Alberto Panebianco promises to make a return in the next round at Autodrom Most after a scary crash in the NASCAR GP Italy at Autodromo Vallelunga left him with a broken finger, which the Italian is currently recovering during the summer break after receiving a surgery to heal the wounds.
In an exclusive interview with NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Not Only Motorsport’s Alberto Panebianco made a promise to return in the NASCAR GP Czech Republic on 3-4 September after the Italian received a broken finger following a high-speed crash in the previous round at Vallelunga.
The incident itself occurred in the first EuroNASCAR 2 race of the Vallelunga weekend. Panebianco, who was running in 8th place at the time, was entering through the Stadium section on the seventh lap of the race when the brakes of his No. 89 Not Only Motorsport Chevrolet failed on the approach to the Semaforo corner after the fast left-hand kink at Trincea.
“I got stuck behind the #24 of Christian Malcharek and the #69 of Melvin de Groot when I lost my brakes entering the Semaforo hairpin,” said Panebianco on the crash to euronascar.com. “Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of space to avoid contact there so I immediately realized I was going to crash into the wall. The only questions I had were: where, how fast and which angle?”
Realizing that his only option is either crashing to the back of Malcharek’s Chevrolet – which would end both his and Malcharek’s race – or crashing to the wall at a relatively high speed, Panebianco bravely decided for the latter and he steered his Chevy to the wall so that he won’t crash out his fellow competitor.
“I would have crashed into Christian, caused more damage and ruined his race. So I went to the left because the wall is a bit more far ahead, so I had a bigger chance to reduce the speed of my car,” explained Panebianco on the decision to crash into the wall.
Panebianco also turned the car sideways to avoid a head on impact. Unfortunately, he forgot to move his hands away from the steering wheel during the impact and the resulting whiplash on the steering wheel broke the fingers on his right hand.
“I got a fracture on my finger and therefore the physicians didn’t clear me to race on Sunday. They were super nice and well prepared. The ligament at the base of the thumb ripped off the bone,” said Panebianco on his injury.
Panebianco, who thankfully was able to exit his totaled car under his own power, has since received a surgery after he was transferred to a hospital in Rome. With Panebianco now having a screw in his hand, the Italian will be using the summer break to recover from the injuries as he makes a promise to return in the next round at Autodrom Most on 3-4 September.
“It was tough not to race on Sunday and see all my rivals on track but it was nice to see all the messages and support from a lot of people that I thought they didn’t even know me or haven’t ever spoken to. You see me in the car at Most, it’s a promise!” said Panebianco.
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric.