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A horrible few days for motorsport

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  • A horrible few days for motorsport

    Anthony Davidson recovering from broken back after horrifying crash at Le Mans

    Ex-Formula One racer Davidson was taken to the local hospital and the team confirmed at the time that he was suffering from shock and complaining of back pains.

    It was later revealed he had suffered breaks to his T11 and T12 vertebrae, with Toyota saying: "Those injuries are expected to heal fully in approximately three months and he will remain in hospital until Monday."

    Davidson took to Twitter overnight whilst in hospital, where he will remain until Monday, with the first update on his back injury.

    "Well that was a big one! Lying in a French hospital with a broken back wasn't what I had in mind at this stage in the race..." he wrote.

    "..Gutted for the Toyota-Hybrid team who did an amazing job all week."

    Sarrazin sent his best wishes to co-driver Davidson and was happy with the overall performance of both cars.

    "Firstly I am relieved that Anthony got out of such an accident and I hope he gets better quickly," he said.

    "Regarding the race, the car was competitive and after being cautious at the beginning, we were really on the pace. We were in a very good rhythm, with both cars in top three. For a car that has made is first laps only a few months ago, it is amazing to be at this level at Le Mans."

    The sister Toyota retired after 11 hours after an eventful race which saw the team of Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima hold the lead for a short period of time.

    Gareth Roberts: Young Welsh rally star killed in Sicily

    A rising Welsh star in world motor rallying, 24-year-old Gareth Roberts, has been killed in an event in Italy.

    He was co-driver in the Peugeot 207 being driven by Irish team-mate Craig Breen - who was unhurt - at the Targa Florio rally in Sicily.

    The event is part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. No spectators were involved.

    The rest of the event has been called off as a mark of respect to Roberts, from Carmarthen.

    In a statement, IRC organisers said: "On stage eight of Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia there was an accident involving car number 15, Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts, which resulted in the stage being stopped to enable medical crews to attend the scene.

    "Despite their best efforts, Gareth Roberts succumbed to his injuries and the remainder of the event has been cancelled as a mark of respect."

    The incident happened on the 18km (11 mile) Cefalu stage of the rally, which began on Thursday.

    IRC manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas said it was a reminder of the danger of motorsport.

    "As the president of the Automobile Club Palermo, Antonio Marasco, said after the accident, the Targa Florio is an event where many great champions have left us in the past, and sadly this has happened again.
    Gareth Roberts Gareth Roberts was the winning co-driver at last year's World Rally Championship academy event

    "The death of a 24-year-old young man at the start of a fantastic career is always a tragedy. From the start of this year, together with Craig Breen, Gareth has put in some excellent performances and the crew really got themselves noticed.

    "There's no doubt in my mind that these performances would have got even better.

    "At this terrible time, I'm thinking very much of Gareth's family, to whom all of us at Eurosport Events pass on our sincere condolences."

    Roberts won last year's World Rally Championship Academy event, alongside Breen. He celebrated the win in Cardiff, snatching the victory on the last day of the six-round event when the championship came to Wales as part of the Wales Rally GB.
    'A magician'

    He began competitive driving in 2004 when he was a teenager, with success alongside fellow Welshman Elfyn Evans, from Dolgellau, in the Fiesta Sport Trophy series.

    Roberts teamed up with Breen in 2009, steadily working their way up the rankings before taking last years inaugural WRC Academy Cup.
    Sicily map Stage 8 of the IRC Targa Florio Rally was on a 18km stretch from Cefalu

    Speaking of Roberts following a recent event in Corsica, Breen said: "Gareth is a magician, he's incredible how he gets every note out so quickly. I couldn't do it without him."

    The BBC's rallying correspondent, Mark James said: "They'd started racing in the World Rally Championship this year and were only in this IRC event to gain more experience.

    "Since a spate of deaths in the 1980s, rallying has been seen as a far safer sport than it used to be and this is a huge shock.

    "The entire rally community is in shock today, and we all feel for Gareth's family and friends at this time."

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  • #2
    Yet more tragic news this week:

    "Last Saturday at the last rally of Mācon wines, the young driver Lucia East Vauthier aged 28 was rushed to hospital in Dijon after going off the road.

    Comatose since Saturday, Vauthier Lucia died today despite an unrelenting battle and incredible support from everyone in the rally ... rally extends its sincere condolences to all relatives of Lucie.

    After the death of Gareth Roberts last Saturday in Sicily, is a second blow in less than a week ... Our passion is beautiful but so cruel!"
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    • #3
      Not a good week. Lucie was driving a C2 when she crashed. Our condolences to her and Gareths families.

      Last edited by Yellow; 22-06-2012, 20:46.


      • #4
        Another tragedy this week with driver Valerio Catelani and Co Driver Daniela Bertoneri both killed when their 207 hit a barrier and burst into flames during the Rally Coppa Citta di Lucca. Our thoughts are with their families.


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