For fans of the World Rally Championship, there’s nothing like the ability to stand inches from a speeding car. The thrill of watching and cheering as some of the best drivers in the world hurl their vehicles down narrow dirt roads with no barricades at all is not possible in any other form of motorsport. Unfortunately, that also means the stupid behavior of just a handful of fans can put themselves and others in danger.
That’s exactly what happened at Rally Croatia last weekend, when some spectators decided to start a little drunken brouhaha. Despite the best efforts from more level-headed bystanders and safety marshals who try to break up the fracas, the squabble spills into the rally stage. The idiots drag safety marshals and an officer into the path of the rally cars as well.
You can see the video here on Reddit.
Even after the horn blares and most of the individuals leave the course, one particularly plastered brawler continues to argue with the officer in the middle of the narrow lane. They are finally pulled off, and the last remaining safety marshal scrambles up the grassy hill beside the flat-out section. A second later, a Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 screams past at full tilt, flying right over the spot where the donnybrook took place moments ago. Even in its gutted state the car still weights an estimated 2,800 pounds and at that speed it could’ve done some serious damage to the human body.
It certainly would have compounded an already tragic event. The week prior, Hyundai driver Craig Breen was fatally injured when his i20 N Rally1 crashed into a pole during testing.
Toyota won the round, and driver Elfyn Evans hoisted an Irish flag on the podium in Breen’s honor. However, Evans’ win will not count toward Toyota’s Manufacturers’ Championship points total. Because of Breen’s death, Hyundai only registered two cars for the race. Manufacturers are allowed three points-scoring cars, but before the race Toyota decided to register only two GR Yarises in solidarity with Hyundai. Evans’ wasn’t one of them, but his points will still count towards the Drivers’ Championship.