Sondermann dies after Interlagos crash

Brazilian stock car driver Gustavo Sondermann has died after a crash in soaking wet conditions at Interlagos on Sunday.

Fellow drivers including Rubens Barrichello, Bruno Senna, Nelson Piquet Jr and Luciano Burti have paid tribute on Twitter.

Sondermann was competing in the Copa Chevrolet Montana – the support event to the main series – when he crashed heavily coming onto the pit straight. He was then hit hard by a following driver, and suffered serious head injuries.

The accident was uncannily similar to one that claimed the life of his then team mate Rafeal Sperafico at the same track in 2007.

Sondermann, who was 29, followed the traditional path to Europe early in his career. In 2004 he competed for Motaworld Racing in the British Formula Renault series against the likes of Paul di Resta and Mike Conway, and the following year he was briefly seen in the European series with Comtec, where his rivals included Kamui Kobayashi.

When his single-seater ambitions didn’t work out, he returned to Brazil.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Sondermann dies after Interlagos crash

  1. Gustavo

    Sondermann was teammate of Rafael Sperafico in Stock Light, who died in 2007 in the same sector that the crash of today happened. The Confederação Brasileira de Automobilismo needs to act to evict another tragedies in Interlagos.

    Recent crashes in “Subida do Café”, at Interlagos. In the last 4 serious accident, only one driver survived (Fernando Alonso):

    2011 – Gustavo Sondermann (Copa Montana)
    2011 – João Lisboa (Motorcycle racing photographer, crashed with his bike in a “Track Day”)
    2007 – Rafael Sperafico (Stock Light)
    2003 – Mark Webber crashed, and Fernando Alonso hit a tyre of Webber’s car (F1)

  2. Gustavo

    Webber survived too, of course.

  3. Mario

    So sad to hear this. I saw the accident last night on the brazilian news. 3 weeks ago is was at Interlagos and was look at the same place where the accident happened.

    May he rest and peace and best wishes to the family.

    Mario

  4. Hi Adam,
    I saw that race yesterday evening (before I knew of his fate) and I simply couldn’t understand why they were racing in those conditions.
    That was more than wet, that was absurd really. A track like Interlagos can be rather unforgiving in those circumstances – as we sadly saw.

  5. Hi Adam,

    Interlagos seen yesterday should serve as warning to other categories such as f1 where rainfall is often a common ingredient in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
    Very sad what happened to Sondermann.

    • Tom Chiverton

      We don’t need a warning. F1 is already aware that heavy rain is bad. Unless you are Bernie, who wants fan-controlled sprinklers…

  6. Ed

    @Gustavo – I think it is the design of the cars not the tracks that needs to be fixed.

    The Brazilian cars are severely lacking in roll cage technologies compared to DTM, NASCAR etc.

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