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Lopez “Misjudged” Damage in “Big One” at Sebring

Jose Maria Lopez admits fault in high-speed accident in 1000 Miles of Sebring…

Image: FIA WEC

Jose Maria Lopez has admitted fault in a high-speed accident that ended with his Toyota GR010 Hybrid upside down in the barriers during the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

The Argentinean made contact with the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Julien Andlauer, sending the Hypercar class entry into the barriers in Turn 9 in the fourth hour during the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.

He then attempted to bring the car back to the pits for repairs before losing control and ploughing into the Turn 14 barriers, which resulted in the car launching into the air from the impact with the tires before turning over in dramatic fashion.

Lopez climbed from the car under his own power and was evaluated and released from the trackside medical center.

“I had a contact with a GT car and damaged my front end,” he explained. “I tried to recover as quickly as I could but I misjudged the damage I actually had on the car.

“As I was approaching Turn 14, the front bodywork fell down due to the damage and I wasn’t able to steer or slow down properly, so I went straight into the barriers.

“It was a big one but the car is very safe so I am thankful for that.”

The crash marked the first major accident for a LMH car in the platform’s seventh-ever race, dating back to last year’s 6 Hours of Spa.

The Toyota’s crash structure appeared to hold up remarkably well given the nature of the accident.

No word has been given if Lopez will be cleared to race in tomorrow’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, where he is due to share the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with Mike Rockenfeller and Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate Kamui Kobayashi.

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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