Honda Civics Caught In Magnificent Touring Car Wreck
Big pile-up occurs at the start of the first race in the streets of Portugal, capturing a couple of Civic Type R TCR racers.
What happens a gaggle of race-prepared compact cars speeds through narrow European streets? Usually, exciting competition with little room for error, pun intended. And yet, sometimes, all it takes is for one car to gum up the works and bring out the red flag to sort it all out.
Such was the case at this weekend’s FIA World Touring Car Cup in Vila Real, Portugal. The series pits up to 26 “front-wheel-drive, four/five-door saloons or hatchbacks using turbocharged production engines with a capacity of between 1750-2000cc and with a maximum power output of 350bhp” against each other through a gauntlet of three races over the course of a single weekend on circuits, such as the Circuito Internacional de Vila Real street course.
The first race of the weekend started normally enough, aside from a couple of slow-starting Hyundais, one pulling to the side to let the faster cars pass by.
A few corners ahead, we see the makings of potential trouble with the Volkswagens up front (driven by the team of Rob Huff and Mehdi Bennani), while the Honda Civic driven by Esteban Guerrieri tries to find an opening to move up in the ranks.
And then, it happens: Bennani bunces Huff’s backside, causing Huff’s V-Dub to bash the guardrail around the bend. In turn, Bennani goes flying over Huff onto the other side of the corner, part of a chain reaction pile-up involving quite a few of the front pack.
While Guerrieri is punted through the two V-Dubs by another competitor, teammate Yann Ehrlacher gets a good look at Bennani’s undercarriage, followed by one of Huff’s tires before stopped by the crack-up.
Once the course was cleared, all would go smoother in the final two races, with Ehrlacher taking third overall in Portugal.