06 June, 2009

EC Austria: Heat 1 race suspended, Eklund out

News from http://www.erc24.com/:

The third of the five Division One races in the first qualifying heat was stopped after a crash involving Jussi Pinomäki, René Münnich and the car of Per Eklund.
The incident has brought the first day of the Austrian ERC event to a premature end, the Stewards of the Meeting suspending racing in the wake of the crash and holding over the re-run of the third race as well as the last two races in the heat until tomorrow.

There was pushing and contact between several cars in the first corner of the race, the result of which was that Per Eklund's Saab was left stranded in the middle of the track just at the end of the downhill gravel section.
"Someone hit me in the first corner, it broke the steering and the car was stopped in the middle of the track. I couldn't move it so I got out and ran away. When they come round again, Walfridsson and Procter just missed it but then there was dust and Pinomäki had no chance. He hit my car flat out and then Münnich hit Pinomäki. My car is complete finished. There should have been a red flag when I stopped there, it's crazy," said Eklund.

The incident happened in full sight of many competitors from Divisions One-A and Two, as well as team members who had gathered to watch the race at the point."I was watching from the top of the hill and half-a-lap before the cars came back here I knew this was going to be a big accident," said D2 racer Knut Ove Børseth, "The race should have been stopped immediately that Eklund stopped, his car was in the middle of the track.

"The crash followed a controversial incident in the fourth D1-A race in which Johan Larsson rolled in the long gravel corner at the end of the lap. "I told the organiser that they are not thinking about our safety because it was the same in our race," said D1-A racer Timur Timerzyanov, "Larsson's car was left in the middle of the track, it was on the racing line and we had to drive round it. And then this…
"Clerk of the Course Karl Staudinger denied that a red flag had been necessary in the D1 race. "The marshal said that the car [Eklund's Saab] was outside the racing line so I let the race continue but with two yellow flags on that post," he said.
Münnich got out of his car by himself but then collapsed on the ground where he was treated by the medical team who fitted a neck brace before removing him on a stretcher. Pinomäki was kept in his car talking with the medics until they were ready to move him to a stretcher.

A video of the accident you can find here:


Robin Morley said...

Looking at the film footage, the Saab should have been moved out of the line of the track.

Golfhunter said...

Yes it's shocking !