Shocking Racing Crash Sends Miata Airborne

I don’t even want to try to parse out who was at fault for this wreck. That’s not really the point.

What’s gnarly is that the Miata driver suffered multiple fractures from the wreck but thankfully survived, as the YouTube uploader reports:

In the Group 7 Qualifying session, Leland Englebardt and Danny Steyn come together, sending Leland into the safety ARMCO barriers, that then launch him back onto the track. Leland suffered multiple fractures in the accident. The curbing could possibly launch a car over the ARMCO barriers into the crowds and I suggest that Watkins Glen seriously rethink this curbing

We often think about safety in racing coming down to the equipment racers bring to the track: roll cages, firesuits, HANS devices. But there’s also a huge question about safely designing the tracks themselves. Hopefully the Glen takes a serious look at the video to see if this is just a freak wreck, or if something needs a thorough reconstruction.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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I would probably place blame with the camera car. Camera car hit his rear bumper so it’s not like he was up near the passenger door where he would have had “the right to be there” and the guy just moved over on him. Also trying to dive bomb the inside while 3 wide through the esses is pretty dumb especially since that Miata had to leave room for the M3 on his left. Camera car could have waited 75 yards and sailed by him on the back straight which would have been the smart thing to do. yes it would have ruined his lap but we all have to deal with slow cars on the track, it’s part of racing.