The driver is now appealing a ruling that he’s responsible for damages
Here’s an odd one. A spec Mazda Miata and a tow truck collided at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.
The incident took place during an event hosted by the SCCA. Hills and elevation tend to create blind spots. Especially when the cars sit just a few feet off the ground. That appears to be what happened here.
You can see the video of the accident below.
As a group of Mazda’s came over a hill, a tow truck was cutting across the track. Directly across the racing line, Bill Agha was on a crash course with a tow truck.
It would appear that the driver of the Mazda expected the tow truck to remain at the outside portion of the track. Or he just didn’t see him at all. The Mazda was already partially turning and likely looking at the apex of the corner to the right. At the same time, he was looking for an accident ahead in turn 8. The tow truck was coming from the left.
Either way, the two collided at around 45 mph. An “Oh, F***,” is heard from the onboard cockpit camera of the competitor that was just behind the accident. The Mazda was forced to an early exit from the event due to the twisted from suspension on the 1999 Mazda.
There was a yellow flag in this section of the race track. It wasn’t a full-course yellow. With a standing yellow, drivers are required to slow down and be aware of danger ahead. Once they were passed the yellow area, they would resume racing as usual.
“I have on record that the EV driver was released at the wrong time. He was told he had a 10 sec window to make it clear of traffic to the incident in turn 8 and presumably they never saw my car entering corner seven even though the official video showing me waving and acknowledging the yellow. I will be leaving my comments at this point as this will be escalating from today on,” Bill Agha stated in a facebook post.
Agha told Jalopnik that he never saw a white flag. A white flag in a corner is to signal drivers that an emergency vehicle is entering the racing surface. “I did see the trucks staged, but as soon I started turning my focus was on the yellow wreck,” Agha told Jalopnik. “It happened so fast.”
The accident is being ruled as a racing accident. As a result of the ruling, he’s responsible for the damages to his car.
However, the driver is appealing that ruling of the SCCA in attempt to have his car replaced or fixed by the SCCA. He stated that the tow truck was released at the wrong time and that he also didn’t see any white flags at the scene.
The SCCA was in charge of all safety equipment. There were no raceway staff or crews working the event.
“However, we take on-track safety very seriously and will be reviewing this incident with the SCCA and our own staff in the coming days,” the Sonoma Raceway representative told Jalopnik.
“The SCCA Stewards of the Meet reviewed the incident with all parties involved and no further action was deemed necessary,” the SCCA spokesperson told Jalopnik.
“Generally, it was agreed that a couple things could’ve been done differently by various parties, so it was decided to treat this as a learning experience so everyone can grow and keep striving to improve on-track safety.”
“Different people will have different views and opinions on the matter. But differences of opinion are certainly not uncommon in motorsports—or any other sport, for that matter,” the SCCA spokesperson concluded.