FIA GT World Cup Audi R8 LMS racer Laurens Vanthoor clipped the inside curb at Macau’s Mandarin Bend at 155 mph, sending him out of control into the wall on the other side of the track, per Motorsport.com. Vanthoor’s Audi flipped over and started sliding on its roof, immediately triggering a red flag to stop the race.
In case you’re not familiar with the Macau Grand Prix, it’s a race weekend held on a thoroughly insane, super-narrow street course. A pile-up at the wrong spot can clog the full width of the track and completely stop a race, but that doesn’t prevent drivers from going balls-out and bouncing off every corner of the tight walls.
In other words, this crash may be the most Macau thing to happen ever.
Vanthoor described the experience as surreal to Motorsport.com, and confirmed that he was fine:
Physically I am okay. It is fine. It is just one of the nastiest corners to do a crash.
To do half the straight upside down and see the other cars coming is something not really describable. It was a scary memory in my mind. But besides that physically I am okay.
Vanthoor was able to climb out of his Orlove’d car safely, under his own power.
The race was not restarted, as had already been delayed due to a prior crash, according to Motorsport.com. While Vanthoor had just been passed by Earl Bamber’s Porsche 911 before the crash, they opted to declare the winner based on the results of the previous lap, where Vanthoor was ahead.
Because of this, Vanthoor told Motorsport.com that he had mixed feelings about taking the win:
I don’t really know if I deserved it in a way, as I crashed and made a mistake and I am still a winner – which is very awkward. But I don’t really know what to say. It would have been a better show for everybody without the crash and a better victory, but I don’t know what to think about it.
Porsche, of course, was obviously not happy about the race result, as their driver Earl Bamber had passed Vanthoor before the red flag. Porsche wrote in their post-race press release:
When the race for the FIA GT World Cup in Macau was stopped and not restarted, the New Zealander Earl Bamber was in the lead at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. However, the stewards of the meeting awarded the prestigious win on the legendary city circuit in the former Portuguese colony to Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor – the very driver who had just been overtaken by the Porsche in a sensational manoeuvre, and had caused the race to be called off after his serious accident.
Salty! But understandable.
Bamber had been assessed a five-second penalty for squeezing another car into the wall at the start, which caused him to be classified fourth, reports Motorsport.com. Fellow Porsche racer Kévin Estre, who was right behind Vanthoor before the crash, was classified in second place.