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FIA to investigate after car breaches spectator area in Portimao crash

The FIA will investigate an accident at the Algarve International Circuit after a car on the support bill of the World Endurance Championship crashed into a spectator area.

La Porsche di Alexandre Areia, Team Monteiros Competiçoes sulle tribune di Portimao

During second practice for the Porsche Sprint Cup Iberia on Friday, Portuguese driver Alexandre Areia's Porsche GT3 Cup 991 suffered a brake failure and crashed rearwards through catch fencing on the outside of Turn 1 before coming to rest in the grandstand area beyond.

Areia escaped unharmed and no spectators were present in the seated area, although footage of the incident was captured by a fan seated in the grandstand to the right of the crash zone.

The WEC's second practice session ran to time, but the grandstand was closed to the public.

A statement from the motorsport governing body provided to Autosport said: "The FIA is looking into the incident that occurred during the first practice session of the Porsche Sprint Series Iberica at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.

"The FIA is currently in the process of gathering information and a review by the FIA Circuits Commission will follow.

"The FIA is working closely with the staff of the circuit and the event organisers. The grandstand will remain closed until further notice.

"Improving safety is a continuous process, therefore conclusions drawn from this incident, and others from around the world will be integrated into the ongoing development of motor sport safety."

Areia's car entered the grandstand area after crash at Portimao

Areia's car entered the grandstand area after crash at Portimao

Writing on Twitter, Areia shared his gratitude that nobody was hurt.

"I practically became a passenger," he said. "Luckily there was no one in that area of ​​the grandstand and I managed to get out of the accident unharmed, thanks to the safety level of that car."

The Portimao event was the first round of the series promoted by P21 Motorsport, which has attracted a 24-car grid that includes reigning Porsche Supercup champion Dylan Pereira.

The circuit is FIA Grade 1-listed and has twice hosted Formula 1's Portuguese Grand Prix, with both the 2020 and 2021 editions won by Lewis Hamilton.

The WEC is making its second visit to the track with a six-hour race this weekend, having first staged an eight-hour enduro in 2021.

Main image photo: James Turner

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