ALMS Baltimore race red-flagged after multi-car pileup at start (VIDEO)

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The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT has gotten off to an unfortunate start with a massive crash as the cars straddled the Pratt Street chicane, but did not actually go through the chicane, headed for the green flag.

A slow start from the two P1 class cars – with Dyson Racing getting an apparent jump on polesitting Muscle Milk Pickett Racing – backed the field up and triggered an almost immediate chain reaction, accordion effect accident.

Behind them, Scott Tucker, driving the No. 551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b P2 class car, appeared to clip the first and third tire barriers at the first and third apex of the chicane. Anthony Lazzaro, in the No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD, hit Tucker and spun him into the concrete wall on the inside.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, as I’m still not sure exactly what happened other than I got hit from behind and spun into the wall,” Tucker said. “Then there were 3 or 4 GT cars that were coming straight me right there. I knew it was going to be a big hit. At a higher speed it could have been even more serious.”

Things got worse as the GT field piled into Tucker, with absolutely nowhere to go. GT cars involved included all three Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, the No. 17 from Team Falken Tire, No. 48 from Paul Miller Racing and No. 06 from CORE autosport, and two others, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia and No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R.

Car No. 18 from Performance Tech Motorsports was also involved, and the GTC field of spec Porsche GT3 Cup cars all stopped in avoidance.

All drivers: Tucker, Wolf Henzler (No. 17), Bryce Miller (No. 48), Olivier Beretta (No. 62), Kuno Wittmer (No. 93) and Tom Kimber-Smith (No. 06) have been checked, cleared and released without injury.

The race itself was immediately red flagged. The two-hour race distance will be shortened, as per ALMS, the race will have to end at 6:15 p.m. ET local time.

Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”