Marvin Kirchhoefer knew his frightening crash in qualifying for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour would be a “big one” in one of the most dangerous parts of the track.
The German driver walked away from a scary incident at the top of the Mountain in qualifying in which his No. 62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was written-off in the impact.
Kirchhoefer clipped the wall on the run through Sulman Park on his flying and from there on was ‘nothing he could do to avoid the crash’, with the car spearing rear first into the concrete wall at high speed.
The Aston Martin climbed the concrete wall and went up into the air before flipping on its roof and coming to rest on the racing line right-side up, with Renger van der Zande the first on the scene after stopping on track.
Speaking to Sportscar365 after the incident, Kirchhoefer said he simply got “a bit too close” to the wall trying to push and took the blame for the shunt.
While the No. 62 Aston will take no further part in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season-opener, Kirchhoefer was in the garage helping the team strip the car down.
“I was holding my head just in a brace position because I knew by the time when I lost the car it’s going to be a big one and obviously I did not expect to actually roll,” he told Sportscar365.
“The scariest moment was when I was getting on the wall when the door on my side didn’t come fully off but was loose and I could look down at it [the wall], so that was pretty scary.
“It felt like a very long incident. That’s why the reason maybe 10 seconds after I was still just holding my head hoping I do not get collected by any other car.
“Obviously I saw one of my mates stopping, Renger, which was really nice and good sportsmanship to check on me if everything is okay.
“He helped me to get out of the car, so big thanks to him being such a good sportsman.
“Obviously now I’m very disappointed. The biggest pain for me is feeling so disappointed about the whole thing and I wish I could do anything to make it work for tomorrow.”
“Good Feeling” to See van der Zande on the Scene
Kirchhoefer only had kind words to say about van der Zande, who rushed to his aid seconds after the crash.
“It gives you a comfortable feeling because it’s like you realize something happened but there’s someone helping you get out of the situation,” he said.
“I think when it gets to the real scary sh** is when you’re locked in the car, which was luckily not the case for me.
“For sure it’s nice to see someone helping you but at this time you also realize that everybody might be aware of it so you don’t need to be scared someone might collect you.
“That’s obviously the most dangerous part in this area, to get collected because it’s so blind and so fast.
“It was just a very good feeling having someone like Renger stopping there and being a helping man.”
Credit to Vantage GT3’s Strength, Safety
Despite the car being mangled in the shunt, Kirchhoefer escaped injury-free, explaining that a combination of events contributed to the size of the crash.
“I have to say a big credit to AMR. They built a car which protected me from any bad injuries so I’m very glad I can stand here and be alright and give the mechanics a helping hand,” added Kirchhoefer.
“There’s always a point where you can say you can do this or this to make it safer. But I think in the end, many bad things came together which made me roll the car.
“It’s a bit hard to say. It’s also hard to see from the onboard how I basically rolled because it could be the rear which came off that maybe stuck in the grass or something.
“I’m not really sure. It’s hard for me to say right now if there would be anything which would have made this incident less worse.”