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IndyCar driver’s moments of terror awaiting inevitable 150mph smash

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Debris flew across the track, stands and pit lane 

IndyCar driver Sebastian Saavedra was delighted to qualify in pole position for the first time in his career at the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in the American equivalent of F1.

But his delight turned to sheer terror when the race actually got going. Or rather, when the race got going for everyone except him.

As the lights went out to start the race, Saavedra buried his foot on the accelerator - but instead of roaring away from the line his car stalled the car, leaving him sitting there waiting for the inevitable, sickening moment when one of his fellow racers would smash into him.

When a racing car high up the grid stalls at the start, it's almost inevitable that a crash follows - indeed, it's almost certain even when it's one of the cars half-way down the field, given the organised chaos at the start of races.

That left the Colombian knowing that he would be collected sooner or later, with Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin both smashing into him, sending debris flying all over the circuit - and into the stands.

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Sebastian Saavedra gets hit after stalling while on pole

The Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, was one of the spectators hit by flying car parts - but thankfully all those involved in the smash walked away with nothing more than cuts and bruises.

"As soon as I released the clutch, it went from 11,000 rpm to zero," Saavedra said, suggesting that an electrical glitch might have been to blame. "This should not have happened."

Munoz said that there was nothing he could have done as he was already travelling at over 150mph.

"I was already in fifth gear," he said. "I was really close to the car in front of me, I just saw him go to the right. I just had to go to the left, but I was not fast enough."

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Sebastian Saavedra awaiting his doom

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