarding points of access.
Then again, the last time something like this happened, a Mini Cooper accidentally infiltrated a Copa Mercedes race, so it’s hard to say what exactly the culprit is. In that case, the motorist blamed a lack of cones, signs or personnel to ward off circuit access — there was nothing that would have communicated that the driver was headed in the direction of the track rather than an exit.
We’ve reached out to the circuit for insight and will report back should we hear anything. But to those of you visiting the Autódromo José Carlos Pace or indeed any racetrack, please don’t go where you’re not welcome, lest you want the world to see you frantically attempting a K-turn in a narrow pit lane — or worse!