Driv­ers slam “dan­ger­ous” use of a live snatch re­cov­ery dur­ing Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Lead­ing For­mula Ford driv­ers and teams slammed Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy of­fi­cials over the use of a tele­han­dler to con­duct a live snatch re­cov­ery dur­ing the sec­ond semi-fi­nal at Sil­ver­stone on Sun­day.

Scot­tish driver Lo­gan Han­nah’s car was stranded at the side of the cir­cuit af­ter con­tact with Stephane Le­meret be­fore the first cor­ner. The clerk of the course de­ployed the tele­han­dler to re­trieve the car un­der yel­low flag con­di­tions, with the process tak­ing a num­ber of laps to com­plete.

Three-time Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy win­ner Joey Fos­ter was un­happy with the de­ci­sion. “It was the most dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion I have ever seen one of those used,” he said. “It was very slip­pery into Copse, you could eas­ily lock up on the down­shift, even when you’re not push­ing.

“A safety car would have been ab­so­lutely fine in those con­di­tions. They have to un­der­stand that it can’t hap­pen. If a car is off two-thirds of the way around Luffield, right in the gravel at the back, fair enough. But not when you are ap­proach­ing at 120mph, with mar­shals and the snatch ve­hi­cle just off the track.”

Han­nah’s Gra­ham Brun­ton Rac­ing team was also un­happy with how the in­ci­dent was han­dled. “The track is li­censed to do it, but any Msvr-ad­min­is­tered cham­pi­onship doesn’t use live snatches, no BRSCC open-wheel se­ries uses them,” said Craig Brun­ton. “Here we’re told it’s a tro­phy event [and they’re al­lowed]. A group of us spoke to the clerk of the course and he said he would take it to the stew­ards.”

The re­main­der of the event passed with­out the need for fur­ther live snatches in ex­posed po­si­tions.

A spokesper­son for the or­gan­is­ing His­toric Sports Car Club said: “The clerks in con­junc­tion with the cir­cuit safety team will ul­ti­mately de­cide what is the most ap­pro­pri­ate way to deal with an in­ci­dent, and on this oc­ca­sion, live snatch was em­ployed. Sil­ver­stone is li­censed for live snatch and all teams were briefed this would be in op­er­a­tion. We as a club will use live snatch where it is li­censed.

“The stew­ards and the clerks of the course at this race meet­ing con­firmed that the safety team con­ducted the re­cov­ery promptly and ef­fi­ciently within the li­cence re­quire­ments. Over­all the event pro­duced ex­cel­lent rac­ing with only one race be­ing halted by a red flag across 17 races. Our thanks go to all mar­shals, of­fi­cials and com­peti­tors, for their as­sis­tance through­out the event, for achiev­ing that re­sult.”

Safety car was called in fi­nal af­ter ear­lier live snatch an­gered some

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