Maldonado given medical check-up as a precaution after FP2 crash (VIDEO)

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Pastor Maldonado left the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with his tail between his legs after a huge shunt on Friday afternoon saw his practice come to an early end.

The Venezuelan driver binned his car on the run down to Pouhons during FP2, after getting two wheels on the grass and losing control of his car. The crash was severe enough to warrant a precautionary check-up at the medical centre.

However, when asked by MotorSportsTalk about the incident, he said that he felt fine.

“I went for a quick check-up and I was okay,” Maldonado said. “The doctor said ‘you don’t need to be here’ so they sent me straight to the garage.

“It looks big, but it was not actually big. The problem was that I got a huge wheel spin on the exit of turn nine.”

He did not think that the incident was wholly his fault, saying: “I think it’s difficult to drive. It was the first lap, cold tires, maybe a bit from my side, a bit from the car. Maybe half [my fault].”

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

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Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”