You should never overtake the safety car during a race, that’s a fundamental rule in motorsport.
There is, it turns out, at least one excuse for breaking that rule. If there’s a fire erupting right behind you and you know the quickest, best and most effective way to stop the fire is to get it to the fire truck in the pits, then you are allowed to pass the safety car.
This is exactly what Calum Lockie, ex-GT racer and now Historic Sportscar champion, did at this weekend’s Masters Historic Weekend at Donington. A fire started in the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé he was driving while slowly following the pace car. After passing a stranded MGB that caused the full-course yellow flags, Lockie realised that weaving around behind the safety car wasn’t going to get the fire put out in time.
Instead, he nipped past the safety car while trying to convey the urgency of the matter with a few gestures, then brought the car back to the pits and plonked it next to the fire truck.
His quick thinking not only saved the Shelby he was driving from being destroyed by the fire, but with the car and fire contained to the safety of the pit lane, the racing could continue as soon as the initial, on-track incident had been dealt with.