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