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Lamborghini: All Systems ‘Functioned Appropriately’ in Monk Accident

Lamborghini states all systems were functioning properly on Sheena Monk’s car…

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

Lamborghini has released a statement following Sheena Monk’s accident in Saturday’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, citing that all operating systems were found to be functioning appropriately in her car.

Monk lost control of her Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO in the opening minutes of the race, slamming head-on into the barrier at the Corkscrew, which vaulted the car into the air.

The Wayne Taylor Racing driver, who was awake and alert, was airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a level one trauma center in San Jose, where she is in stable condition.

Despite initial television reports indicating a possible brake failure, it turned out not to be the case upon initial data analysis completed, according to the Italian manufacturer.

“Our thoughts are with Sheena Monk as she recovers from yesterday’s accident in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” the statement read.

“Upon initial analysis of the car data following the accident, all of the operating systems were found to be functioning appropriately, as did the car’s safety systems during, and after, impact.

“All of us at Lamborghini are thankful for the safety of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo race cars.”

Monk Thankful for “Safety and Strength” of Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO

While the extent of her injuries have yet to be released, Monk, in a statement issued on Sunday morning, said she’s grateful for the “strength and safety” of the Lamborghini.

“I have yet to review what happened with my accident yesterday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca but I’m extremely grateful for the safety and strength of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo,” Monk said.

“I’d like to thank my family, my coach Katherine Legge, the team at Wayne Taylor Racing, IMSA, the track marshals, safety crew, Medi-vac unit, and the amazing staff at Valley Medical Center for assisting me in such tremendous fashion.

“I’d also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the racing fans who expressed concern for my wellbeing as well as positivity for a speedy recovery.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Jed

    September 9, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I figured this was the case. It is very rare for such a failure to happen in todays racing. Especially in a spring race. All respect to the driver and I’m glad she is doing okay but she simply just wasn’t paying attention. Now this makes Lambo look bad because people are saying that the brakes failed.

  2. Rey Dekker

    September 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Sorry to say, but this is perhaps a driver in over her head. Her relative inexperience before buckling into such a high performance auto should be a cautionary tale. Hope she recovers fully but driver error is something only experience can rectify.

  3. Peter Gordon

    September 9, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Um, I guess her winning the previous race was also her being in over her head too? Looking at the video, there is no way that any driver would go head long into the corkscrew at that speed with two cars ahead of them. To say she was not paying attention is ridiculous and the tone of this comment is just plain sexist. Maybe Lamborghini just doesn’t want to admit that the accelerator might have stuck. How could they even know that it didn’t based on “data” that are transmitted to their computers? That would be a mechanical issue with the pedal and cable that would have been smashed up in the crash.

    • MIke

      September 9, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Pretty sure the throttle is drive by wire (Electronic, no actual cable)

    • Fred Smith

      September 9, 2018 at 10:22 pm

      C’mon man cars don’t have throttle cables anymore. Lol

    • Pierre

      September 10, 2018 at 12:12 am

      Data loggers can easily be programmed to a position sensor. In this case a throttle position sensor and it will read if and how much throttle is applied. It reads these readings super quick like at 1000hz. This data is also logged and saved into the computer and can be read in real time with telemetry or even after the fact. If it’s drive by wire, it’s that much easier to see how much throttle was being applied.

    • Coaster

      September 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

      You’d also expect to see 100% brake inputs with your stuck throttle theory (assuming a computer glitch rather than physically stuck).

  4. Rey Dekker

    September 10, 2018 at 12:49 am

    As far as I can tell, her “experience” consists of a two day course at Lamborghini in September 2017. Most racers have a succession of experiences from karting on up before jumping into 700 horse power cars. I can find no evidence of her doing so and she even alludes to her inexperience. Therefore, driver error certainly has validity in this case. A stuck accelerator or brake failure is possible but with all the electronic data the engineers have at their fingertips and unless the are lying it is likely she ran out of skill. Sorry, but that is how it looks from here.

    “Sheena Monk, originally from Newtown – Pennsylvania, is an enthusiast of the Lamborghini brand who has decided to start her racing career with Lamborghini Corse. Sheena has in fact obtained her first FIA racing license in September 2017 after attending the Lamborghini Corso Pilota in Las Vegas, where she first approached the world of racing cars.”

    She has been racing cars for three months. This was her debut with Taylor Racing; most likely seat buyer.

    “Her talent allowed her to obtain the podium in Race 2 in the Lamborghini Cup category, the category reserved exclusively for race debutants. ”

    In other words, rookie podium in category that has two (2) drivers total. In other words, it would be impossible to miss the podium or, in fact, “finish” lower than 2cnd place.

    http://www.prestigeperfctr.com/blog/qa-with-prestige-performance-driver-sheena-monk/

    http://www.prestigeperfctr.com/race-team/

    https://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/node/657

    • Jay Carrera

      September 10, 2018 at 4:24 am

      Yea, she’s inexperienced, but she also has a class win at VIR this season.

      https://sportscar365.com/imsa/lamborghini-st/hindman-cecotto-win-lamborghini-super-trofeo-race-2/

      • Jay Carrera

        September 10, 2018 at 4:26 am

        Edit: and there was three other cars in the LB Cup. Inexperienced, yes. In over her head, I don’t think so. Katherine Legge is her coach also.

        • Report Your Neighbors

          September 10, 2018 at 10:01 am

          Legge wasn’t in the car with her. That’s irrelevant that she was her coach. It speaks zero volumes to Monk’s qualifications that Legge was teamed up. What speaks volumes is Legge is a pay driver in need of funds and this was another female so it was extra easy to sign that contract…

      • Rey Dekker

        September 10, 2018 at 10:27 am

        The “class win” is for rookies (I think they even call it something like “debutante”) so I would not put too much credence on her being a top driver. I looked pretty extensively for any record of her driving history in any sort of feeder classes and the only thing I found was her mentioning karts and a two day course at the Lamborghini University (which was last September). From what her team has said and what the video shows, driver error (deer in headlights) is probable. None the less, I hope she recovers fully and satisfies her need for speed in a more traditional ladder climbing fashion through the feeder series.

  5. Just a guy

    September 10, 2018 at 6:52 am

    The data tells all, and we will never know what the team knows. They will see if/when and how hard she hit the brakes, throttle pedal position, throttle valve position and steering angle.

    Let’s all just be thankful she is alive and well, that was one of the most brutal hits I’ve seen in a long time!!!

  6. Dan

    September 10, 2018 at 6:56 am

    If you step through the video frame by frame you’ll see the car was WAY offline well before the apex of the corner. Whatever “happened” it began well back on the initial approach to the corner. The car was atypically on the very edge of the track on the left side, well inside two cars in front of it, both of which were approaching on classic single apex lines.

    Monk’s car rocketed by on the leftside track edge well underneath both competitors, going over the rumble strips in doing so. Upon entering the gravel trap with speed unabated I see no spray of gravel from locked brakes and tires. It seemed to roll across the surface. You’d expect a driver who had over-cooked a corner entry in a bad way would have full-on brake lock crossing the track and gravel trap and it doesn’t look like that. Hard to tell for sure, of course.

    At face value I’d opt for a somehow stuck full-on throttle. But Lambo, with benefit of their data and throttle position track, should have conclusive data. I don’t even know how likely or possible it is for a modern e-throttle to “stick”.

  7. Jose Manuel Balbiani

    September 10, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Only way to have it clear… Lambo, send a pic of the data at CScrew and all sorted.

  8. Matt

    September 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Sheena would not be the first driver in IMSA in 2018 to drive her car into the barriers due to driver error. It is possible (and sounding more likely based on this report) that for whatever reason she was unable to apply the brakes in this incident.

    Ben Keating did the same thing going into turn 8 @ Road America in Practice 1. Hear it yourself at the 12m30s mark of the IMSA Radio broadcast (John Hindhaugh)

    “…When in a brand new pair of race boots (shoes), his foot slipped off the brake and then got stuck between throttle and brake pedal; destroying the car they were expecting to race. They’ve worked really hard to, within the rules, get a new #33 car out there (for the race).”

    Audio link –> http://audio.rpix.org.uk/2018/races/2018_wsc_elk_w.mp3?_=5

    Ben Keating is a broze-rated, but quite experienced, racing driver. He’s won IMSA races, and finished on the podium at the 24h of Le Mans this year. Drivers make mistakes.

    Did anyone question Ben’s driving experience, relative to others in the GTD class, when he made the same mistake? No. Ben then went on to put the rebuilt car in P5 on the grid, and finish 5th in the race.

    • Shut up, Toby

      September 10, 2018 at 9:54 am

      That’s a whataboutism.

      She’s not above criticism because other drivers have messed up.

      What kind of weak ass argument is that??

      • Rey Dekker

        September 10, 2018 at 10:52 am

        Chillingly ironic how she, in the final line of this promotional video, says she “…cannot wait to…go through those corkscrews (sic)…” Unfortunately, it appears she had no business being in that car or in that level racing series. Let this be a cautionary tale to Lamborghini, Wayne Taylor Racing and, yes, even Katherine Legge. Someone should have stepped in and saved this woman the injury she has suffered. I imagine it is scary for other drivers too; she narrowly missed clobbering two cars in her fly-by though doing so might have saved her that horrendous hit.
        Now I wonder if lawyers will be getting involved…

        • Jezza819

          September 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm

          Lawyers getting involved? For what possible reason? I think you’re taking over reacting to a new level with that assumption.

          • Rey Dekker

            September 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm

            Sometimes these things happen. If she was under-qualified to be in the car in the first place, people may wonder how she got there, who was responsible for it, and if they hold some responsibility in the failure. That is when the lawyers start circling.

    • Don Emmitt

      September 11, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Wow, you keyboard warriors have NO idea wtf you’re talking about! Inexperience? Laughable….are any of you keyboard pussy’s have the cvs data files on how many hrs and laps she has under her license to qualify for that said license? The IMSA requirements? WTR doesn’t just take anyone to race for them considering who her teammates are with the likes of Jordon Taylor, Trent Hindmen, Renger and other VERY accomplished racers. Sheena has been racing since she was 9 yrs old. The fact that she’d eat your lunches on the track is laughable, but I’m sure you all consider yourself “pro racer” because you took your car to a local track and think you’re a racer. Laughable…..

      Data shows what happened and why it happened. The people in the know including the two drivers in front of her, know her well and how competent she is as a driver. Sheena took the unselfish move long before the brake zone to make a split second decision to go left (not the natural race line) and not slam into either of her friends and competitors.

      A few of you get my point and your comments are appreciated which I feel comes from experience. A young person almost died making a unselfish racing move and you idiots try and show your balls through a keyboard. But really it’s that she’s a women doing something you “boys” can’t. Stings getting your ass handed to you by a very attractive, talented women.

      Her family was there and witnessed the crash. Her father jumped over the fence and ran to his daughters car knocking IMSA officials aside because he thought she died. I realize you ignorant fucks don’t care about that either but like I said, maybe Karma will deal you the same blow to your loved ones on the highway. I’m sure you won’t mind me trashing their inability to drive even if a drunk slammed into them headon. My post will read, “an experienced driver would have avoided the on coming car. The women shouldn’t have had a license”!

      Have a nice day…

      • Drain-o

        September 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm

        Bye, dipshit. I’ll eat my lunch on a table. And continue not driving fullspeed into a fucking wall.

      • Don is an idiot

        September 12, 2018 at 9:40 am

        Then her father should be PERMANENTLY banned from racing. Oh wait, that’s right he didn’t as the camera shows so thanks but you’re full of utter excrement there sir. And no, her hours in high hp cars is INCREDIBLY low for drivers in the series and sorry but it is a very separate team with WTR and the WTR Lamborghini squadron. There is zero overlap with crew members, transporters or any equipment, it is a stand alone program in which NONE of the drivers you referenced compete. Next time research then open pie hole and not be shown to be as stupid as you look now.

      • SoCal

        September 13, 2018 at 11:40 pm

        Don?

        She didn’t hit the brakes. The data shows no brake and a clutch pedal *down prior to impact. I’ve personally walked “drivers education” only people through the process of obtaining an IMSA license.. ALMS license.. and Grand Am. If you can pass a physical? Pay the license fee? Everyone can have a license. It’s about filling the grids, not putting on the best show or showcasing the best talent out there.

  9. Gts bruce

    September 10, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Both pedals jammed down by 1 foot or 2 feet?

  10. Jim

    September 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Inexperienced PR / Instagram “influencers” like Sheena Monk have no business behind the wheel of such a powerful race cars without possessing any sort of legitimate experience. She is a danger to herself and other drivers, and is lucky that she only took herself out and not the two other drivers she could have seriously injured due to her lack of skill/judgment. She should stick to GoldRush rallies.

    • Phil Summers

      September 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      What’s your racing background Jim?

      • Carpet bagger

        September 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm

        Not driving head-on, into walls, at the very least.

  11. Limerockian

    September 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    I saw Michael Andretti do something similar at the end of the back straight at Mid Ohio. Once you get in the dirt at that speed, there is no slowing down.

  12. Jenner

    September 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Something broke, there’s no way she forgot the Corkscrew was the next turn. I’ve done various track days at Laguna. When you exit 6 and climb the hill, you know what’s coming ahead. If anything, most ppl brake early to avoid over shooting the apex and landing hard.

    It may have been her first time racing at Laguna, but she was practicing and qualiifying since Thursday, so she knew the layout.

    • Habeus Corpus

      September 11, 2018 at 5:22 am

      Most people brake early while new because they are reasonable.

      Most people don’t jump into SuperTrofeo while new because they are reasonable.

      You do the math.

      • Jenner

        September 12, 2018 at 12:00 am

        Math? What numbers am I adding.

        The longer it takes for Lambo to show the telemetry, the more it looks like mechanical failure. Even Sheena hasn’t said anything yet. It’s a simple question she should be answering, “Did the brake pedal go to the floor when you braked or not?”.

        I think she is qualified to race those cars, she earned the license, IMSA doesn’t just hand them out to anyone. I do think she may be protecting Lambo’s name though. Her racing future is in Lambo hands at this moment in time.

        Back to the big picture. Get well soon Sheena

        • Derppp

          September 12, 2018 at 5:22 am

          Do you forget the PC class? IMSA quite literally does hand out licenses. IMSA Competition License isn’t that hard to obtain, yet, obtaining one also doesn’t mean you are good at race craft.

        • Andy

          September 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

          IMSA’s license is INCREDIBLY easy to obtain and can be done is very short order. Especially for feeder series racing.

          And if she really had X mechanical failure it would be on her twitter feed already, every other detail of her life is. I’d say more like anything she says about the car breaking better be 100% factual of Lamborghini will own her in the media and likely in court. They have all the data, these cars are wired 6 ways to Sunday, and no they sure as hell aren’t going to release it publicly but I guarantee IMSA has already asked and received the telemetry for the cars as they do for all suspected failures. The fact IMSA hasn’t disagreed speaks volumes to the accuracy of Lamborghini’s statements, and ZERO rumors have been started regarding a coverup by other drivers.

  13. Thomas Limatola

    September 17, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I think all of us that engineer, build, and race cars at any level can understand how things don’t always go according to plan on and off racetracks. The speculation, based off no real information is always frustrating to see. For all of us on the pit wall that day, just seeing here move her arms was a breath of fresh air. A few constants to keep in mind. Sheena is on her way home, in a plane, not a hearse. 10 years ago, that accident could have been fatal. The chassis did some pretty amazing things when you consider the overall rate of deceleration. The medical crews did a great job of getting her the care she needed. The outpouring of support from everyone on the pit wall, throughout the paddock, throughout the weekend, and on social media was amazing. What specifically happened is between Sheena and her crew chief. Anything else is just conjecture.

    • Rey Dekker

      September 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      In this case, it is between her and the manufacturer and Taylor Racing. Had she taken another competitor or two (or even a corner worker or spectator) along on her wild ride, it would have been another matter. The point being that all competitors deserve a competent and reliable sanctioning and licensing body to police the ranks to ensure the other drivers rise to a base-line skill level. Running out of skill in such a powerful machine is potentially fatal, not just to the driver but to everyone around them.

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