The 5th round of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship lived up to its reputation of being a bruising venue when Richard Pinard suffered an as yet unknown failure that pitched his Sasolracing Subaru STI into the unforgiving concrete wall during the Saturday morning qualifying session.
The Subaru’s data-logger showed an impact speed of 201.8km/h while flat out in 5th gear at 6000rpm. Richard suffered a badly broken leg and underwent a 3½ hour operation on Saturday afternoon, pronounced a success by the surgeon.
The Sasolracing driver will be in hospital for a week and out of action for six months. The Subaru was written off in the accident.
Hennie Groenewald, in conjunction with Team Principal Carel Pienaar and sponsor Sasol withdrew from the event to support his injured team-mate.
Sasol sponsorship manager Dean Somerset said: “We wish Richard a speedy recovery from his injuries. Our car stood up to the massive impact exceptionally well showing the inherent strength of the Subaru and the effectiveness of the safety regulations in the Bridgestone Production Car Championship. We elected to participate in the street race, in spite of our reservations, in the interests of the sport”.
“The Sasolracing circuit team thanks the broader motor-racing community for the myriad messages of support and concern for Richard throughout the weekend”, Somerset concluded
Hennie Groenewald will be in action for round six at Phakisa on 3rd August.
Sasolracing Circuit Team gratefully acknowledges their partners Subaru, Top Class Automotive, Freem Sports Clothing and Shatterprufe windscreens.