If you thought NASCAR or Formula One were dangerous, perhaps you’ve never seen the Dakar Rally.
Contrary to its name, the yearly off-road endurance race has since 2009 taken place in South America, where racers must transverse crazy terrain at high speeds, risking their lives and, in some cases, the lives of spectators.
This brings us to Thursday (local time) when World Champion rally car driver Carlos Sainz, the father of Formula One driver Carlos Sainz Jr, nearly killed himself and two fans when his car crashed on a sharp mountainous corner in Argentina and rolled into a ravine.
(No, there aren’t any guardrails in this race, which most of the time doesn’t even have proper roads.)
Sainz emerged from the wreckage with a bit of lower back pain, according to Road and Track, but was otherwise unharmed.
He was forced to withdraw from the race because his car was totalled.
Sainz tweeted a note of thanks to his fans.
“Finally found a cell phone signal!” he wrote. “First off, I’m grateful for the messages and signs of support, thank you! I’m disappointed but glad that nothing happened.”
The two unidentified spectators also appear to have emerged from the incident unscathed.
One even posted video footage captured from his perspective that shows why, perhaps, choosing to stand on a blind corner of the raceway was an poor plan.
The crash, which occurred just three miles from the finish line of the 324-mile stage, happened while Sainz was attempting to make up time lost due to earlier navigational errors, Road and Track reported.
Carlos Sainz @CSainz_oficial
Finally with phone, first thanks to everybody for the support after retirement of @dakar. Disappointed but happy that nobody injured.
4:17 AM – 7 Jan 2017
247 247 Retweets 1,008 1,008 likes
As of Friday, the drivers who remained in the race that started on Monday had covered nearly 2,020 miles of terrain.
By the time the race concludes on January 14 in Buenos Aires, drivers will have raced in 12 stages for roughly 5,480 miles through Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia.