The second day of Pirelli World Challenge’s sixth race weekend of 2016 was effectively ground to a halt at Lime Rock Park Saturday morning due to a serious crash at the end of the frontstretch involving Bentley Team Absolute‘s Andrew Palmer and Jorge de la Torre‘s Aston Martin. Both drivers have been injured and taken to the hospital.
Details are unclear, but according to photographers who were on the scene, de la Torre went off into the runoff at the end of the frontstretch on his own. He turned his Aston Martin V12 Vantage around and was just about to attempt to rejoin the track when Palmer’s Bentley had some kind of mechanical failure. The Bentley went straight at the end of the frontstretch and impacted de la Torre’s stationary Aston Martin, then vaulted up over it.
Lime Rock Park Press Director Rick Roso gave an update on the situation Saturday afternoon.
— Phil Allaway (@Critic84) May 28, 2016
(2/3) Both drivers were further stablized at Sharon Hospital, then Medivac'd to a Level 1 Trauma Center in Hartford.
— Phil Allaway (@Critic84) May 28, 2016
The Level 1 Trauma center is Hartford Hospital, one of the best facilities in New England.
The Connecticut State Police arrived on the scene shortly after the accident occurred in order to investigate the incident. The rest of the schedule at Lime Rock Park on Saturday was pushed back in order to allow the investigation to take place.
The races did go on at Lime Rock Park after this crash, delayed by over 90 minutes. Regardless, the emotions of many of the drivers were very subdued. There was no spraying of champagne during the podium ceremonies in respect to the situation at hand.
UPDATE No. 1: Additional statements from both manufacturers have been made in regards to the conditions of both Palmer and de la Torre. Bentley Motorsport put theirs out first. The news is not good.
According to Bentley, Palmer suffered a head injury in the crash. It is unclear how serious the injury is. Regardless, Palmer will remain at Hartford Hospital for treatment. The statement claims that Palmer is “…being closely monitored by specialists.”
De la Torre’s race team has not released a statement in regards to the wreck. However, Aston Martin Racing did put out a brief statement and posted said statement to their Twitter feed.
— Aston Martin Racing (@AMR_Official) May 29, 2016
UPDATE No. 2: Pirelli World Challenge put out a statement at 8 p.m. Tuesday night to update the situation. As of that time, both Palmer and de la Torre were still at Hartford Hospital receiving treatment for their injuries. Aside from the initial statements from Bentley Motorsports and Aston Martin Racing (noted above), there have been no official indications on the scope of injuries for either driver. No patient conditions have been released.
In their brief statement, Pirelli World Challenge indicated that they would forward any additional updates provided by Hartford Hospital once they are received. They also thanked everyone for respecting the privacy of the Palmer and de la Torre families.
UPDATE No. 3: On Friday night, Aston Martin Racing released a second update on de la Torre, who is still currently re-cooperating at Hartford Hospital. It appears that recovery will be a long road ahead for de la Torre, but that he is good shape emotionally.
— Aston Martin Racing (@AMR_Official) June 3, 2016
In regards to Palmer, there have not been any detailed releases regarding his condition since Bentley Motorsport’s release last Saturday night. A number of drivers at Detroit this weekend are running special #GetWellSoonAndrew stickers on either their cars or their helmets. The hashtag also has a series of well wishes for the 21-year old racer.
— Conor Daly (@ConorDaly22) June 3, 2016
— CORE autosport (@COREautosport) June 4, 2016
— John Dagys (@johndagys) June 4, 2016
We will continue to update this ongoing story.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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