Rally stars seek safety probe

Top rally crews are demanding a safety investigation after six manufacturer drivers and co-drivers landed up in hospital following crashes in last weekend's Rally Deutschland. The stars want to know if there were any common causes for the serious shunts in Germany, according to this week's Autosport magazine

Rally stars seek safety probe

World champions Petter Solberg and Phil Mills plus Mitsubishi's Dani Sola, Xavier Amigo, Gilles and Herve Panizzi were all taken to hospital after three separate crashes. All were later released without serious injury, though Mills was kept in overnight with severe bruising.

Drivers and teams have suggested a variety of reasons for the crashes and made suggestions to reduce the likelihood of them happening again.

Gilles Panizzi was possibly the most outspoken. "The problem is simple - this rally is too dangerous. If you lose control, you will go off too fast. Baumholder is the worst - it is incredible we accept going there year after year when so many drivers and co-drivers have been injured on events and in testing."

Solberg's accident was the worst of the three and it involved the infamous hinkelstein tank traps on the Baumholder military training area. The Norwegian's Subaru hit three of the immensely solid concrete blocks in the course of its shunt.

Drivers proposals after the accidents which all took place in rainstorms, include not running the rally on the same roads again; not running wet stages when cars are on slick tyres and reversing rules banning gravel note crews which force drivers to select tyres upwards of five hours before they actually contest the stage.

For the full story see this week's Autosport magazine.

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