Cormac Buchanan battled through a fractured wrist in an up-and-down Red Bull Rookies Cup weekend in Austria.
The New Zealand teenager suffered a fall in free practice. An MRI scan determined he had fractured a bone in his wrist joint and had two hematomas in his upper hand.
Unfortunately, Buchanan’s wrist struggled to hold up for race one, and he pulled into the pits at the end of lap five to retire.
“I struggled from the outset and just had no strength for braking,” Buchanan said.
“The risk of something going wrong if I continued was too great.”
While the DNF was disappointing, Buchanan turned his attention to the weekend’s final race on Sunday.
“One of my overall goals for this season was to cross the finish line in every race, so I’m gutted I can’t tick that one off now after having to retire from race one here at Red Bull Ring.
“But that’s the past now and my focus is in the present.”
It was in race two where Buchanan muscled through his injury to post his fastest time of the weekend.
He finished the race in 20th position and a measly three-tenths off P16.
His fastest lap was also a significant 1.6s improvement on his qualifying time.
That lap would have placed him 15th on the grid in qualifying earlier in the weekend.’
“I’m pretty rapt with that one,” Buchanan said.
“Managed to have some intense battles out on track amongst the rear group with nothing in it across the finish line.
“Shout out to my mechanic Aleix and the Red Bull Rookies Cup coaches and crew for their support and making adjustments to my handlebars to help ease the pressure on my wrist.”
The positive news for Buchanan is that he returns to the Red Bull Ring this weekend for another round of the championship.
It will be the first time this season he arrives at a circuit he has previously experienced.