Ferdinand Habsburg in doubt for Imola after testing incident

Ferdinand Habsburg in doubt for Imola after testing incident

Ferdinand Habsburg could miss the FIA World Endurance Championship’s second race in Imola due to injuries he suffered following a testing incident at Motorland Aragon.

Alpine factory Hypercar driver Ferdinand Habsburg’s participation in the 2024 FIA WEC Round 2 at Imola and the ELMS Season Opener at Barcelona is in doubts after suffering a back injury following an incident during an A424 test at Motorland Aragon.

Habsburg moved up to seventh place in the drivers’ championship standings, along with Paul-Loup Chatin and Charles Milesi after Cadillac was recently disqualified from the Qatar 1812km race.

The Austrian racer sustained injuries in a crash testing the Alpine A424 at Motorland Aragon late last month, an Alpine representative confirmed to Racetrackmasters.

“On the afternoon of March 27, 2024, during the A424 test session in Motorland (Aragon), driver Ferdinand Habsburg had an accident at Turn 7,” the statement reads.

“The cause of the accident is currently under investigation. Ferdinand was taken to the hospital in Alcañiz for examinations and was discharged in the evening.

“The next day, he was repatriated to Austria, where he underwent further examinations. Ferdinand suffers from two fractured lumbar vertebrae, with no neurological impact.

“He is beginning his recovery, the duration of which has not yet been defined. It will determine its participation in the next round of the FIA WEC at Imola. Alpine gives Ferdinand its full support and wishes him the best and quickest recovery.”

Habsburg is scheduled to compete in the ELMS this season with COOL Racing in LMP2, in alongside his Alpine’s FIA WEC duties. He will share the #37 ORECA with former PREMA FIA Formula 2 driver Frederik Vesti and current ELMS LMP3 Champion Alex Garcia.

His ability to participate in the Imola race is obviously very much in doubt given the unknown nature of his recovery timeframe although Alpine has not yet disclosed whether he will be able to race in the WEC event.

Jules Gounon was announced as Alpine’s backup driver for 2024 WEC at the launch of the A424. The Frenchman flying the flag of Andorra is now confirmed as a Mercedes AMG driver for GT World Challenge Asia, which takes place on the same weekend as Imola.

Meanwhile, COOL Racing has announced that Ferdi’s Alpine teammate Paul Loup Chatin will replace Habsburg for the ELMS Prologue and first race at Circuit de Catalunya next week.

The pre-season Prologue will take place before the 4 Hours of Barcelona on April 14, and the 6 Hours of Imola will follow a week later on April 21.

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