VIDEO: Bizarre jeep incident sparks second safety car period

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Today’s Korean Grand Prix saw one of the most bizarre incidents of the season cause a second safety car period. A jeep was sent out onto the circuit in response to Mark Webber’s car catching fire, going out ahead of the leading drivers on track and forcing the safety car to be sent out for a second time.

After a safety car period following Sergio Perez’s tire failure, Adrian Sutil made a mistake heading into turn three and crashed into Mark Webber’s Red Bull. Webber tried to continue, but the back of his car duly caught fire and he was forced to pull to the side of the track and retire. With no marshals nearby, the RB9 simply continued to burn, albeit well out of the way of any danger.

However, the decision was taken to send out the jeep onto the circuit to put out the blaze, but the FIA regulations state that for any vehicle going out on the circuit must be accompanied by the safety car. Instead, the marshal’s vehicle was sent out ahead of the safety car, with the field catching the rogue vehicle heading along the 1.2km straight on the run up towards the incident.

Race control immediately responded by sending out the safety car which had to overtake the field after being released behind the train of cars. Thankfully, the jeep soon pulled over towards Webber’s car and out of the way, allowing normal service to be resumed.

The incident will forced the likes of Vettel and Grosjean to slow immediately as they were the first to come across the jeep, and the second stoppage did play a part in the race with some drivers choosing to pit during this stoppage. The FIA will investigate the incident when the Korean officials file their race report.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.