Rough Greek roads demand its price for Van Merksteijn Motorsport
During the first day of the WRC Acropolis Rally, Van Merksteijn Motorsport saw both cars disappear out off the rally. After having been forced to retire on the previous events this season as a result of technical problems with the Citroën DS3 WRC, the rough Greek roads were this weekend the cause of father and son Peter van Merksteijn not reaching the end of the first day.
Peter van Merksteijn sr. started Friday for his second appearance in the World Rally Championship with the Citroën DS3 WRC. As he has only to be able to drive a limited amount of stage kilometers with the car he is still getting used to the new car but during the day he was steadily improving his pace. After a cautious start in the morning the pace was increased on the first stage after the short afternoon service which resulted in a competitive stage time. Shortly after the start of the fifth stage of the day, Peter sr. and his co-driver Erwin Mombaerts were tricked by the rough Greek roads and went off the road. After the car was brought back to the service in Loutraki, the technicians of Citroën concluded that it was not safe anymore to start with the car the next day. “It is a shame that we went off and I can’t restart tomorrow” according to Peter van Merksteijn sr. “We were really enjoying ourselves her and I really wanted to continue the rally tomorrow.”
Peter van Merksteijn jr. had a less fortunate proceeding of the Friday in Greece. In the early morning Peter jr. had a good start of the event with the DS3 WRC and demonstrated that the organized test held last week had improved his performance in the car. Halfway through the third stage te rally came to a sudden end for him and his co-driver Eddy Chevaillier. When he was braking, the underside of the car had a violent impact with a large rock in the road after which Eddy complained about a severe pain in his back. Eddy went initially to a local hospital and was later that evening, upon the request of the team, transported by helicopter to Athens where Eddy can benefit from the best possible medical care.
“it is a enormous scare when a situation occurs like what happened now to Peter jr. and Eddy, but at the moment the consequences seem to be limited. Eddy will have to take a complete rest for some time and will remain at the moment in hospital for observation” told Gerard Grouve, team manager Van Merksteijn Motorsport. “Fortunately the information we receive from the hospital are positive and we are hopeful for a complete and speedy recovery for Eddy.”
Update Health Eddy Chevaillier
In the hospital in Athens the medical specialists have stated that Eddy sustained a crack in one of his vertebrae. As a result from this he is experiencing severe back pain for which he is administered medication. He will have to take a complete rest for some time and after 10 days, advised is 20 days, he can start some careful activities. After the weekend it is no longer necessary for Eddy to remain in the hospital in Athens and the team is currently trying to arrange for Eddy to return back to Belgium as soon as possible.
-source: van merksteijn motorsport