Guardrails take on slightly different purposes depending on what day it is. During the week, they can prevent distracted commuters from veering off the road, but on the weekend, those same barriers could be the last line of defense for a rally driver who’s locked-up and is heading toward a cliff.
Though that doesn’t mean the rails always stop the car from going over the cliff.
European Rally Championship drivers Tomasz Kasperczyk and Jan Cerny left an event at Rally Islas Canarias in Gran Canaria, Spain, on Friday with likely very different opinions on guardrails. Kasperczyk probably is a big fan of the metal protectors, while Cerny might never trust them again.
Fortunately for Kasperczyk, a barrier near the 10-mile marker did its job perfectly. Kasperczyk was approaching a tight right-hander when he experienced a braking issue, causing his car to understeer wide on exit and hit a rail.
Kasperczyk’s Ford Fiesta R5 appeared destined to roll to its doom, but the single guardrail stopped it in its tracks.
Jan Cerny, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as lucky.
On a different part of the Rally Islas Canarias stage, Cerny turned in too early for a fast left-hand corner, slammed into the guardrail on the apex and rolled into a ditch.
Thankfully, Cerny appeared to leave the wreck without sustaining any serious injuries. Given the nature of rallying, this likely isn’t the last time these guardrails will be put to the test.