While pit crew members are often some of the least-often recognized people on a racing team, there are times when they do something so awesome that it just makes us pay attention. And today, I’d like to applaud the guy who holds the fire extinguisher during refueling stops.
This particular incident took place during Sunday’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America at Virginia International Raceway. The No. 9 K-PAX Bentley—the car that won the first race at VIR that weekend—pulled into the pits for a driver change when all hell broke loose.
In the video, you can see the refueler struggling to get the pump into the car while the driver change is taking place. As soon as the pump is secured, a fire catches up.
But watch how fast the crew member holding the fire extinguisher gets on that action. The moment the first flames lick up against the bodywork, he’s there taking care of business.
I can’t imagine that’s a particularly exciting job. Racing technology has improved in such a way that, while refueling fires happen, they’re not super common. So it’s not like these crew members have a ton of opportunities to hone their reflexes—and yet they’re still on top of this shit with an absurd reaction time.
Hats off to you, pit lane fire extinguishers. You’re doing a great job.
After the race, the fire was confirmed to be caused by a fuel probe leak. No one was injured—but I can imagine some heart rates clocked in a little quicker than normal.