Amazing moment 24-hour racer stops to push stranded rival into pits – and gets two points on licence

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AMAZING video captured the moment a racing driver pushed his rival into the pits – so he could refuel and complete the race.

The two teams had been head to head for nearly 24 hours when suddenly one of them ran out of fuel with minutes of the race left – and had to stop on the tracks.

Driver Greg Graham, 54, from Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, was devastated, in tears and had resigned himself to standing on a grass verge until the end of the race.

However, moments later James Poulton, 50, pulled up behind Greg’s stranded car, shouted at him to get back in and pushed him into the pits to refuel.

The two drivers had been battling each other for eighth place for over eight hours – and Good Samaritan James was “rewarded” by the track authorities with two points on his racer’s licence.

But the move has been hailed as “sportsmanship at its best” and one version of the clip has been viewed 139,000 times on Facebook alone.

The men had been battling each other during the last minutes of the Citroen C1 24 hour at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby and the two drivers had never met before the race on Saturday May 12.

The 24 hour race is undertaken by teams of up to four drivers who take it in turns.

The clip begins with a devastated and resigned Greg standing by a barrier in the middle of the grass verge, while his blue Citroen sits stationary on the track.

Less than a minute later, James’ car appears to be slowing down to a stop behind Greg’s car and the anxious driver on the sidelines tries to wave him out of the way, fearing a collision.

However, when Greg realises James is going to push him to the pits to refuel, he runs to his car and jumps in.

With one leg in the car, James nudges Greg’s car from behind and pushes him down towards the pits.

The commentators on the clip scream with excitement at the unexpected events unfolding in front of them, mistakenly believing Greg and James are teammates.

Moments later the camera pans and both cars are turning a corner.

James gives Greg’s car a shunt and miraculously he bump starts the car, which then manages to get into the pits and in the hands of the team’s mechanics.

James managed to retain eight place position, while despite their disaster Greg’s team finished in 11th place.

The two teams were head to head for nearly eight hours before Greg ran out of fuel

Speaking today, Greg said: “I was thinking like a racing driver, and I just went for it instead of stopping to refuel. When I realised I was absolutely devastated, I felt like I had let down my sponsors and everyone who worked on the car, and all the people who had supported us.

“When I was standing on the verge I was in tears, and then I saw James pull up and I thought he was going to hit the back of my car. I realised he was waving his arms at me telling me to get in and push me into the pits, I couldn’t believe it.

“He’s such a lovely guy, I couldn’t believe he would do that. There were so many cars that went past that didn’t help us.”

Speaking today a humble James said: “I was in the right place at the right time, I did what anyone else would have done. I thought they had ran out of fuel, and I know what it feels like to be so close to finishing and how much endurance racing takes out of you, that I couldn’t leave him there.

“I saw him and thought, well if he’s still there when I come round again, I’ll push him into the pits. It’s as simple as that.”

He added that he didn’t blame the racecourse for the points on his licence. He said: “It was a really difficult decision for them, they would have been in trouble if they hadn’t done anything so they did the least that they could do by giving me two points.”

On social media, James Fothergill said: “In all my years of watching motor racing I have never seen this before.”

While Rob Vargas said simply: “Outstanding.”

 
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