The FIA-led inquiry into the incident which left Pietro Fittipaldi with significant leg injuries during Qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps last Friday, when the DragonSpeed-entered BR1 LMP1 prototype he was driving hit the wall at Eau Rouge/Raidillon could well now encompass a second significant incident for a BR1 prototype.
During the race proper the following day, whilst no TV pictures captured the incident live, fans at trackside did capture both still and now video images of the accident.
Posted this evening on YouTube by ‘jolahiti’, the video shows clearly that rumours circulating in the WEC paddock were correct. The #17 SMP Racing-entered BR1 AER piloted by Matevos Isaakyan, somewhow became airbourne at Raidillon, impacting the barriers in the inside of the circuit.
Multiple observers (including trackside marshals) have reported directly to DSC that the car completed two “backflips” when airborne but there is, as yet, no explanation either of whether contact, damage or a failure of some sort perhaps contributed the incident.
The video shows clearly that the car was off track to driver’s left before the car lifted off, the ‘sausage’ kerbs previously installed to dissuade drivers from exceeding track limits have now been replaced by slightly raised painted lines.
DSC understands that the investigation into the first incident is proceeding at a rapid pace, with the team concerned, DragonSpeed, making it clear fairly publicly that it will not return to LMP1 competition, with the car or rather its replacement, without satisfactory answers from the inquiry.
BR Engineering meanwhile have said that they are co-operating fully with the enquiry into the Fittipaldi incident, Dallara making it clear that it is BR that will lead on any public statements relating to the past weekend’s events.
Jenson button meanwhile was set to test the second SMP car today at Magny Cours ahead of a planned debut with the team at Le Mans next month.