The Ford GT apparently shares more with the Ferrari marque it battled against at Le Mans than we thought. Just like the intense, passionate Italian infernos we know and love, the Ford GT, too, is pretty flammable.
During today’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring, a valve stuck open on the No. 67 during fueling that allowed fuel to spill on the car’s hot exhaust and catch fire. Ford Performance confirmed that there was a fuel valve issue on Twitter after the incident.
Fortunately, driver Andy Priaulx was able to hop out of the car safely, however, in opening the door, flames entered the cockpit.
The car was in the garage for 23 minutes while it was cleaned up and put back into shape for racing. It later rejoined at the very back of the field, nine laps behind the last car in the entire field. The No. 67 was running in second when it came into the pits.
Fire: the ultimate balancer of performance.
Curiously, this was not the only car-b-que of the morning. Turns out, Porsches burn, too—as one unlucky LM GTE Am contender found out.
Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing driver David Heinemeier Hansson confirmed on the broadcast that the No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR had a smaller fire that escaped the watchful eyes of the television cameras:
It’s incredibly frustrating, we had the pace to win. The car was phenomenal, but there’s no time to not be able to restart it, or have a fire. We lost 20 seconds, I fight like my life depends on it, and now we find the car is relatively fireproof! This is not how you win races.
No one was harmed in that car-b-que, either. Fortunately for the No. 88 Porsche, they lost significantly less time in the pits to their smaller fire, even sending the car back out still covered in extinguisher goo. Hey, it has to run—it doesn’t have to run pretty.
UPDATE: A third car caught on fire with just under three hours to go! This time, it was the unluckiest LMP1 on the grid: the ByKolles CLM P1/01.
Something always seems to go wrong with the poor ByKolles car, though, so I guess it’s just that time.
UPDATE #2: The Porsche fire was due to fuel spilling on hot brakes, per driver Heinemeier Hansson’s Instagram: