Kazuki Nakajima Suffers Fractured Vertebra in Spa Practice

Kazuki Nakajima has been ruled out of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps after fracturing a vertebra during first practice.

The Toyota driver collided with Audi Sport Team Joest’s Oliver Jarvis in extremely wet conditions. Nakajima reportedly hit the back of the slowing Audi on the Kemmel Straight, one of the fastest sections of the 4.35 mile circuit.

After walking away from the accident Nakajima was taken to the on-site medical centre for procedural checks. He was then transferred to a nearby hospital where it was revealed that the Japanese driver, who was sharing the #1 Toyota with Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, had fractured a vertebra.

Nakajima will stay in hospital care for the next few days, meaning that he will miss Saturday’s race. The incident has also cast doubt over whether or not the former Williams F1 driver will be fit to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Toyota Racing TS040  World Endurance Championship. 6 Hours of Spa  29th April - 2nd May 2015. Circuit Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.
Davidson and Buemi will be without Nakajima on Saturday (Credit: Toyota)

“We are all upset to hear about Kazuki’s injury,” said team president Toshio Sato. “It is a very disappointing situation for all of us, but most of all Kazuki. The team will support him in these next days as he recovers in hospital before returning to Japan at the first opportunity.”

“Looking at the video of the accident it is clear he had no chance; the visibility was very poor due to the spray and there was nothing Kazuki could do.”

Nakajima added, “Everyone has been extremely professional and I know I am in safe hands. Unfortunately the x-ray shows a fracture in one of my vertebra. It’s unbelievably disappointing but there’s nothing I can do now; I will just focus on coming back as soon as possible.”

The #1 car sustained severe monocoque damage in the incident, which was enough to force it out of the second practice session. Stéphane Sarrazin set the fastest lap of the day for the #2 car, with a 2:22.232s in FP1.

The 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will get underway on Saturday (May 2) at 13:30 GMT.