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Five best motorsport saves

By Scott Newman, 07 Aug 2017 Features

When skill and luck combine to avoid a massive crash

Five Best Motorsport Saves Cover

It’s arguably the biggest rush you can experience in a car.

Something unexpected happens and in a split second you’re out of control, only for muscle memory and your subconscious to take over and somehow steer you away from harm.

The above video taken at Brands Hatch on the weekend is a perfect example. Kenan Dole develops an almighty tank-slapper in his Volkswagen Golf but stays j-u-s-t ahead of momentum then sinks the boot at the right time to pull the car’s nose straight.

In honour of Dole’s efforts we’ve gathered a similarly impressive save from four different disciplines of motorsport.

BTCC – Jason Plato

Another effort from Brands Hatch; in fact, from the very same corner. When Jason Plato is tagged entering Paddock Hill Bend his Chevrolet Lacetti is suddenly travelling perpendicular to the track rather than parallel.

Rescuing a front-driver is the perfect example of “when in doubt, power out” and Plato manages to recover his Lacetti and only lose one place in the process.

NASCAR – Travis Pastrana

When NASCARs get ‘loose’ on an oval it usually results in a massive accident but Travis Pastrana bucks the trend thanks to a cool head and some quick wheelwork (and a little luck) recovering his Ford Fusion from 90 degrees at Texas Motor Speedway.

Rally – Gianluigi Galli

One of great internet debates is: did ‘Gigi’ Galli mean this or was it simply a lucky save? As good as the Italian ex-WRC driver is, we’re going with the latter, but it’s so beautifully executed that it could well be intentional. We’d like to see him do it again, though…

F1 – Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen’s effort in the 2016 Brazilian GP is the perfect example of a ‘save’. A puddle snaps his RB12 sideways at huge speed and the Dutch teenager is quickly a passenger. Crucially, however, Verstappen remains calm, releasing the brakes at the perfect moment to allow the car to regain grip and keep out of the wall. Not everyone that day had a similar presence of mind.