Tomasz Casperzyk must’ve thanking his lucky stars last week when, during the Rally Islas Canarias, a four-wheel drift caused by a mechanical failure nearly threw him off a cliff. Fortunately, that cliff was lined with the kind of Armco barrier that racing drivers have a love/hate relationship with, and the Polish racer was kept from a potentially fatal tumble.
Somewhere about two-thirds through the San Mateo stage, Kasperzyk and co-driver Damian Syty suffered a brake failure. Though his run up to the final corner looked tidy, as he passes the apex with an alarming amount of speed, the rear tire locks and throws the car wide, and for half a moment, it looks as if the two are going on a long, painful ride. Though his Ford Fiesta WRC machine displaced the guardrail by a few feet, the Armco’s held the Fiesta from falling like a mother cradling an infant.
Though the car was significantly damaged, the two emerged unscathed but shaken. Syty bounded from the car with a sign reading “OK.” While these sorts of harrowing experiences are not uncommon on the rally stage, it must’ve been something that stuck with Casperzyk, who later noted, “I am really, really lucky I didn’t fall down because [the drop] was really deep.” Somewhere out there is a civil engineer who deserves a stiff libation from Casperzyk, who could probably use a few himself.