Steve Bertheau avoided serious injury after a hard hit during yesterday's Grad-Am race at Road America
TRG's quest for redemption at Road America following last year's near win came to an abrupt halt on Lap Two Saturday on the 4.048-mile road course in Round Seven of the Rolex Grand-Am Series.
Steve Bertheau, leading off in the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car that he co-pilots with Spencer Pumpelly, was hit in Turn 8 by the No. 51 car of Jim Norman as the driver appeared to miss his brake marker in Turn 8 and had side to side contact with the TRG car. The two initially separated but by the time Bertheau reached the section of the track called "The Kink", his cut tire led to a major impact as he hit the barrier on the driver's side of the racecar and then careened back across the track before coming to a stop.
The race was yellow flagged immediately as safety crews went to Bertheau's aid. He was cut out of the car and transported to Road America's at-track medical center before being flown to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, the area's leading trauma center for additional observation. The initial report from the hospital stated that Bertheau was awake and alert with all vital signs good and no indication of serious injury.
"This was really unbelievable," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "We were so ready for this race---especially Steve. He had a huge group of friends and guests from his home town and Sargent & Lundy and we were ready to put on a great show for them. Steve was doing a great job just like he had all weekend on his home track, and we were ready."
"We are really glad that Steve wasn't hurt worse than he was. He is such a tough old goat!! I mean that was a SERIOUS hit. Once they let me see him in medical, the first thing he asked me was how is his car and if all his  guests were ok!! It came at such a bad place on the track, too. Any other corner and you pretty much end up in the kitty litter, but a bad break for Steve, for sure. We are all just glad he is okay."
While the team's thoughts are first and foremost on Bertheau, there will be a lot to do to get ready for the Six Hours at The Glen next week where Steve and Spencer are slated to be joined with their Daytona 24 co-driver Wolf Henzler. Teammates in TRG's other two cars will be Eduardo Costabal, Santiago Orjuela and Eliseo Salazar in the No. 64 and Ben Keating, Damien Faulkner and Bryan Sellers in the No. 66 car. ""We are really glad that Steve wasn't hurt worse than he was. He is such a tough old goat!! I mean that was a SERIOUS hit|TRG owner Kevin Buckler|left''
"We want to make sure that Steve is okay before we even start thinking about the Glen", commented Buckler, "but in typical Steve fashion, that was all he could talk about in the hospital - making sure we are competitive next week. He is so solid."