The jostling of angry fans during the Croatian Rally could have had a tragic outcome. Sébastien Ogier flew past them at full speed.
The skirmish between lovers of fast bikes turned into a heated clash during the Croatian Rally, which took place from Friday to Sunday in the vicinity of Zagreb.
The reason for the conflict was a Russian flag that one of the fans had spread on the hillside next to the special stage track.
Another group of spectators did not like this and a conflict ensued, involving several men. The organizers tried in vain to tear them apart.
To make matters worse, the fight moved to the road at the most inopportune time. The other spectators shouted in excited voices in Czech and Italian: “Car, car!”. The approaching rally special was also announced by the nervous whistling of the organizers’ whistles.
The organizers managed to break up the battle at the last minute, immediately after that the eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier literally flew down the track at full speed in his Toyota. What would happen if the fighters did not calm down in time, it is better not to imagine.
The Croatian competition is far from the only event of the world championship where the organizers have a problem with the fans. For example, in Poland, mainly unruly viewers from Estonia caused a lot of mischief, until Rajd Polski was dropped from the series’ calendar after three years.
On the contrary, the situation in the Czech Republic is also given as a model by the International Automobile Federation. After the tragedy in Lopeník, when 11 years ago during the Autogames RallyShow Uherský Brod competition, four girls were killed in a crash of a competition car moving in a prohibited zone, the Autoklub ČR set top safety standards. They can effectively prevent similar accidents. The cooperation and discipline of the fans is also important, which was missing in the Croatian case.
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