• Apr 3, 2011
2011 Le Castellet 6-Hours crash – Click above to view video after the jump

The inaugural race of the 2011 Le Mans Series, Le Castellet 6-Hours, got off to a nasty beginning today, with a mistake by the pit car causing a huge pileup in the GT field. Thanks to a hump in the back stretch of the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit, cars at the back of the pack can't see the front of the field, just the green light telling them to go.

At the start of Le Castellet, the lights turned green, but the pace car didn't leave the track. Fortunately for the Audi pace car driver, the prototype field saw his mistake and slowed down abruptly.

Those in GT, thinking the race was still green, crested the rise to be met with much slower traffic. The resulting panic stops led to pandemonium, which left at least one Farnbacher-Loles Porsche out of commission before the race even got started. Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: Axis of Oversteer via Jalopnik]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOL. Lame
        • 3 Years Ago
        Some drivers in the field are just as dumb as the comment guys in the video.

        Yellow flags were on - there's a guy with one in the last corner, there's another down the home straight.

        Pace car driver did not make a mistake. Starting lights guys did.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Typical Audi driver. lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAAAHAHAHA!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It wasn't the pace car driver's fault. If you look at the video as they're approaching the line, the side official is waving the yellow flag before they start the line. It had to have been a failure on the light operator's fault.

      There was a miscommunication of some sort between the track officials and the light operator. I'm curious to the outcome of this investigation.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Jorsn, in the video at :04 - :13 the side official is waving the yellow flag before they reach the line. Apparently the pace car was operating with the same set of instructions as the flag official that indicated that the track was still under caution.

        The lights going green had nothing to do with the pace car. He was obviously following the caution flags, which the drivers did not. They followed the light.

        There was obviously miscommunication between the safety officials and the light operator.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I thought the rule was that the physical flag doesn't wave green until all the cars have past the start line to start the 1st lap.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think his point was that the light should not have been green. The pace car driver is going to be getting orders over the radio, and if the those in charge tell him to do another lap and the light operator messes up and accidentally gives the green they are going to go by the race coordinators.

        Also I can't tell too well but it looks like they were past the main light already when it went green.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Forgive the error, I was trying to say "...the side official is waving the yellow flag before they reach the line. It had to have been a failure on the light operator's part.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It wasn't the pace car drivers fault? Are you kidding? They are coming around the corner to start the race, the lights go green, they take off and wait a second....The pace car is still out there? Why? Because he screwed up and he should be fired.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would be soooo angry at that pace car driver...

      Really feel bad for the cars that were taken completely out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Tonight we'll be asking the pace car driver about the incident during the start of the Six Hours of Le Castellet. So, what happened out there?"
      "Hurr derp derp!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a fan of this circuit.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a pretty big mess. I hope they do a proper investigation of what happened so it just doesn't fall on one guy because people want a scapegoat. Mistakes happen, but it doesn't seem clear-cut what went wrong here.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I'm wondering...is there a web site to see all these races live streaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a good thing that safety car was there, or people could have really gotten hurt.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shades of the WTCC pace car from 2009 in Pau.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYO4yPmf5AI

      Still baffling to me why all international racing series dont adopt the same procedure as Formula 1, and adopt the use a dedicated pace car driver who never changes, and who is also a racer themselves. Such as is Bernd Maylander for Formula 1. Someone who has that track awareness, and racing understanding needed to properly lead a field, and do so safely, and not get caught out by tunnel vision and forget to exit the track.

      I dont know if it was the case here or not. But in the WTCC incident, it was a local figure who was driving the pace car. Someone who had never even been on a race track before, and should have kept it that way. Mistakes like this should never happen.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Having a dedicated pace car driver won't fix the problem if he is being given wrong instructions.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That was an RS5, not a S5. hahaha...RS5 caused a massive crash.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a FULL RACE YELLOW! - No go! Don't blame the pace car driver.
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