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Auer Sustains “Significant” Fractured Vertebrae in Crash

Lucas Auer with broken vertebrae as team works to bring in spare Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo chassis…

Photo: Lucas Auer FB

Lucas Auer has sustained “significant” back injuries following a heavy impact with the wall in Thursday’s opening practice session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The 28-year-old Austrian was transported to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after losing control of the GTD class pole-sitting No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo on the grass in Turn 1.

IMSA safety crews cut part of the Mercedes’ roof to extricate Auer, who was awake and alert, from the car.

A statement from the team read that Auer has “significant fractured lumbar injuries.”

“Auer has been awake and alert since the incident and has been communicating with family back home in Europe and his Winward Racing teammates here in Daytona Beach,” the statement read.

“Everyone at Mercedes-AMG Motorsport and Winward Racing wishes Lucas a full and rapid recovery.”

Auer, who will not compete in the Rolex 24, was also due to take part in next weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Mercedes.

A replacement driver is currently being finalized for this weekend’s WeatherTech Championship season opener.

Winward is working to transport a spare chassis — it’s car from last year — from its shop in Pasadena, Tex. to Daytona in time for Saturday’s race start.

The GTD entry will have to start from the rear of the 61-car field as a result of the chassis change.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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