Running off the end of a drag strip isn’t all that rare of an an occurrence. After all, that’s why sand traps and safety nets exist. Or in Brazil, why they have dirt paths through the jungle. But what is rare is for a car to plow into said sand at a high rate of speed and come away without a scratch. Dirty, yes. But Scratched, no.
But that’s exact the lucky fortune that FIA European Pro Modified racer Tero Laukkanen found himself with over the weekend while competing at the FIA Nitro Nationals at the Alastaro Circuit in southwest Finland.
Laukkanen, who himself hails from Finland, had just completed a 6.09-second, 408 km/h (253 mph) winning elimination pass in his twin-turbocharged Ford Mustang when the parachutes ripped off the car, leaving Laukkanen with nothing but the brakes and lady luck to bring him to a stop. By way of some impressive driving, Laukkanen was able to swing the car around in the sand and bring it to a safe stop. But most impressively, the car didn’t turn over, nor did it display any signs of damage…not even a cracked or damaged carbon fiber nose.
The car, which sports power from a 521 cubic inch Brad Anderson Hemi with twin Precision turbos, was of course drowning in sand and had to be withdrawn from competition for the remainder of the weekend, but that’s a small price to pay in a situation that could’ve had a more devastating and perhaps tragic outcome.