• Nov 29, 2010
Heikki Kovalainen crashes out at the 2010 Race of Champions – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Race of Champions saw more action than usual this past weekend. In the very first round, Heikki Kovalainen managed to stuff his Audi R8 GT into the wall while going head to head against Sebastien Loeb. Kovalainen clipped the inside barrier that separates the two tracks before spinning into a concrete wall, destroying his racer's suspension and knocking himself unconscious in the process. Kovalainen said that a sticking throttle was the cause of the accident in his Twitter feed, though the video also looks like he simply got too close to the inside barrier.

Fortunately, Kovalainen was not seriously injured during the bang-up. Likewise, his girlfriend, who was riding in the vehicle at the time, walked away from the incident without so much as a scuff as well.

SPOILER ALERT: Loeb went on to make his way all the way to the finals, but fell to Felipe Albuquerque at the last second. Hit the jump to see Kovalainen's spectacular crash.

[Sources: 99op, Yahoo]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, that'll buff right out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey folks, does anybody know if Felipe made a "left" turn?
      • 4 Years Ago
      He clipped the barrier but that didn't look like it caused his problems. He was carrying way to much speed for the corner so sticking throttle sounds likely
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some big name driver always wrecks a car at the ROC, seems like the thing to do lately. Break'em and then pay for it like it is no big deal.

      Def driver error and the big thing going against Kovalainen is the fact that the R8 is probably the most powerful car they have attempted to run at these events and it probably is a beast to handle on the fake road they setup at these arenas. They're pros and they push these cars pretty hard at these events because they know its all about putting on a show. To them its like driving around in a rental car with insurance, who cares what happens to it.

      As for the girlfriend bit, the ROC is actually a pretty safe event, the cars don't get up to neck breaking speeds and the barriers are pretty good for being temporary placements. When possible, it is very common to see the pros have some sort of passenger in the car when they run these events. Sometime seats are auctioned off towards charities or in this case to spend some quality time with the girl friend.

      No need to be harsh on him or suspect that he is encapable of error. It looks like he was carrying too much speed or he over estimated the braking force and/or turn-in response of the car. Hell, it even looked like the other driver knew what was going to happening as he looked like he came to a crawl before he even got to the corner.
      • 4 Years Ago
      he had already clipped the outer wall on the straight before the turn, and damaged his wheel, that is what made the car over-steer that much and pile into the center divide...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sticking throttle? Was this a Camry?

      I know Audi would NEVER build a vehicle with a sticking throttle...! ;-)

      /s
        • 4 Years Ago
        I never understood (both in the case of Audi and Toyota) why drivers can think to call 911 to report that their cars are unexpectedly accelerating but not think to PUT IT IN NEUTRAL. If you simply put the car in neutral, it can rev all it wants while you slow yourself safely to a stop.

        Also, Nick, the Audi throttle stick problem did not affect the A6 as the A6 was not even an Audi model at the time. The problem was with the 5000.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I vote driver error also, he broke the suspension when he tagged the wall on the previous corner and didn't realize it till he had mashed the throttle for the straight, at that point it was to late for him to save it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Actually it's an Audi R8 LMS. A non street legal GT3 version....

      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like that R8 turns in harder than he anticipated. Pretty poor driving for a professional to be honest.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks like you need to pay more attention to the video than you anticipated. Pretty poor commenting from an amateur to be honest.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The problem clearly wasn't the turn itself. Oversteer was the result of his trying to save the car from careening into the stands (which he did).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definately looked like the throttle was stuck, his brake lights are on and he's speeding up going into the middle barrier.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup, exactly. His brake lights were on wayyyy before the turn. In fact, it looks like he didn't hit the right armco on purpose either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        His brakes were red hot when they show the close up. That shouldn't happen from just braking into that turn
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed just look at the brakes they are bright red as he's spinning that doesnt happen in a split second.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Those are not bright red from being hot, if you look at the end there are flames that shoot out by the start/finish line and what you see in the brakes is the reflection of that

        If you look at the video between :40 and :50 you don't see the brakes being red until almost the end where there is a flash of red and goes away pretty quick. That's the reflection of those flames.

        I think it was driver's error, Pros also make mistakes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      that will buff it right out
      • 4 Years Ago
      Girlfriend riding along in a competition (can't open the video at work, so don't know if it was actually a practice run)?
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