Horror BTCC crash leaves trio in hospital

Weekend Racing Wrap

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One BTCC driver is in intensive care and two others required hospital treatment after a twelve car crash during qualifying for the BTCC round at Croft.

Elsewhere only eight cars finished in a dramatic IndyCar race, there was a maiden winner in the World Rally Championship, and one driver stood out in Formula E with a double-header in Berlin.

British Touring Car Championship

Races 13-15: Croft

A horrendous crash on Saturday left Luke Davenport in intensive care in an induced coma. The Motorbase driver sustained multiple chest injuries, lung damage, a broken right leg, broken pelvis, a broken right arm and concussion according to a statement released yesterday.

Turkington cut Gordon Shedden’s points lead
Davenport and Jeff Smith had to be cut from their cockpits following the incident in qualifying. Smith also remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition with multiple chest injuries, extensive shoulder injuries and concussion. Aron Taylor-Smith, who was knocked unconscious in the collision, was released from hospital on Saturday night.

The twelve-car pile-up accident was triggered when Davenport ran wide at the Jim Clark Esses and his car dropped oil onto an already-wet-track. Driver after driver spun into the barriers at the crash scene causing multiple impacts to stationary cars.

Ash Sutton took pole position in the shortened session and converted it into victory in race one. Colin Turkington chased him all the way, however, and the West Surrey Racing driver claimed race two after beating Sutton away from the line.

Mat Jackson brought some cheer to Motorbase by becoming the season’s ninth different winner in the final race. He resisted a late attack from Sutton at the final corner of the race. Rob Austin put up a stern defence throughout the race to hold third place, only to be pipped to the line by Jason Plato 0.041s. This was Plato’s first podium finish in what has been a trying season so far.


Race 9: Texas

Lewis Hamilton’s critical comments drew a response
Will Power took his second victory of 2017 in another controversial visit to the Texas Motor Speedway for IndyCar. ‘Pack racing’ returned with a vengeance on the resurfaced, reprofiled oval and the red flags flew after six cars were eliminated in one crash on lap 152.

Just eight cars were still running at the front when the race finished. Among them was second-placed Tony Kanaan who served a penalty for triggering the crash which wiped out more than a quarter of the field.

Charlie Kimball took his first ever pole position but mechanical trouble forced the Ganassi-Honda driver out early on, making him the race’s only non-crash-related retirement.

World Rally Championship

Race 7: Italy

Ott Tanak finally took his maiden victory in the WRC, holding off Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville, with all three drivers taking points off of championship leader Sebastien Ogier who could only manage fifth after a puncture on Saturday.

Kris Meeke led early on but crashed for the fourth time in three rallies handing the lead to Hayden Paddon, however the Hyundai driver also his blew his chance of a victory early on Saturday afternoon, ripping the right rear corner from his car. Nearly every driver suffered an issue of some kind during the rally that cost them a shot at the win, while the newest addition to the line-up – Esapekka Lappi – surprised by taking the most stage wins during the event on his way to fourth.

Formula E

Races 7-8: Berlin

Felix Rosenqvist took the chequered flag first in both races at the Berlein Templehof airport. But a costly mistake by his team in race two incurred him a time penalty which handed victory to Sebastien Buemi.

Lucas di Grassi started the 44-lap first race from pole but couldn’t resist Rosenqvist. It was a wasted day for Buemi who climbed nine places to finish fifth before being disqualified for having under-pressure tyres.

Rosenqvist’s dominant run in race two was spoiled when Mahindra released him from his pit box too soon, and into the path of team mate Nick Heidfeld. However Rosenqvist’s pace in the longer, 46-lap second race was sufficient for him to claim second ahead of Di Grassi.

Buemi therefore holds a 32-point lead in the championship over Di Grassi with a pair of double-header races left to run next month.

World Rallycross Championship

Race 6: Norway

Johan Kristoffersson claimed his second win of the season to extend his championship lead, a drive that was especially impressive considering he was driving with an injured right foot. The injury occurred when his foot became trapped under Sebastien Loeb’s car. Andreas Bakkerud finished second with Loeb completing the podium ahead of Mattias Ekström, while Petter Solberg failed to make the final.

Euroformula Open

Races 5-6: Paul Ricard

Harrison Scott opened up a huge championship lead after dominating the weekend in France. The RP Motorsport driver took grand slams in both races, leading all the way from pole position and setting fastest lap.

Championship rival Nikita Troitskiy came away with a pair of second places. Ameya Vaidyanathan reached the podium in race one and Jannes Fittje made his first visit to the rostrum in the second race.


Race 14: Pocono

Ryan Blaney became a winner for the first time in NASCAR by heading off Kevin Harvick in a close finish at Pocono. Blaney, who finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500, hit the front for the first time with ten laps to go at the Pennsylvania tri-oval.

Also last weekend

‘Now for a nice cup of unsweetened tea!’
Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas, but all of the action happened behind them. Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium while Sebastian Vettel recovered to fourth after having to pit early on for a new front wing after contact with Max Verstappen at turn one. Verstappen retired early on after a demon start to jump from fifth to second.

Andrea Dovizioso won his second race in a row in Moto GP and closed to within seven points of Maverick Vinales. The championship leader endured a difficult weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya, finishing just tenth. Honda team mates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa completed the podium while Valentino Rossi also struggled on his Yamaha and only managed eighth.

Over to you

What racing action did you watch last weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Next weekend’s racing

The following series are in action next weekend:

  • Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters races 5-6: Hungaroring
  • European Formula Three races 10-12: Hungaroring
  • NASCAR Cup race 15: Michigan
  • World Endurance Championship race 3: Circuit de la Sarthe

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11 comments on “Horror BTCC crash leaves trio in hospital”

  1. That was exactly the type of racing Indycar shouldn’t be doing.

    The most IRL style pack racing since Vegas 2011, Wasn’t really a fan of that style of racing back then, Still not now.

    When there all stuck together unable to get away from anyone its a recipe for the sort of chaos & stupidity we saw tonight because your forcing drivers to take risks to make up spots as its pretty much the only way your going to make up places. And with that sort of pack racing all it takes is 1 guy towards the front to make a small error & you take out half the field (Which is pretty much what happened). It’s frankly a bit of a miracle nobody got airborn let alone hurt.

    Since they introduced the current car in 2012 it had gone back to been more about handling & skill on these ovals, As it was in CART & the racing has IMO been far better on this type of oval. The cars were able to get away from each other, They didn’t get stuck side-by-side & you couldn’t have 2 team cars running single file 1st/2nd most the night with the 2nd place car effectively protecting his team mates lead as we saw last night.

    I also think the decision to run 30 lap competition cautions over the final 100 odd laps was unnecessary. Yes the tyres were blistering, But it seemed like it was only a big issue for Penske & that after about half distance it wasn’t even that much of an issue for them. They were able to run full stints without tyres going pop or causing other issues. Perhaps they had data that was signalling otherwise but from the outside as I say it felt unnecessary.

    1. Yes, IndyCar went full NASCAR this weekend. IMO they should’ve mandated lower downforce settings, that would spread the cars out more. But the main problem were the competition yellows – i get that the decision was safety driven but in the end it caused more safety concerns. Resetting the field every 30 laps and forcing everyone onto fresh tires at the same time practically ensured pack racing in rows two-by-two nose to tail around the whole lap. If some cars were displaying issues with blistered tires, they might have just black flagged those particular cars (inspect the tires after a pitstop, and park the cars whose tires were found unsafe). But they were Penske’s cars, so that was not an option and they decided to screw everybody instead. A real black eye for IndyCar this was, the only positive to take home from this race is that nobody was hurt.

    2. I would say you are spot on with that assessment. It sure was some crazy / exciting racing though. Maybe next years chassis formula will fix the problem?

    3. @stefmeister – That track rather terrifies me. The pack racing made that feeling even worse. There is never a moment to take a breath or relax a bit on this track even without the pack racing that was going on in this race. The only surprise is that there were not even more incidents with the constant side by side slicing and dicing lap after lap. As you mentioned, nearly the only way to get past was to take a chance. Too many times drivers were trying to go 3 wide and that did not work out too well. I like to see racing action, but this was way beyond the pale.

      Must admit that I had an IndyCar racing sim back in the day and totally sucked at this track. Regular ovals and road tracks, no problem. But, tri-ovals, bleh.

      IndyCar really needs to address this and find a way to limit the pack racing at these kinds of tracks.

    4. Not only the track is quite dangerous, the drivers were completely out of their minds. Way to rough on each other considering the speed. Kanaan move was insane. Kanaan has way past his best i should say, maybe it’s time to do something else.

  2. jesus the music in the F3 vid is god awful, why do they keep doing this…

  3. Good to see Jeff Smith has been released from intensive care:


  4. Texas should be toast, I turned it off half way through, didn’t want to see nice guys hurt.
    The racing is insane and the track is a dump,which begs the question, how is Indy Car surviving at some tracks, the main stand a was the only one not completely empty and I reckon that was half full.. max.
    @Wasn’t it Tony K or Dario who a few years back after the race said ‘we are all lucky to be alive’?

  5. The TCR International round at Salzburgring also had big accidents, lot of punctures at high speed just like when WTCC raced there. I wonder what kind of cars suit that track, because it seems dangerous for touring cars.

  6. Paul Ricard hurts my eyes!

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