Huge pileup in Portugal as touring cars crash in street race

Seven-car smash triggered by team mate squabble.

THE FIRST of three World Touring Car Cup races at Portugal kick started in spectacular style, after a huge pile-up involving numerous cars occurred during the opening lap.

Triggered by a first lap squabble for the lead between Sebastien Loeb Racing team mates Rob Huff and Mehdi Bennani, the crash ended up completely destroying the pair’s Volkswagen Golf racers — with the engine from Huff’s car being torn away from the chassis.

With the coming together between the two front-runners happening on the narrow city streets of Vila Real, the sizeable crash blocked the road and most of the field ended up involved in the carnage to some degree. In total, seven cars would be immediately taken out of the race, with another forced to retire during the restart as a result of damage sustained in the initial pileup.

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Despite the crash writing off both Sebastien Loeb Racing cars, none of the drivers suffered from major injuries, though a winded Rob Huff did need assistance when getting out of his destroyed Volkswagen TCR.

The World Touring Car Cup crash at Vila Real isn’t the only tin-top motorsports event as of late to make headlines due to spectacular crashes. Three drivers in the DTM German touring car series were disqualified after crashing into race marshals and pit crews at a race in Hungary.

Bizarre three crashes in a row in German touring car pit chaos (video)