6 drivers from W series need medical checks after big crash

Aug 26, 2021, 10:23 PM | Updated: Aug 27, 2021, 12:06 pm

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Six drivers from the all-female W Series needed medical checks Friday, with two taken to hospital for further assessment, following a heavy crash during a qualifying session on the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.

British drivers Sarah Moore and Abbie Eaton, Spain’s Belen Garcia, Beitske Visser of the Netherlands, Norwegian Ayla Agren, and Fabienne Wohlwend of Liechtenstein were in the crash that happened at the notorious Eau Rouge section of the 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) circuit.

Qualifying took place shortly after the end of the second practice session for Formula One’s Belgian Grand Prix on the same track.

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

W Series racing director Dave Ryan spoke of his relief.

“Thankfully it seems that everyone is okay,” he said. “The cars have stood up unbelievably well to what looks like a massive crash, which is good to see.”

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

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

Eaton added that she felt she “got away pretty lightly” and was already looking forward to Saturday’s race.

“Just hope they can get the car fixed for tomorrow, that’s on my mind,” she said, smiling. “When can I get back out again?”

After two cars bounced off a tire wall, another car approaching them flew backwards into the back of them. One car flipped up in the air and speared the tire wall with its front nose after being pierced by another vehicle.

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

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

“It just started to drizzle, and I knew that if the rain was going to come down this was the only dry lap I was going to get,” she said. “So, I had to go all-in and I got up towards Eau Rouge, turned in, and the rear just snapped. From then on, I was a passenger, really, and there was nothing I could do.”

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 in Spa, again proved its worth.

“It just goes to show how vital it is to have that on the cars and how much difference it makes,” Moore said.

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

Several F1 drivers had trouble with grip in their practice sessions, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen both going off into the barriers.

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

The 22-year-old Hubert, who raced for the British-owned Arden team, died after an estimated 160 mph (257 kph) collision with 20-year-old U.S. driver Juan-Manuel Correa, who sustained serious injuries and was induced into a coma.

Earlier this month, there was a serious crash at the track during the Spa 24 Hours with drivers Jack Aitken and Davide Rigon needing hospital treatment.

The W Series is in its second season.

This year it is being showcased alongside eight Formula One races.

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

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani flies out during the first inning of the team's baseball game agai...
Associated Press

Ohtani vs. Judge the latest of baseball’s great MVP races

When Shohei Ohtani is pitching impressively and hitting over 30 homers, he might always be the MVP favorite unless another player in his league comes up with something awfully special. Like hitting 60 home runs, for example. Ohtani vs. Aaron Judge for the American League MVP figures to be the most hotly debated postseason award […]
1 day ago
Chase Elliott (9) has his tire catch fire as Martin Truex Jr. (19) and Corey LaJoie (7) drive past ...
Associated Press

Tumultuous, tiring start to NASCAR’s round of 12 at Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Chase Elliott was leading at Texas when a right rear tire issue led to hard contact with the wall and a fiery finish to his day, knocking him from the top of the playoff standings. After the caution lights came on when another front-running car had tire problems, Denny Hamlin […]
1 day ago
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is helped off the field after suffering a leg injur...
Associated Press

Analysis: Backups, be ready. NFL’s QB carousel is spinning

The NFL’s quarterback carousel may start spinning a bit faster. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen got banged-up Sunday. Justin Herbert and Jameis Winston played hurt. Already, Dak Prescott and Trey Lance have gone down. Backups, be ready. Jones’ leg injury appears most serious. The second-year pro hopped off the field late in the […]
1 day ago
Kansas tight end Trevor Kardell (45) is chased by Duke defensive back Joshua Pickett (26) as he run...
Associated Press

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Unbeaten Kansas left out again

Not quite, Kansas. A 4-0 start put the Jayhawks atop the others receiving votes pile Sunday in The Associated Press college football poll presented by Regions Bank, 41 points behind No. 25 Kansas State. The Jayhawks have not been ranked since mid-October 2009, a dry spell of nearly 13 years that is currently the longest […]
1 day ago
California running back Jaydn Ott, left, runs the ball for a 73-yard touchdown against Arizona duri...
Associated Press

STAT WATCH: Ott’s 274 yards rushing for Cal FBS season high

California freshman Jaydn Ott turned in the best rushing performance of the season with 274 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries against Arizona. Ott had TD runs of 73, 72 and 18 yards Saturday while running for the most yards since Tyrion Davis-Price of LSU went for 287 on 36 carries against Florida […]
1 day ago
United States' Ariel Atkins shoots at goal as South Korea's Kim Danbi , left, attempts to block dur...
Associated Press

US has record performance in 145-69 rout of South Korea

SYDNEY (AP) — A’ja Wilson and the U.S. put on quite a show, breaking the World Cup scoring mark in a record rout of South Korea. Brionna Jones scored 24 points and Wilson added 20 to help the U.S. beat South Korea 145-69 on Monday. Shakira Austin’s layup with 9 seconds left helped the Americans […]
1 day ago
6 drivers from W series need medical checks after big crash