De Villota still “limited” by F1 crash injuries

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Maria de Villota says she is still living within the limit of the injuries she suffered in a crash while testing for Marussia last year.

De Villota lost he right eye after he Marussia collided with a truck during a straight-line aerodynamic test at Duxford Airfield last year.

“Within the limits of what’s possible, the damage to my head conditions my day,” said de Villota in a recent interview. “I’m better in mornings than afternoons, I lost feeling in the right side of my head, I have headaches, that’s the worst bit and I’ve lost my sense of smell.”

She added she is unable to discuss the crash at present: “I cannot speak about it because it is the subject of an investigation. I believe in justice and I prefer to act cautiously, that the investigators will do their work and establish what happened that day.”

Di Villota admitted she was angry about her injuries at first but came to appreciate having escaped the crash with her life:

“Initially I was angry with the doctor because he had failed to save my eye,” she said. “But then little by little I became aware that losing an eye was a lot less important with respect to what I still had; life itself.”

“I felt I’d been part of a miracle. I look now at my scars as part of my story, I carry them with pride.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.