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Salzburgring WTCC: Hugo Valente sidelined by big practice crash

Hugo Valente crash damage, Salzburgring 2014

Campos Chevrolet racer Hugo Valente has been ruled out of this weekend's Salzburgring World Touring Car Championship meeting after his Chevrolet Cruze sustained heavy accident damage in a practice crash.

Valente was in the slipstream of practice two pacesetter Sebastien Loeb when he cut the inside grass at Turn 9, sending his car off into the Armco on the outside of the quick Fahrerlagerkurve.

The shunt ends a promising start to the weekend for Valente, who was second fastest in Friday's test.

"I was following Loeb, and had less downforce than usual," explained the Parisian.

"Loeb had taken the grass on the inside, my car was moving a bit too much, and maybe in following him I [cut] too much on the right, on the grass.

"The car went into oversteer and then onto the grass [on the outside]. You are going so fast there that once you are in the gravel it is too late.

"We are out of qualifying and the race. We'll try and fix the car in time for Moscow."

Valente suspected that the Austrian venue will suit the RML-built Cruzes, and provide an opportunity to finish close to the three dominant factory Citroen C-Elysees.

"We could have been there with Citroen and maybe finished right behind them," he suggested.

"I was behind Loeb and I was catching him on the straights in the slipstream.

"I don't think they have a more powerful engine than us, I think it is quite similar. The difference is more chassis, suspension and bumpers."

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