Sears Point: Dayton involved in crash Saturday

Dayton is involved in spectacular crash during practice for Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma SONOMA, Calif., July 26 - Duncan Dayton suffered an injury to his right foot in a spectacular and unavoidable crash in a practice session...

Dayton is involved in spectacular crash during practice for Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., July 26 - Duncan Dayton suffered an injury to his right foot in a spectacular and unavoidable crash in a practice session Saturday afternoon at Infineon Raceway.

The popular driver from North Salem, N.Y. got out of the Intersport Racing Lola #37 under his own power, but he was forced to spend the rest of the day with an ice bag on his foot on the spot where the car's A-arm poked through the car's tub and grazed his driving shoe. He will see how his foot is tomorrow before deciding if he needs to seek further medical treatment.

His car, which is sponsored by Banana Joe's and Highcroft Racing, didn't fare nearly as well. Due to its extensive damage, it is expected to be withdrawn from tomorrow's Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race which will be broadcast live on NBC from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

The accident was costly in the point standings, too, as Dayton and teammate Jon Field of Dublin, Ohio were tied for the lead in the LMP 675 class's driver standings going into this race.

Infineon Raceway is a twisty, 2.53-mile road course that has numerous elevation changes which cause blind spots as the cars crest the hills. Unfortunately, a Porsche spun out in exactly such a spot between turns three and four.

Dayton crested the hill at more than 100 mph and got the shock of seeing the Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Leon Hindery right in front of him, facing him and stopped dead. Several other drivers were busy trying to avoid Hindery too and Dayton just had nowhere to go, hitting Hindery's Porsche with the right side of his Lola, with parts flying everywhere. The nose of Dayton's car was even picked up by a Corvette, which dragged that piece back to the pits.

Hindery complained of back pain but like Dayton he was treated and released by the medical personnel on site. His car is expected to be repaired for tomorrow's race.

"I came up over the hill and Leo was spun out and facing me," Dayton said. "I tried to avoid him, but there was another car there too and I had nowhere to go. There was not a whole lot I could do. The A-frame came through the tub and grazed my right foot. I'm very lucky that it didn't go through my leg."

"I feel very bad for Jon [Field] and the Intersport team; the car is really bad. There were pieces all over the track."

"I spun on my own; it's really slippery out there," Hindery said. "I feel bad. It was my fault that I spun, and then I was sitting on the track in a terrible position. I thought my world was coming to an end for a moment there. It was a hard hit. My back is a little sore and the car is torn up, but we can fix it. I feel bad for Duncan, Jon and all those guys."

Dayton and Field were consistently third in the LMP 675 class in every session they ran here. On Friday's test session the car's fastest lap was run at an average speed of 105.655 mph, which was third in class and fifth overall.

In the event's first official practice session, which was held on Saturday morning, the car placed third in class and sixth overall with a fastest lap at 105.273 mph. In the afternoon practice session Saturday, which is when the accident occurred, it was also third in class and sixth overall, with its fastest lap being run at 104.483 mph.

Less than 20 minutes before Dayton's crash, Clint Field was chopped off by another Porsche in turn two and crashed the other Intersport Lola that is entered in the race. Repairs were made to that car, however, and it will start ninth overall and sixth in the LMP 900 class tomorrow. Rick Sutherland is that car's co-driver.

-lm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Jon Field , Clint Field , Rick Sutherland