MarcoPolo Motorsports is aiming to make Sunday’s second race of the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint season-opener at St. Pete despite a heavy accident that has ruled out the team’s primary KTM X-Bow GT4 from further action this weekend.
Nicolai Elghanayan escaped injury in the high-speed crash when his No. 71 X-Bow slammed hard into the wall after the car’s left-rear wheel fell off while running inside the top-five overall.
The accident, which brought out the race’s second full-course caution and led to a red flag, has resulted in the team jumping into action to prep its spare car for tomorrow’s 50-minute race.
“The speedometer said I hit at something like 190 or 200 kph,” Elghanayan said. “I’m totally fine. I hit the wall head on, and then rubbed up against the side of the wall.
“I just watched the video and you can see the wall ripple from the impact, which is great because if it didn’t move, it would have been a lot worse for me.
“The car looks pretty bad, but all things considered, I’m still moving and passed my concussion test with flying colors.
“I was going to get an X-Ray, but they saw me jump up the stairs to watch the video and figured I’m all good.”
A few challenges await the team, in its first full season of SRO Motorsports America competition, as its spare car, normally used for media rides, is not in current Evo form.
“It’s the 2017 spec, which begs the question of how our BoP will be determined,” said Elghanayan.
“In addition to updating as much of the specs as we can, we also have to take the passenger seat out and put the ballast in.
“I’m sure the guys will be here all night, so I’m going to bring them some coffee and barbecue.”
Race 2 gets underway at 11:25 a.m. ET on Sunday.