Incidents occur in racing all the time. Sometimes they're just racing incidents while other times they're blatant and deserve a penalty. I think this one deserves every penalty possible. It also deserves a little word to whatever or whoever you believe in that this man survived.
Darren Shepsman was racing his MX5 (he's British so it's ok to call the Miata an MX5) behind another driver on the UK's Croft Circuit when a series of events took place.
The driver of the red Miata is all over the white car in front of him like stink on a monkey. Coming out of the chicane, the red driver shows the white driver a little bit of the chrome horn, which pushes him wide and a little bit off the track.
Ok, it's a bit dirty, but sometimes you rub when racing and push someone off. No big deal.
The big deal comes at the end of the straight. Shepsman got a clean run off the corner and is using the momentum to come up on the outside of the red Miata. That's when the red Miata moves over and into Shepsman's left front quarter panel. He goes flying off track, right into a tire wall.
At first glance, it looks like the red driver just moved over slightly and didn't realize Shepsman was there. It happens from time to time. But watch the video again. Right before he moves to the right, the red driver turns and looks in his right hand mirror, and then probably said to himself "no way in hell I'm letting him past."
Here's what resulted:
Shepsman is lucky to be alive, in fact he walked away without a scratch. In the YouTube comments, a place where you normally find thoughtful and intelligent information, Shepsman said that he took the video to the stewards and they've done what they can. He also said that the car is a write-off. Hopefully he can get money together to get back racing soon.
I don't think the intent of the other driver was to cause such a huge crash, but was to block Shepsman from passing. The problem is that the timing of the block was rather poor, which resulted in a totalled Miata. A car with a head of steam will approach quickly, and when you dart out like that you're going to cause a crash. Nobody was hurt or killed, but this easily could have gone the other way if the Miata flipped or if the tire wall wasn't there.
Hopefully the driver who caused the debacle now understands that and will be more careful in the future.
Hat Tip to @RyanLewisRacing!