Matevos Isaakyan's car flipped over as he came up through the formidable Eau Rouge corner.
Footage has emerged of 20-year-old Russian racing driver Matevos Isaakyan's terrifying airborne crash during last weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship season opener at the Spa-Francorchamps race track in Belgium.
Isaakyan crashed out of the six-hour race with around an hour remaining, having been fighting for a podium place in the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER he shares with Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev. The Russian-built car is powered by a 720bhp twin-turbo V6 engine
TV pictures at the time did not manage to capture the incident, although the Russian driver was understood to have become at least partially airborne before hitting the barriers on the far side of the track.
Now footage shot by a race spectator from the top of Eau Rouge has shown in more detail what happened, with Isaakyan's car appearing to catch air as it crosses the ripples at Raidillon and completing at least two backflips before coming to rest. Isaakyan was taken to the medical centre for routine checks but thankfully turned out to be unhurt after the horrifying crash.
The new footage emerges as ex-Formula 1 champion Jenson Button made his test debut in the SMP BR1 he'll share in the Le Mans 24 Hours next month with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. Button ran at the Magny-Cours circuit in central France on Wednesday, with a representative of the SMP Racing team reporting that 'all went really well' and that the Briton was 'very happy' following his run in the prototype car.
The Toyota TS050 LMP1 car of Fernando Alonso won the overall WEC race in Belgium at the start of the 2018/19 super season – this is the first win for the Spaniard since 2013, when he won the F1 Spanish Grand Prix. Alonso has won the Monaco GP twice and hopes to add Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours victories to his tally in order to achieve the coveted 'triple crown' that so far only Graham Hill has managed to accomplish.