Brett Sandburg crashed the #13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 out of second place on Saturdays GTS race for the Pirelli World Challenge series at Lime Rock Park. He was close behind the race leader, Lawson Aschenbach in the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z28 for most of the race. Near the closing laps, Sandburg tried several times to pass Aschenbach, including an attempt at the Uphill left-hander, which Aschenbach successfully defended to maintain the lead.
Next time around, Sandburg tried again at the Uphill turn. This time around, he lost control and crashed into the side of Aschenbach. The Camaro was able continue and finished the race in fourth, but Sandburg’s KTM was left stranded in the grass on the outside of the turn.
Sandburg took a long time to emerge from the car. At first, I worried that he had been injured in the crash (which I didn’t see so I couldn’t tell how hard the hit had been). Eventually, the canopy popped open and Sandburg climbed out, his body language clearly showing his disappointment with not making the pass for first and losing out on second place, both in the space of a few seconds.
The helmet really accentuates the way Brett Sandburg’s head is hanging in sadness. That sadness pretty quickly turned into anger as he squatted next to the grass and watched the track workers clean up the debris from the accident and remove the stricken KTM. Eventually it all got to be too much for him and he threw his gloves onto the grass, folded his hands, and hung his head again.
We like to think of racing drivers as cold, almost machine-like with their focus on getting the most out of their cars for every lap of every race. Every once in while an incident like this happens that shows us the depth of their commitment and the emotions that bubbling just under the surface.
The crash was just a racing incident. No penalties were applied. It was just two drivers trying as hard as possible. Chris Beaufait in the #45 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 went on to take the victory.
Afterward, I overheard two flag marshals talking about the incident. The Sandburg-Aschebach crash was barely a blip on their radar, given the much more serious incidents that had occurred that weekend. One of the flaggers explained to the other that, “they were fighting for position into the chicane and you don’t fight for position into the chicane.”