Joao Barbosa escaped injury following a second airborne accident of the day at Daytona International Speedway in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing.
The Portuguese driver’s No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP suffered a suspected tire puncture in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s test session on the 3.56-mile oval/road course, sending his Coyote-chassied car around and into the air on the backstretch.
“I was on my in lap. I had actually called the team saying I’m coming in this lap,” Barbosa told Sportscar365. “Just coming out of NASCAR Turn 2, the [right] rear tire blew up.
“The car got a little airborne and then I stopped. I didn’t hit anything. I tried to fight the car and I was able to hold it a little bit, then it just spun. When I was going backwards, it blew [out] the door and windshield. It was interesting.”
Barbosa’s accident was the second of the day involving a tire failure and the car subsequently catching air. Richard Westbrook also escaped injury after his Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP went end-over-end in dramatic fashion.
A Continental Tire spokesperson said the results are so far inconclusive and they are working diligently to pinpoint the issue, which could be a function of the additional load created by the DPs in their upgraded configuration.
The company has used the same P1000 tire compound (formerly DP-I) at Daytona for the past two years without problems.
Prior to the accident, Barbosa’s No. 5 Corvette DP posted the quickest time of the day, a 1:39.645 lap time in the hands of co-driver Christian Fittipaldi.
While Spirit of Daytona has packed up, it’s unclear if AXR’s car could be repaired for tomorrow’s second and final day of testing at DIS, especially due to the current lack of spares for the series’ new diffuser and tunnels package.