Speed was OK, Barbosa was not, but will be on the mend. Photo: Action Express Racing

IMSA champion Barbosa recovering from a hoverboard incident

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Yes, the headline is real and yes, we’re all hoping the recovery will be quick.

Read what happened to Joao Barbosa, who has won the last two IMSA Prototype class championships in what was then the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and is now the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship co-driving with Christian Fittipaldi at Action Express Racing.

Two-time and defending IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar prototype champion João Barbosa is recuperating after sustaining a minor fracture in his left wrist on Monday. The injury was sustained in a non-racing incident in Ormond Beach.

Barbosa was demonstrating to his two sons how to operate their hoverboards inside the family’s Ormond Beach residence, when Speed, the family dog, interrupted the presentation. The defending Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring champion used his quick-reaction racer reflexes and took evasive action to miss the ecstatic Yorkie. The Barbosa family is happy to announce that Speed was unharmed in the incident.

“It’s unfortunate that I’m not going to be able to test our No. 5 Mustang Sampling Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype at Sebring International Raceway next week,” said the Portuguese driver. “Fortunately for me I’ve got the best race team with Action Express Racing and excellent co-drivers with Christian (Fittipaldi) and Filipe (Albuquerque). I’ll be there to share in each debrief session and review the data with the team; it’ll be a terrific opportunity to mentally prepare for the challenge of 12 hours.

“My wife is tremendously talented and artistically gifted, she’s already helped to brand my cast with the Mustang Sampling logo, and after my demonstration our kids now fully understand that the hoverboards are best used outside, and not around Speed.”

Conveniently, the family was already scheduled to meet Wednesday with the orthopedic specialist to have the cast removed from Barbosa’s oldest son Rodrigo’s arm. To which the elder Barbosa replied: “It saved us one trip that way, we already had the doctor so we got one cast removed and one added.”

The IMSA champion is scheduled to have his cast removed prior to the 64th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and will be a full-go for the team, who are seeking a second consecutive victory in North America’s longest running endurance competition.

Here’s another photo.

Barbosa and his cast. Photo: Action Express Racing
Barbosa and his cast. Photo: Action Express Racing

And Barbosa is already having fun with this on Twitter.

April 5 in Motorsports History: Alex Zanardi’s amazing Long Beach rally

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Alex Zanardi entered the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 5, 1998 as the race’s defending champion and the series’ defending champion.

But the Italian didn’t seem a serious contender for much of the 105-lap event. Zanardi started 11th position and lost a lap early when he was involved in a multicar spin in the hairpin.

Alex Zanardi celebrates after winning the 1998 Grand Prix of Long Beach. Photo: Getty Images

But the race was still young, and despite emerging from the incident in 18th place, Zanardi slowly progressed through the field while battling radio problems that made communication difficult with his team.

With five laps remaining, Zanardi passed Dario Franchitti on the backstretch for second place and then focused in on leader Bryan Herta.

With two laps remaining, Zanardi made his move, making a daring pass on the inside of Herta in the Queen’s Hairpin (which no longer exists as the track layout was changed the following year).

The move was reminiscent of Zanardi’s famous last-lap move on the inside of Laguna Seca’s famed Corkscrew in 1996, which deprived Herta of his first CART victory.

Franchitti passed Herta as well, and Zanardi went on to clinch his first victory of the season.

“On a day when everything went wrong, we came back and won,” Zanardi said following the race. “I can’t explain it. It wasn’t until I saw Bryan ahead of me that I ever thought I had a shot at winning. It was amazing. I have no words to describe it.”

Following Long Beach, Zanadri won six more times in 1998 en route to his second and final CART championship.

Also on this date:

1992: Bobby Rahal led from start to finish to win the Valvoline 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The win was the first of four victories for Rahal during his championship season.

2009: Ryan Briscoe won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first of three victories for the Aussie in 2009. The race was also the first IndyCar Series on Versus, which was rebranded as NBC Sports Network in 2012.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter @michaele1994