Former GT300 champion Couto injured in China GT crash

Our thoughts are with veteran Super GT driver André Couto, who was injured in a 200 kilometers per hour racing incident during Round 3 of the China GT Championship at Zhuhai International Circuit.

Couto, a fifteen-year Super GT veteran between the GT500 and GT300 classes, and the only native of Macau to win the Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race, sustained a severe lower back injury in the crash, and was taken to hospital in Hong Kong, where he is currently recuperating after undergoing surgery on his fractured L1 vetebrae.

A veteran of 111 races over 15 seasons, Couto has won races in both GT500 and GT300 categories. In 2015, he won the GT300 Drivers’ Championship driving for Gainer in a Nissan GT-R GT3, alongside Katsumasa Chiyo and Ryuichiro Tomita – a year in which he also won the International Suzuka 1000km and the Fuji 500km, the two biggest races on the calendar.

The accident happened with five laps to go in a 20-lap race in Zhuhai, where Couto lost control at the high-speed Turn 6 and impacted the tyre barriers head-on at 200 km/h. Couto was then airlifted to hospital in China, then taken over the border to Hong Kong for surgery and further evaluation.

Global Racing Management, Couto’s managers, said in an official statement on Sunday that Couto will need three months to recover from his injuries.

Couto was named as D’Station Racing’s reserve driver for the 2017 season, selected to replace rookie Sven Müller in Rounds 3-5 of the championship due to Müller’s prior commitments with Porsche in the ADAC GT Masters championship. D’Station Racing have yet to announce who will drive alongside Tomonobu Fujii for Round 4 at Sportsland SUGO on July 23, or Round 5, the Fuji 300km, on August 6.

In any case, on behalf of the Super GT community, and the racing community at large, we wish Couto a brief and trouble-free recovery.

GT300 Class - #10 GAINER TANAX GT-R
© Nissan
02sard
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