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Absurdly Close Call Sends Rally Car Flying Over A Spectator's Tent

Gif: RaccaaNickk (Twitter)

It’s never a good sign when the World Rally Championship feed cuts abruptly to the map after an off, but that’s what happened when then-WRC2 leader Kalle Rovanpera went off on Stage 17 of Rally Argentina today. Fortunately, no one was hurt despite the fact that Rovanpera’s Skoda flipped right over a fan’s tent.


Rovanpera lost control on the stage road and started to roll after hitting the side of the road, which went into what appears to be a spectator campsite. A fan video shows his car flipping over a tent in the area, which was met by a chorus of gasps from fans across the road.


Fortunately, the only damage in the roll was to Rovanpera’s car and the items in the campsite. Rovanpera tweeted that he and his codriver Jonne Halttunen were both okay right after the roll, and a WRC spokesman confirmed to Jalopnik that no spectators were injured as well.

Holy crap, I’m glad no one was in that car.

Rovanpera ceded the WRC2 lead to Pontus Tidemand right before the final and eighteenth stage of the rally. (WRC2 is a sort of second-tier class at World Rally Championship events for drivers working their way up into the main WRC show.) Toyota driver Ott Tänak has the overall main-class WRC lead in the rally at the time of this writing.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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All the Birches Call Me Big Poplar

Holy crap, I’m glad no one was in that car.

Tent, you mean. :)

Is that really a fan site? That’s an incredibly stupid place to set-up camp. Notice all of the spectators are on the inside of that corner; hanging out on the outside of such a corner, especially with that slight embankment, is just begging for trouble.

ETA: Looking at it again, that embankment probably saved the tent. There weren’t any inhabitants, but it looks like the Skoda clears it pretty much perfectly. Glad no one got hurt (how in the Hell did Rovanpera walk away from that?!?!), but I stand by the fact that it’s still an incredibly stupid place to hang out.