Practice for this weekend’s World Endurance Championship round at the Autodromo do Algarve has resumed after a car landed in a grandstand during a support event.
Porsche Sprint Challenge Iberica driver Alex Areia suffered a huge crash at turn one on the Portuguese track. A video shot by a spectator at the circuit showed the car leaving the circuit at high speed and clearing the barrier.
Images of the crash scene show the Porsche 911 GT3 took out several panels of the debris fence and landed in a seated area of the grandstand.
The Monteiros Competicoes driver said he was unhurt in the crash and was relieved to discover the grandstand he landed in was empty. He revealed he suffered a braking problem in his car.
“I was very angry,” he said on social media. “I ran out of brakes at the end of the straight, I practically became a passenger.
“Luckily there was no one in that area of the grandstand and I managed to get out of the accident unharmed, thanks to the safety level of that car.”
The incident happened during second practice for the support series, which followed the day’s opening WEC session. The second WEC practice session began after a delay for repairs to the damaged barriers.
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The Porsche Sprint Challenge Iberica is a new series which was launched by Spain’s Real Federación Española de Automovilismo for 2023. It is holding the first round of its new championship this weekend.
The circuit Algarve near Portimao opened in 2008 and underwent some renovations and resurfacing in 2020. There are two different configurations available for turn one. WEC uses the faster of the two, as F1 did when it held the Portuguese Grand Prix at the venue in 2020 and 2021.
Toyota filled the top two places in the first WEC practice session of the day. The number eight car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa set the pace.
Video: Car lands in grandstand during WEC support event
♬ original sound – WLS
Image: Petete3mil via Twitter
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