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Hugo Valente uncertain for Salzburg races

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente admits that he is uncertain if he will be able to take part in Sunday’s World Touring Car Championship races due to the big accident he suffered in second practice on Saturday.

Frenchman Valente lost control of his Chevrolet Cruze at the 220 kph Ostschleife in second practice and crashed heavily into the barriers on the outside of the circuit. The incident and damage ruled him out of qualifying, with his presence in the races remaining uncertain.

“I was behind Loeb and trying to get the slipstream,” explained Valente to TouringCars.Net. “ The downforce was less because I was following Loeb. He took a bit of grass at the apex – I think I did the same pretty much – and then I had big oversteer. At the speed we go – it’s 200 or 220 kph in that corner – at this speed with the oversteer it put my left-rear wheel on the grass and that was it. Afterwards I couldn’t control anything.

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“It’s the fastest corner of the track [where the accident happened] and there is no room for error because after the gravel the wall is very close by. That was definitely not a good corner to go off.”

Valente’s Campos Racing team will work through the night in order to try to repair the 21-year-old’s car in time for Sunday’s races. However with the first race of the day taking place relatively early at 10:00 CEST (09:00 BST), Valente admits that his presence in the first race is uncertain.

“The chassis is fine but the front is completely destroyed,” added Valente. “The mechanics are going to work all night. They have a lot of work to do because we’re going to try and take some parts off another car and fix it.

“It’s going to be difficult, because the first race is so early tomorrow morning I don’t even know if I’m going to be taking part. Maybe the second race, that’s all I know right now.”

In addition to the damage to the car, Valente admitted to feeling some pain after the impact, which was almost repeated by team-mate Dušan Borković in qualifying.

“I thought it would hurt much more than [it did] to be honest, when I saw that I was going off. It was actually OK, it didn’t hurt at first. Now it’s hurting a lot.

“The impact with the barrier was 160 kph I think. It’s quite a lot – and I thought it would hurt much more than that.”

Pole position was taken by a non-Citroën driver for the first time this season and Valente admitted that he was disappointed not to have been able to take advantage of the Chevrolets pace in qualifying.

“It’s a real shame because I’m pretty sure we could have got into Q3 as the car was working very well,” said Valente. “It’s the best track of the season for us to fight with the Citroëns and [Gianni] Morbidelli proved that because he took pole.

“I think we could have got a lot of points and it would have been good to show our potential compared to the Citroëns here. Hopefully we can race tomorrow and I’m sure with the speed we have in the straights we can overtake a few Hondas.”

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