Remember those games of Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing where you could drop a banana peel or an oil slick and cause following racers to wipe out? Well, that’s pretty much what happened on the second lap of the French Grand Prix of Le Mans Sunday, where an apparent oil spill caused half the field to wipe out and necessitated medical checkups and a restart of the race:
That crash led to a lot of medical examinations, and the race was eventually restarted, but reduced to 16 laps from the original 25. Here are more details from the AFP:
What appeared to be leaked fluid on only the second lap of the race saw a succession of riders slide off at high speed one after the other into the gravel trap, with some of the racers whacked by flying bikes in the carnage.
Championship leader and eventual winner Joan Mir from Spain was among those who went for a medical check-up — as stewards worked frantically to clean up the track — but none of the riders was badly hurt and all were able to return for the restart.
When the action got back under way 30 minutes later — the race was shortened to 16 laps — the Honda rider Mir emerged victorious in what was the fifth race of the season, and easily the most incident-packed.
That’s the third win of the year for the 19-year-old Mir, who leads the championship standings. But he certainly had a memorable experience en route to this one. It’s remarkable to see so much of a field wipe out like this, and it’s fortunate that it doesn’t seem to have caused serious injuries.