Competitors in Massa’s all-star kart race pray for Schumacher’s recovery (VIDEO)

1 Comment

This weekend in Brazil, the competitors in Felipe Massa’s “Desafio Internacional des Estrelas” karting event took a moment to support Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, who remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma after suffering a severe head injury during a skiing accident late last month.

According to an English press release from XYZ Live, all 24 racers gathered in the middle of the track’s infield to pray for Schumacher’s recovery and then hold up a banner with the words “Força Schumi” – Stay Strong, Schumi in Portuguese. The same Portuguese message was also on stickers that were put on the front nose of all the karts.

As for the race itself, the field was mostly made up of Brazilian competitors including Massa, Schumacher’s old Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, and IndyCar racers Ana Beatriz and Felipe Giaffone (2001-2006).

However, it was an Italian and Swiss 1-2 in the end, as former F1 pilot Vitantonio Liuzzi took the checkered flag by six seconds over current Red Bull tester Sebastien Buemi, who logged the fastest lap of the race.

Massa, preparing to begin a new chapter in his career at Williams this season, nabbed the last spot on the podium at 10.6 seconds behind Liuzzi.

“It was a wonderful weekend,” Liuzzi said according to the release. “The kart was pretty good after a few adjustments we made between FP2 and qualifying. Definitely, we found the best set up. I made a good start and was able to pull away from the battles behind me and that was the key to [the] win.”

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.