Thanks to the relentless forward march of racing safety technology, drivers are safer than ever, and serious injury and serious injury has become rarer in motorsport.
There have been some absolute rattlers from this year’s motorsport season, so we’ve decided to collate the best into one list to indulge all your metal-crunching desires.
NASCAR – Brickyard 500
This isn’t the biggest shunt of the year for the Good-ol’ Boys of NASCAR, that crown will inevitably always go to ‘The Big One’ from either Talladega or Daytona. What makes this particular crash so gnarly is the angle it was captured from, with Stewart-Haas driver Kurt Busch wearing a helmet-cam before being wiped out by his out-of-control teammate.
It’s a shocking example of the speed and violence of crashes, particularly in NASCAR. Busch had little to no time to react, and suffered the consequences.
IndyCar – Indianapolis 500
This year’s Indianapolis 500 was one of the fastest in history, with race-winner Takuma Sato clocking a fastest lap average speed of 364km/h. At that kind of velocity, when things go wrong, it’s sure to be spectacular.
That’s unfortunately what happened to Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon on lap 53 of 200. The 2008 Indy 500 winner made contact with Jay Howard, launching his Chevrolet IndyCar into the air over the top of Helio Castroneves, and careening toward a catch-fence.
Dixon’s crash is the fastest on this list, with the car splitting in half, sending debris flying. Thankfully he was able to walk away without a single injury.
Supercars – Tasmania SuperSprint
A wet track, bunched-up field, and sun glare are a recipe for disaster – and that’s exactly what happened when the Supercar championship when it visited Tasmania earlier this year.
Watch as the majority of the field gets caught out, with some teams losing both their cars in the carnage.
Supercars – Sandown 500
While the Tasmanian pile-up was probably the most expensive shunt of the year in Supercar’s, this crash involving Todd Hazelwood and Jonathon Webb from Sandown is the most spectacular.
Heading into the fastest part of the track, Webb tags the rear of Hazelwood’s car, pitching him backwards into the barriers, and a violent, body-shredding rollover.
Hazelwood managed to walk away without injury, and was in his Super2 race car battling back on track only a short time later.
Toyota 86 Series – Newcastle
Street circuits are ground zero for nasty multi-car crashes. With car-killing concrete barriers lining the circuit, one wrong move can end your day. However, in the process, the wall will also bounce you back into the path of oncoming traffic.
That’s exactly what happened in the Toyota 86 Series when it visited Newcastle in November, with a number of cars spearing into a stricken vehicle. We hope Toyota packed plenty of spares.
GT3 Championship – Macau
Macau is one of the tightest and trickiest racing circuits in the world, so when things go wrong, they do so spectacularly.
That’s what happened in the FIA World GT Cup qualifying race earlier this year, when all but five cars in the field were caught up in a nasty concertina effect pile-up.
Formula 1 – Singapore Grand Prix
If you’re a Ferrari fan, you may want to look away for this one. Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen came together with messy results at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix, with all three crashing out.
The shunt had major implications for the championship, with Lewis Hamilton cruising to a comfortable victory.
V8 Utes – Gold Coast
Say hello to possibly the most Australian crash of the year. While it doesn’t match some others on this list in terms of bent metal, the audio well and truly makes up for it. Want to know what some drivers are thinking under the helmet when it all goes wrong? Watch this.
Be warned, there is some strong language, so you may want to cover the ears of any young ones or sensitive types in the vicinity.
Rally Raid – Dakar
Dakar. It’s the longest, most brutal event of the motorsport season. Held in January each year it pushes man and machine to the limit, and sometimes beyond.
Watch as a small mistake from veteran driver Carlos Sainz results in a wild crash and a very bent Peugeot.