6 W-Series pilots need medical checks after big crash

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) – Six all-female W Series drivers had to undergo medical checks on Friday, two of whom were hospitalized for further evaluation, following a serious accident during a training session. qualification on the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.

British pilots Sarah Moore and Abbie Eaton, Spaniard Belen Garcia, Dutch Beitske Visser, Norwegian Ayla Agren and Liechtensteinian Fabienne Wohlwend were involved in the accident which occurred on the famous Eau Rouge section of the 7 kilometers (4.3 miles). .

Qualifying took place shortly after the end of the second practice session of the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix on the same circuit.


“All of the drivers involved in the incident are undergoing a medical assessment and two of them – Ayla Agren and Beitske Visser – have been transferred to hospital for further checks,” the W series tweeted. “Thank you for your support and best wishes during this qualifying session. “

W Series Racing Director Dave Ryan spoke of his relief.

“Fortunately, it looks like everyone is doing well,” he said. “The cars withstood what looks like a huge crash incredibly well, which is good to see. “

Moore and Eaton were even back in the paddock to talk about it.

“A little sore but just thankful that the drivers are OK and all in one piece,” said Moore.

Eaton added that she felt she “did pretty well” and was already looking forward to Saturday’s race.

“I just hope they can fix the car for tomorrow, that’s on my mind,” she said with a smile. “When can I leave? “

After two cars bounced off a wall of tires, another car approaching them flew back behind them. A car rolled over in the air and pierced the sidewall of the tire with its front nose after being pierced by another vehicle.

A sixth car following them lost control and slid to the right but avoided contact with the others.

Moore shed some light on the crash saying she was trying to heat the tires because rain was expected and she wanted to maximize her lap.

“It just started to rain, and I knew if the rain was going to fall, that was the only dry ride I was going to get,” she said. “So I had to move all in and I got up to Eau Rouge, turned, and the back just cracked. From that point on, I was really a passenger, and I couldn’t do anything. “

The Halo device, which forms a protective ring around the driver’s head and likely saved F1 driver Charles Leclerc from a serious injury three years ago at Spa, has proven its worth again.

“It just shows how vital it is to have this on cars and how much of a difference it makes,” said Moore.

When qualifying resumed, defending champion Jamie Chadwick took pole position.

Several F1 drivers struggled with grip during their practice sessions, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen both hitting barriers.

Two years ago, French driver Anthoine Hubert was killed on the same track in a high-speed crash during a Formula 2 race as the drivers also accelerated on the climb to Eau Rouge .

Hubert, 22, who raced for the British team Arden, died after a collision estimated at 160 mph (257 km / h) with 20-year-old American driver Juan-Manuel Correa, who was seriously injured and was brought into a coma.

Earlier this month there was a serious accident on the track during the 24 Hours of Spa with drivers Jack Aitken and Davide Rigon in need of hospital treatment.

The W series is in its second season.

This year it is featured alongside eight Formula 1 races.

No female driver has been in an F1 race since Lella Lombardi in 1976. Susie Wolff was the last woman to take part in an F1 weekend when she drove a practice session for Williams at the Grand GP. -Brittany in 2015.

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