World’s Best Motorsport Safety Cars NamedMarch 7, 2021
Safety cars have become commonplace in motorsport. They are piloted by a professional race car driver and are often capable of delivering a doctor, medical, firefighting and communications kits to the scene of an accident on the track. In case of any danger, riders are obliged to follow them, which allows them to reduce speed during an emergency.
Over the years, automakers have tried to demonstrate their ability in motorsport, and not always precisely in races – they have provided their own cars as safety cars. At the same time, they often underwent modernization. Therefore, the editors of AutoTimesNews decided to make a rating of the coolest safety cars that are in use today.
The Audi R8 has become a popular safety car for several series of races since the German sports car debuted in 2007. For the DTM championship, the German automaker prepared two cars with only minor changes from the standard cars – a roll cage, fire extinguishers and roof-mounted lights were added in case the car was to be used to control a race.
The R8 made its debut at the Norisring in 2007, but it also raced the German ADAC GT Master series and at Le Mans. During the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans qualifying session, when the red flag was displayed, safety car driver Yannick Dalmas earned worldwide fame and praise. He not only drove the cars of the racers in rainy weather at night, but also demonstrated a skillful drift.
BMW i8 Roadster
The BMW i8 Roadster is used as a safety car in the Formula E series, as it is an electric vehicle itself. Few other electric vehicles will be able to keep up with racing cars as they move along the track should the need arise for emergency assistance. This i8 has been specially modified to fulfill its mission and is the first FIA-approved open cab safety car – the roof was cut off, the windshield removed and replaced with a small screen.
The i8 Roadster safety car also features a double wishbone, rear spoiler and unique wheels. It is paired with the i8 Coupe for Formula E races.
Since 1997, Mercedes has been supplying safety cars for Formula 1, and the Mercedes-AMG GT S is a racing veteran at all – the car has been in this position since 2015. The official driver of the safety car, Bernd Maylander, assisted in the development of the model thanks to his experience in the German Touring Car series. AMG also has specially made lightweight forged alloy wheels.
The propulsion system in the safety car is standard, but differs from the road models with a carbon fiber “bucket” on the roof for attaching the light bar. It is designed to minimize aerodynamic drag, while a TV camera is installed in the “chandelier”. Also, the car was equipped with strobe lights and taillights, which make the safety car even more visible on the track.
Lexus RC F
Given the love of Australian fans for domestic V8 Supercars, the Lexus RC F’s choice as a safety car is a controversial decision. However, the RC F had what it took to take the job – under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 with 470bhp. In addition to the mandatory bright paint job and a roof-mounted light bar, the Lexus has been fitted with racing seats, seat belts and a roll cage.
Lexus also supplied the IS350 F Sport as a medical vehicle. All cars were fitted with track tires.
The Chevrolet Camaro not only conquers the streets with its mighty roar, but also accompanies cars in the Indy Pace Car. These were the early days of the safety car, and the Camaro’s main role in its 1967 Indianapolis 500 debut was to get racing cars to the start.
The Camaro became the main safety car in the Indy 500 and other races in the United States and is still used today, always in coupe and convertible bodies. Chevrolet also sells replica safety cars as special editions. Usually they are limited to 500 copies and are sold out in the very first days.
Many BMW safety cars have been produced over the years, starting with the Z8 and Z4M Coupe, but one of the fan favorites is the M4. It became the official safety car of the MotoGP Championship in 2015 and made its first stage debut in Qatar.
The M4 was prepared for its function with roll-over bars, sport seat belts and seats, and on-board fire protection equipment. It was the most powerful safety car ever used in MotoGP at the time, and it worked in conjunction with the BMW X5 M, in which the racing doctor accompanies the riders on the warm-up lap and at the very beginning of the races.
We also decided to recall a few unusual cars. For example, Tatra T-623 R, which was used at the 1995 Hungarian Grand Prix. This race was remembered for the fact that the Tatra failed as a safety car when the safety car hit the driver Taki Inoue.
Or remember the Lamborghini Countach used for the Grand Prix of the Principality of Monaco. This allowed the principality to prove that their races were the most exclusive, as several Countachs were used as safety cars at once.
And in the UK, Jaguars were commonly used on Silverstone Circuit. And the first of these was the XJ Series 1, in which the rear seats were completely removed to transport firefighting equipment.
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