IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Nicky Catsburg on GTLM Start Crash – “It wasn’t anyone’s fault.”

By: Ashley McCubbin

When the cars are close together at the start of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, sometimes contact happens, resulting in dreams of winning being shattered early. However, you don’t expect that to happen coming to the green flag.

As the GTLM class took the green flag, Bruno Spengler would get sideways on the restart, making significant contact with Kevin Estre, resulting in severe rear-end damage. The body work gradually fell apart, eventually falling off for a full course yellow flag.

Spengler was penalized for the contact, though cited the cars not going ahead of him as the reason it happened.

“It was very difficult to understand what happened because it was green, everybody was going on the throttle flat-out, and the car in front of me didn’t go really,” he told NBCSN. “I don’t know if he had an issue or what. I tried to avoid him, but as I tried I clipped the rear of his car slightly and it was enough to spin him around. I don’t know if he had an issue, why his car didn’t go at the green, he even tapped the brake lights slightly, so he was off-sequence because everybody else was going except him, that’s why I hit him.

“I didn’t really understand why he’d be on the brakes as the green was coming.”

The replay has been reshown, with concerns being arose regarding the pace which the Corvettes brought the field down for the green flag. While Tommy Millner (No. 4) and Antonio Garcia (No. 3) led the field to green, Garcia’s teammate Nicky Catsburg, though, felt there was nothing wrong when asked about it.

“As far as I can judge, if you’re the leader then you are deciding the pace. So whatever happens behind you is not your fault,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “Obviously you should not slow down, but I don’t think we did. The BMW was going a bit too soon and touching the Porsche. It was very unfortunate. I don’t think it was no one’s intent to hit anyone there before the actual green flag, but these things happen in motorsport.

“It wasn’t anyone’s fault. I don’t think the two Corvettes were over-slowing, and I don’t think the BMW meant to hit anyone there. It happened, so let’s focus on the race ahead of us.”

Corvette has certainly focused on the event ahead with Alexander Sims in the No. 4 entry pacing Catsburg by just over 2.5 seconds with 11 and a half hours left to go in the event.

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