Toyota has confirmed that Kazuki Nakajima will take no further part in this weekend’s FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps following a high-speed accident during practice on Thursday.
Piloting the no. 1 Toyota, Nakajima crashed into the back of a slow-moving Audi in torrential rain at the end of the Kemmel Straight at high speed.
The Japanese driver complained of a back injury after getting out of the car, and was immediately taken to the circuit medical centre for a complete check-up.
He has since been transported to the local hospital in Verviers, where he was confirmed to have a fractured vertebra.
“Kazuki will remain in hospital for treatment, supported by team personnel, and will not participate this weekend,” Toyota said in a statement. “Further medical analysis in the coming days will determine if there are consequences beyond this weekend’s event.”
Nakajima made no secret of his frustration following the accident, but was thankful for the support that he has received in the wake of the accident.
“First of all I want to say thanks to the race director Eduardo Freitas and his safety crew at the circuit as well as the doctors at the hospital here in Verviers who have taken great care of me,” Nakajima said.
“Everyone has been extremely professional and I know I am in safe hands. Unfortunately the x-ray shows a fracture in one of my vertebra. It’s unbelievably disappointing but there’s nothing I can do now; I will just focus on coming back as soon as possible.
“There’s not much I can say about the accident. I was on the straight and suddenly through the spray there was a car right in front of me; I had no time to react.”
The no. 1 Toyota was unable to take part in the second practice session on Thursday evening at Spa due to the damage sustained in the accident, but will take part in the remainder of the race weekend with Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi sharing driving duties.