Suspension fault causes accident in the ninth lap of double round’s first leg
Lucas Di Grassi arrived at Southern’s Brazil Velopark circuit as championship second placed. The Hero Motorsport team driver had come from a sensational victory in the Curitiba track, which held the previous race. But on the Velopark, Di Grassi quit early. In the ninth of the 41 laps of the double round’s race 01, a suspension failure caused a sudden yaw when he entered the main straight, taking the Stock Car straight to the wall. With the car virtually destroyed, the weekend was over as well the high hopes for another great result for the team.
The weekend started well, with Lucas in seventh in Friday practice – in Curitiba, where he won, Di Grassi was only 13th on Friday. So the prognosis was quite positive for the Hero Motorsport. In Saturday’s weather, however, heavy rain caused an unprecedented fact in Stock Car history: with the track surface with no condition for fast laps, all 15 drivers in the second group were out of Q2, the next session in which drivers fought for the best places on the grid.
Although it did not hurt the series rules, the situation caused indignation and the vehement reclamation from several competitors, including Stock Car champions. Lucas was in this group and, like the others, could not even make a quick run. In the race, starting only from 24th due to the problem in the qualifying, the Hero driver had been recovering positions until the suspension failed and caused the accident.
Lucas Di Grassi now will be back to a race track on Saturday (28) in Paris, where he will lead the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team during the eighth round of the Formula E World Championship. In this series, the Brazilian has shined in the last two races with two second places in a row – in Uruguay and in Italy – showing he is very close to a season first victory. As for the Brazilian series, Lucas will return to the track on May 6, in Londrina (PR), for the fourth round of the season.