Areia: I basically became a passenger

How did a Porsche end up in the stands? And sad condolences

How did a Porsche end up in the stands? And sad condolences how the hell did this crash happen

It’s been a bittersweet weekend so far for motorsport, a fatal rally accident claimed the life of Hyundai ace Craig Breen while Porsche Cup driver Alexandre Areia survived a crash that would have been a catastrophe had the grandstands been packed in Portimao.

Before the Porsche Cup crash, the motorsport world was reeling with news of Breen’s accident during testing in Croatia, which was confirmed in a statement by his team: “Hyundai Motorsport is deeply saddened to confirm that driver Craig Breen today lost his life following an accident during the pre-event test for Croatia Rally,” read the statement.

“Co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the incident that occurred just after midday local time. Hyundai Motorsport sends its sincerest condolences to Craig’s family, friends and his many fans. Hyundai Motorsport will make no further comment at this time.”

The FIA WRC organisation added: “The WRC family is shocked and saddened to learn of Craig Breen’s passing. “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Craig at this incredibly sad time.”

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem wrote: “On behalf of the FIA, I extend sincere condolences to the family & friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident in Croatia. Our thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones & the Rally community at this difficult time.”

How did the Porsche end up in the Portimao grandstands?

In a separate incident, at Autodromo International do Algarve, Areia crashed over the barriers and flipped into the grandstands, outside of Turn 1, during practice for Porsche Sprint Challenge Iberica, a curtain-raiser for FIA World Endurance Championship in Portimão this weekend.

Images show the Porsche of Areia, flipping into the empty grandstands of a venue (normally occupied if not packed with spectators)  that has hosted Formula 1 in the past, used to substitute Grands Prix affected by COVID-19 when the virus broke out in 2020, and again in 2021.

The manner in which the Porsche catapulted into the grandstands will have the track owners, race organsiers and FIA officials concerned, and relieved that spectators were not present where the wrecked car landed. Had the area been occupied as it would be on race days, it would have been a brutal scene, beyond imagination.

Despite huge strides in safety, through all disciples of motorsport over the years, the reality is: Motorsport is Dangerous with tragedy ready to strike when Fate is in a bad mood, as it did with Breen in Croatia; in Portugal it was kinder to Areia, but nevertheless fired a stark warning with the visuals of the Porsche ‘seated’ where people normally watch the action.

Areia: I basically became a passenger

In the wake of the Porsche Cup incident, motorsport’s governing body said in a statement: “The FIA is looking into the incident that occurred during the first practice session of the Porsche Sprint Series Iberica at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.

“The FIA is currently in the process of gathering information and a review by the FIA Circuits Commission will follow. The FIA is working closely with the staff of the circuit and the event organisers. The grandstand will remain closed until further notice.

“Improving safety is a continuous process, therefore conclusions drawn from this incident, and others from around the world will be integrated into the ongoing development of motorsport safety.”

Areia, who was lucky to walk away unscathed, reported on Twitter: “I basically became a passenger. Luckily there was no one in that area of ​​the grandstand and I managed to get out of the accident unharmed, thanks to the safety level of that car.”

Begging the question to officialdom, with the FIA top of the list: How did a Porsche end up in the grandstands on an FIA Grade 1-listed track?

Areia: I basically became a passenger How did a Porsche end up in the stands?