Aussie Lamborghini entry withdrawn from Spa
The Lamborghini that Craig Lowndes was due to co-drive in this month’s 24 Hours of Spa has officially been withdrawn as owner Roger Lago recovers from his Townsville Carrera Cup crash.
Lago remains in a Brisbane hospital after suffering a fractured tibia, six fractured ribs and a punctured lung in a single-car accident at the Reid Park street circuit on Saturday.
The experienced Porsche and GT driver took a private plane from Townsville to Brisbane on Sunday, travelling over the ocean at low altitude due to concerns over his lung.
Set to undergo surgery on his leg in Brisbane this afternoon, Lago hopes to be discharged by the weekend before facing two months on the sidelines.
The cost of the Porsche repair has led to the withdrawal of the brand new Lamborghini Gallardo that Lago was due to share with Lowndes, David Russell and Steve Owen at Spa on July 25-26.
“For a little while on Saturday I thought I’d just run the three pros in Pro Class at Spa,” Lago told Speedcafe.com.
“But then on Sunday it dawned on me that the Cup car is probably $100K to fix and the Spa weekend is probably $200K if the boys run all day.
“The primary reason to do it is for me to go to Spa and have a drive, so I decided that I’d have to pull the pin and use the Spa budget to fix the Cup Car.
“I’m really disappointed for everyone else but I’ve told them that we’ll definitely go back next year.
“Everyone has been pretty good about it, but this year I really thought we were going to have a good crack and it’s a shame to let everyone down like this.”
Lago expects to miss the next two Carrera Cup rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park and Sandown before returning for Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
The Lamborghini will meanwhile be dispatched to Australia ahead of a possible hit-out at the Australian GT season finale in New Zealand and a tilt on February’s Bathurst 12 Hour.
Lago meanwhile says he has no memory of the Townsville crash, which saw the JBS Porsche make heavy contact with the concrete walls between Turns 6 and 7.
“I never had a split second of ‘oh I’ve made a mistake’ or ‘this is going to hurt’,” he recalled, having been knocked out in the initial impact.
“I came to in the car, saw the windscreen was smashed and the bonnet was bent and my first thought was ‘I hope we can get this thing right for tomorrow’.
“I was still in a bit of shock and I didn’t even know where I was on the track to be honest.
“I tried opening the door but it wouldn’t and I tried moving the seat but couldn’t, because it was all buckled. I only remember bits and pieces from there.
“But the guys who came to me did a good job and I tried to thank them for getting me out and giving me the attention I needed.
“A couple of the boys came and saw me in the medical centre and once I was in hospital I had a lot of messages from people in Cup car and also other categories, which was really appreciated.”
Australasian interest in the 24 Hours of Spa now rests with Von Ryan McLaren driver Shane van Gisbergen and Kessel Racing Ferrari’s Liam Talbot.