Video: Lancer Evo’s Engine Fails Spectacularly, Catches Fire!

Even well-prepped cars sometimes can’t take the heat. Well, factor in the ambient temperature of a place like Willow Springs and it’s not all that surprising a motor can blow. In any event, this clip shows how a motor can blow unexpectedly, and how a capable driver deals with a frightening situation.

Thankfully, the 4G63 motor lets go after the driver of the Synapse Engineering Lancer Evolution rounds the first corner at roughly 80 mph, instead of while pushing 140 mph down the front straight. When the motor does let go, it causes a spin; either from fluid on the tires or an abrupt weight transfer. Whatever the reason, it’s a reminder of how quickly things can go from a calm jaunt to a frightening 360° pirouette.

Soaring water temps, gone unnoticed, were the only indication of the impending fire.

Soaring water temps, gone unnoticed, were the only indication of the impending fire.

The driver calmly controls the slide to the best of their abilities and comes to a halt. Promptly, he exits the car—ignoring the flames licking at the hood—and inspect from afar. During the hurried exit from the Evo, he pulls his woefully undersized fire extinguisher, but thankfully, the flames seem to simmer somewhat.

This is, unfortunately, a reality of track driving. It’s never overkill to have some form of fire protection, since an inferno is never completely out of the question. While it’s unlikely that a well-prepared car will roast without warning, the demands a track places on a car are immense. It’s always better to be prepared, and respond quickly and calmly. That might prevent a pricey track toy from becoming a charred wreck.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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