Salaquarda victim of bizarre paddock attack
Former A1 Team Czech Republic driver Filip Salaquarda was involved in a violent incident at a test session in Valencia earlier this month, it has been revealed. The 25-year-old was reportedly attacked by circuit security following a handbrake spin-turn by the driver on one of the venue's car parks.
Salaquarda was present at the Valencia circuit for a test session for the ISR team as they look to prepare for the start of the Formula Master championship. However, the start of the session went far less than smoothly for both Salaquarda and team-mate Erik Janis when an incident broke out between them and security guards at the Spanish track.
"On arrival to the circuit we collected the car, which had been left on a large car-park near to the main access gate," Salaquarda recalled. "We were at the end of the car-park and nobody was around so I spun the car around using the handbrake. We then continued to the gate at about thirty or forty kilometers per hour."
The two men received a surprise, however, as they were followed into the circuit's paddock area by a security car; upon arrival Salaquarda visited the team motorhome, before being met by the guards a short time later: "After several minutes we came out of the motorhome," he continued, "and they were waiting for me, armed with an electric truncheon." Despite attempting to avoid any conflict, the driver is believed to have been struck on the back of the head with the truncheon during the subsequent scuffle.
"It was a huge blow to my head," he said. "Doctors have given me five stitches after I suffered from light concussion and back pains."
Team owner, Felip's father Igor, later commented on the incident: "We have to thank to the Formula Master organizers, who helped to resolve the situation. This is the first time such an incident has occurred at the Valencia circuit and we are not hoping for a repeat. Drivers may do stupid things at times for which they should be punished, but in no circumstances in this way."
The team in fact lost crucial testing time as even Janis was unable to drive: "I was scared, completely in shock," he explained. "I have not been able to sit in the car to drive - before races or tests drivers must be in an excellent physical and mental state, and so I therefore agreed with the team that it was right not to drive."