Sergio Hernandez was able to escape with a bruised foot from his heavy accident during the opening race of the World Touring Car Championship meeting on the streets of Porto.
The BMW Team Italy-Spain driver had qualified down the order after a tough qualifying session at the Portuguese street circuit, which left him in the middle of the pack for the rolling start when race one got underway.
A slow start from Tom Coronel backed up a number of drivers behind, and – with cars going three wide – Hernandez touched wheels with the LADA of Jaap van Lagen.
That contact saw Hernandez go heavily into the concrete barrier on the start-finish straight, destroying the front of his car and leaving the Spaniard needing a trip to hospital.
Luckily, Hernandez escaped without broken bones and is expected to make a quick recovery from the bruising he sustained in the impact.
“I'm okay, although my foot still gives me a lot of pain,” he said. “The doctors say that I will be much better in a few days. The impact was really hard. But fortunately the BMW 320si WTCC is an extremely safe vehicle.”
Dutch driver van Lagen also escaped injury, although the damage sustained in the accident was enough to rule the LADA driver out of the remainder of the weekend.
"It was a real pity but just one of those racing incidents," he said. "I made a great start and I was confident that we could move up the order but then I ended up with nowhere to go, so my weekend was over before it had begun. These things happen in racing but it's still very disappointing."