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BR Engineering Continues Investigations into Spa Crashes

BR Engineering continuing investigations into Isaakyan, Fittipaldi crashes…

Photo: Bruno Vandevelde/Endurance-Info

BR Engineering has continued investigations into both accidents from last weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Total Six Hours of Spa, and is prepared to make any modifications to the car if necessary, according to a team spokesperson.

It comes in the wake of video footage emerging of Matevos Isaakyan’s high-flying crash at the wheel of the No. 17 SMP Racing BR1 AER, which caught air over Eau Rouge and completed at least two black-flips.

The 20-year-old Russian driver escaped injury, although Pietro Fittipaldi, whose DragonSpeed BR1 Gibson also crashed at Eau Rouge due to a suspected electrical component failure, sustained broken legs from the head-on impact.

Questions have arisen over potential safety concerns for the cars heading into next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In a statement provided to Sportscar365, a BR Engineering spokesperson stated they believe Isaakyan’s crash was a “rare and complicated coincidence” but is still completing final investigations.

“Many assumptions may be made now regarding the airborne car [but] a lot [has to] to be analyzed before a conclusion is made,” the spokesperson told Sportscar365.

“The team is working on this together with Dallara. Should the car need any modifications, such will be made.

“We believe that a rare and complicated coincidence of many factors may lead to any race car lifting off the ground, and this corner is more likely to be a place for such case.

“[There’s] not too much time left to the race in Le Mans, but we are confident that we have enough time to prepare. The car and the team will be ready for the race.”

The team’s remaining BR1 from Spa returned to the track this week, with Jenson Button completing his first laps in the car in a test at Magny-Cours.

Electrical Failure Likely Cause for Fititpaldi Accident

As for Fittipaldi’s accident, the spokesperson indicated that “a bit more time” still needed before coming to a final conclusion.

However, he said they remain in good dialogue with the Elton Julian-owned team, which has put its LMP1 program on a temporary hold until all questions are answered.

“The exact cause of the accident is yet to be determined; it needs a bit more time,” the BR spokesperson said.

“We assume that there was an electronic component failure in the DragonSpeed car which may have caused the driver to lose control of the car.

“We keep investigating the issue and we are in open and professional manner dialog with DragonSpeed, all their questions will be answered.

“BR Engineering, together with Dallara, will undertake all efforts to ensure that the DragonSpeed car is fully ready to race in Le Mans.

“We all at SMP Racing and BR Engineering wish Pietro to get well soon and join the grid at the wheel.”

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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