Winning a race is hard. There are surprisingly few drivers who can even lay claim to winning a top-level professional race, and nearly none can say that they’ve won a race from the roof of their car, but following this weekend’s FIA GT Race at Macau, Laurens Vanthoor managed to win upside down.
The Macau leg of the FIA GT series was weird race all over, in which only four laps were run. The day started well, though, for Vanthoor who took off from first place on the starting grid.
After an accident involving an understeering Mercedes and a barrier, which, surprisingly, the Mercedes won, the race had to be stopped so that crews could fix the wall.
It took the race team a while to fix the wall, but eventually the race was ready to restart. It wasn’t long, though, before Vanthoor was overtaken by a Porsche. On the subsequent corner, Vanthoor ran over the inner curb, which unsettled the car, sending him oversteering into the outside wall at the corner exit.
Vanthoor’s R8 LMS tried to climb the wall, but was rebuffed, and eventually did a backflip to register its displeasure. A few hundred feet down the track, the R8, now on its roof, ground to a stop and Vanthoor got out unharmed.
Because of how long it took to repair the wall after the first crash earlier in the race, organizers had no choice but to red flag the race and declare the leader of the last completed lap—Vanthoor—the winner.
Predictably, Vanthoor wasn’t exactly jubilant on the podium.
“I’m happy and relieved about not having been injured,” said Vanthoor. “I made a mistake and caused an accident, and won nonetheless. I’m still not quite sure about how to rate this victory.”
Audi Sport’s head of customer racing, on the other hand, saw the silver lining.
“The most important thing for us is that Laurens [Vanthoor] is okay,” said Reinke. “This shows how safe our cars are. It’s arguably a little strange to win this way. It was a very intensive race. Fortune and misfortune always play a role in Macau, but one of the prerequisites for success was the fact that we were in contention for the top spot in all sessions. That’s why I’m happy about the title in the FIA GT World Cup.”
This story first appeared on fourtitude.com