Video: When "Spectacular" Is A Bad Thing

By Winding Road Staff

October 18, 2017

As racers, we tend to feel a small sense of panic when we go off track, not just because we want to avoid hitting a wall or tire barrier, but because a trip through the dirt or the grass is bound to lose us a few positions. Grass and dirt have lower coefficients of friction than asphalt, after all.

Some of the best drivers in the country run MX-5 Cup. As an indication, Mazda recently hosted a special MX-5 Cup Challenge event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and many top MX-5 Cup series drivers showed up ($75k to win will do that) along with IMSA prototype, international GT and Indy Lights champions. The MX-5 Cup series drivers dominated. 

And yet, while watching the MX-5 Challenge, we were reminded of the importance of caution when re-entering the track after an off. Here are some shots of T2 on the first lap, where we see one car pretty far off driver's right:

What could go wrong? Well, you might begin to get a bad feeling here:

And you would be correct:

You can watch the action (including an epic start by Kenton Koch) in this video:

If that's not enough action, watch this video from the closing stages of that same race:

That crash, involving Bryan Ortiz and Kenton Koch, is less obviously a re-entry problem, and yet it happens so soon after an off that we again encourage caution. Even the best drivers make mistakes and it is valuable to learn from them.