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Auto racing roundup: Driver killed in Belgian F2 race

  • FILE - This May 24, 2019 file photo shows BWT Arden's Anthoine Hubert. French driver Anthoine Hubert has died in a Formula Two accident at the Belgian Grand Prix following an estimated 160 mph (257 kph) collision on Lap 2 at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps track, which earlier Saturday Aug. 31, 2019, saw qualifying for Sunday's Formula One race. (David Davies/PA via AP, File) David Davies

The Associated Press
Published: 8/31/2019 9:55:38 PM
Modified: 8/31/2019 9:55:36 PM

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — An idyllic day for motor racing, under clear blue skies and late-summer sunshine on a picturesque track in Belgium, ended with the death of a 22-year-old French driver on Saturday.

Formula Two driver Anthoine Hubert died at the Spa-Francorchamps track following a heavy crash at the F2 Belgian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman lost his life at the high-speed circuit after an estimated 160 mph collision with 20-year-old U.S. driver Juan-Manuel Correa’s car, as they accelerated uphill and then out of the notorious Eau Rouge corner on lap 2. Hubert appeared to lose control of his car on the exit of the corner before slamming into the far-side barrier. His car flew off the tire wall and slid across the circuit before he was hit by Correa’s car.

Correa is now recovering in hospital after reportedly breaking his legs.

Both Hubert’s and Correa’s cars were severed in two following the crash, with Correa’s car flipped upside down. Hubert’s car sustained a huge impact and span around violently, as did Correa’s, with debris from both cars sprayed all over the track. Medics rushed to reach them on the famed 4.3-mile, tree-lined track located in the Ardennes forest of Belgium.

Motorsport’s governing body FIA said Hubert “succumbed to his injuries, and passed away at 18:35” local time at the on-site medical center.

As other drivers swerved around the mangled wreckage of both cars, the race was canceled a few minutes later. An F2 race scheduled here for Sunday has also been called off.

Earnhardt sixth in return

DARLINGTON, S.C. — A joyful Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned the racetrack on Saturday, finishing sixth in the Xfinity event at Darlington Raceway two weeks after he and his family escaped a plane in flames in Tennessee.

The race was a welcome relief from thinking about the crash for Earnhardt and his family. He hopped in his car after kissing wife Amy and 16-month old daughter Isla, and his driving skills kicked in as he moved up from 14th into the top five.

NASCAR Cup regular Denny Hamlin won his sixth Darlington Xfinity race.




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