The peace (if one considers built race cars belting around an infield peace) was short lived, however. For the second time that day, disaster struck Margaritis and his Essa Autosport E46.
The Greek champion carried his E46 well through the first half of the course, however when it came time to slide around the second inner bank, the rear end whipped around not unlike Contreras and Priyono’s crashes.
Interestingly enough, the damage was somewhat a cross of RJ and Daryl’s crashes, as well. While the wheel assembly wasn’t ripped off due to friction and bad luck, the damage was immediate and crippling, requiring a jack to assist that corner of the car onto the tow truck.
With the crash marking the end of second practice, qualifying soon began.
However, it too was not without crashes and retired competitors.
On top of a few double zeroes that sent drivers home before the Top 16 began in earnest, there were two full retires as well.
First saw Pablo Cabrera bitten by the curse. As he sped out of the starting box, his car didn’t make it to the first initiation, making the sound of clunking gears loudly enough to make everyone in the media zone wince. The V’s Performance S13 had blown a diff.
Second, Daniel Kuo was bitten by the Irwindale Luck as he dove into the second bank. Much like the three crashes before him in that corner, his RX-7 whipped around crossing the first apex, thrashing his car into the wall. While the damage was minor, it couldn’t be repaired in time, knocking the GarageLife RX-7 out of the running early.