Christian Bakkerud has already been dubbed the unluckiest man ever to sit in a GP2 Series car, and his fortunes showed no sign of improving with the start of the 2008 'summer' competition in Barcelona.

The Danish driver made a fantastic start from 19th on the grid in the feature race to lie eleventh after one lap and, starting lap two, thought he spotted a gap on the inside of Ben Hanley heading into turn one. Although Hanley had run wider than expected, however, he moved back to take his usual line through the corner, only to find the Super Nova car already with its nose alongside. The resulting contact spun the pair around and, while both resumed, also caused two following cars to collide as they checked up to avoid the incident.

With the ensuing safety car, just one lap was lost while repairs were made to Bakkerud's car, but the effects of the accident were not simply confined to the Super Nova machine. The impact with Hanley also caused a recurrence of the back problem that the Dane experienced for the first time exactly a year ago at the same circuit and, despite soldiering to the halfway point, he simply could not go on.

"I could feel that my back was slightly tight yesterday, but Erwin, my physio, gave me a massage and I felt better afterwards," Bakkerud reported, "However, when I came together with Ben on lap two, something happened as I landed from being airborne for a second. After that, it kept getting worse until lap 16, when I just couldn't move from pain."

Having been helped out of the car, put on a stretcher and taken to the circuit's medical centre, Bakkerud was transferred to the care of his doctor and physiotherapist who, after thorough check, suggested that he not start race two in Barcelona on Sunday morning.

"I'm very very tired, but feeling slightly better than I did when I first got out of the car," the Dane commented, "But, as I have had so many injections this afternoon, I'm not sure where I really stand with regards to my injury. I made the decision to fly home tonight as it's better for me to recover at home and, on Monday, I'm going down to Austria to have a full scan and a proper assessment of my back to find out what is going on."

 

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