Well-known German racer Claudia Hurtgen, whose German Formula Three career ended when she suffered hand injuries after her car rolled over during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in 1993, was competing in the first qualifying stage of the new Extreme E event.
Racing in an electric SUV, the 49-year-old former American Le Mans, Daytona 24-Hours and Le Mans 24-Hours class winner flipped in the air at high speed on a narrow part of the sand, sending her car flying into the air in a series of terrifying flips that many viewers immediately feared could have been life-threatening.
“The front suspension is broken,” shouted a stunned commentator who was broadcasting live from the hair-raising action.
“Just as we were saying there was all to play for, it’s gone wrong. Red flag immediately.”
Incredibly, brave Hurtgen looked unscathed and appeared more concerned by whether she would be able to compete on Sunday in an interview clip published shortly after her brush with fate.
“I’m back in the pit,” said Hurtgen, who finished fifth at the Nurburgring 24-Hours in 2006 after driving two cars for a total of 11 hours. “I’m fine, I’m OK. I hope the car can be recovered for tomorrow.”