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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Valencian Laura Salvo dies in car crash during rally in Portugal

The Rally de Portugal   is a rally competition held in Portugal. First held in 1967, the seventh running of the race, the 7º TAP Rallye de Portugal was the third event in the inaugural FIA World Rally Championship in 1973.  The 2020 Rally de Portugal (also known as the Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2020) was a motor racing event for rally cars that was scheduled to be held over four days between 21 and 24 May 2020, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.    The 2020 event was scheduled to be based in Matosinhos in Porto and consisted of twenty-two special stages covering a total competitive distance of 331.10 km (205.74 mi).

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja were the defending rally winners. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, the team they drove for in 2019, were the defending manufacturers' winners. Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen were the defending winners in the World Rally Championship-2 category, but they would not defend their titles as they were promoted to the higher class.

The  death of a Spanish rally co-driver  in a horrific crash  when her car veered off the road and smashed into another vehicle before slamming into a pine tree, is in news. Valencian Laura Salvo, 21, was competing in the first stage of the Rally Vidreiro in Portugal when her car allegedly careered off the road and slammed into the tree on the right-hand side of the road.  The car was driven by Miguel Socias and medics rushed to the scene within two minutes. Despite the quick response, attempts to resuscitate her failed and she died on the roadside.  

The car was completely crushed in the impact of the high-speed collision. Salvo was pulled from the wreckage but could not be saved when medics attempted to resuscitate her.  The commander of the Marinha Grande Volunteer Firefighters, Vítor Graça, told Mundo Deportive the car 'collapsed about 500/600 meters from the beginning of the first section, when it hit a pine tree'.  Salvo, who has been a co-driver since 2015, was trapped inside and, once released, suffered from cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate her were initially successful and the victim was transported, already stabilized and intubated, to a landing zone about 980 feet away from the crash site. Medics rushed to the scene within two minutes, yet she could not be saved. 

Salvo's final Instagram post showed her with her rally partner on Friday. The pair had their thumbs up as they competed ! A helicopter was waiting at 11am but Salvo died just 15 minutes later - before she could be brought to a hospital.   The president of the Marina Grande Automobile Club  said: 'Unfortunately we have to report a death in our rally. Competitor Laura Salvo, who was competing as a navigator in the Peugeot Rally Cup Iberica, suffered an accident at the beginning of the first stage that caused her death.  'The Automobile Club of the Marina Grande and its means of aid arrived at the place in about two minutes, doing everything possible to save the young competitor, trying to revive her.  Salvo was trapped inside the car and once released suffered from cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate were initially successful and the victim was transported, already stabilized and intubated, to a landing zone, about 980 feet away from the crash site


She competed alongside Socias last season in the Suzuki Swift Cup and started 2020 by winning the Rally del Bierzo.  The media took the victim to an area where the arrival of a medical emergency helicopter was possible, but the competitor ended up dying at the scene. Maria Salvo, her sister, is also a well-known rally co-driver and their father Gabriel was a rally driver. Social media users shared their tributes after news of Salvo's death first broke.  Peugeot Sport wrote: 'Peugeot Sport wishes to express their sincerest condolences to the family and friends of co-driver Laura Salvo, who died this morning following an accident at Rally Vidreio Centro in Portugal.'  One heartbroken fan added: 'The rally world have a new angel in heaven.'

Royal Spanish Automobile Federation also shared a message of condolences on their social networks, saying: 'Mourning in Spanish motor racing for the death of co-driver Laura Salvo, who lost her life in Portugal while contesting a rally. Our condolences to all her family and loved ones. Rest in Peace, dear Laura.' The Portuguese rally has been abandoned following her death. The car was bring driven by Miguel Socias but it swerved off the road and crashed into a pine tree, reports say – however web searches do no reveal his well-being.  In such a horrific crash, what happened to the driver has not been explained !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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