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Driver sustains heel, vertebrae injuries after airborne crash (VIDEO)

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The first race of three this weekend for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria witnessed a horrible three-car crash, although fortunately, the aftermath could have been worse.

The accident involved Peter Zhi Cong Li (China, Carlin), Ryan Tveter (America, Carlin) and Pedro Piquet (Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing).

Li was the one who went airborne, after going over the back of Tveter.

Per a later team update, Li was undergoing treatment for multiple broken bones in his heel and diagnosed with four fractured vertebrae. The broken bones will require surgery while the vertebrae will not.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the still shots:

Here’s the official update from the FIA F3 Europe website:

A serious incident has occurred during Race 1 of Round 4 of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, involving car number 18 Zhi Cong Li (CHN), number 3 Ryan Tveter (USA) and number 5 Pedro Piquet (BRA).

Following on-track evaluation, Zhi Cong Li and Ryan Tveter were transferred to the circuit’s medical centre. One driver was initially unconscious, but both drivers were conscious on arrival at the medical centre.

Zhi Cong Li has subsequently been taken to hospital via helicopter due to possible head and back injuries.

Ryan Tveter was taken to hospital by ambulance for further examination.

Carlin has now issued its own medical update past 10:15 a.m. ET:

Following transfer to a local hospital, Carlin drivers Peter Zhi Cong Li and Ryan Tveter have received further medical assessment after a serous incident during Race 1 of Round 4 of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in Spielberg today.

Having been taken to hospital by ambulance, Ryan has been discharged with heavy bruising to his knee.

Following initial assessment at the medical centre, Peter was transferred to a University hospital by helicopter.  Peter is undergoing treatment for multiple broken bones in his heel, which will require surgery in the near future.  Peter has also been diagnosed with four fractured vertebrae which do not require surgery.  While suffering with other bruising and small injuries, Peter is alert and speaking with team personnel.

Callum Ilott was leading Lance Stroll when the accident happened, and was declared the winner.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.