TOM’S driver Sasahara was concerned in a terrifying incident within the first of two races on the Japanese Grand Prix venue, as his automobile was launched up and over the catch fencing after contact with the Nakajima Racing machine of Hiroki Otsu.
Sasahara’s automobile lastly got here to relaxation simply earlier than the primary Degner Curve, having plunged all the way in which down the steep hill that lies beside the well-known Suzuka underpass.
Whereas the 27-year-old was forced to miss the following day’s final race due to concussion, he was later cleared of any severe accidents and was in a position to take part in final weekend’s Tremendous GT finale at Motegi.
Following that race, Sasahara shared his reminiscences of the crash and its aftermath, describing the truth that he escaped severe hurt as a “miracle” that left even his docs shocked.
“I bear in mind every little thing concerning the incident,” he instructed Motorsport.com’s Japanese version. “I by no means imagined the automobile would fly that far.
“I believe the officers didn’t realise the place I used to be initially. However as soon as they realised, the officers and docs did a fantastic job to get me out so rapidly, and by chance I wasn’t injured so I may take part on this weekend’s Tremendous GT race.
“I used to be recognized with a light concussion, as a result of when you will have a crash that huge it’s inevitable you’ll hit your head towards the headrest.
“The powerful factor was that as a result of I used to be the wrong way up, the blood rushed to my head and I couldn’t get out of the automobile on my own. However actually after that, it was nearly like nothing had occurred.
Photograph by: Masahide Kamio
Sasahara was all smiles at Motegi simply days on from his crash
“Even the individuals on the hospital have been astonished. They noticed the footage of the crash and the photographs as properly, and so they have been like, ‘how is that this man nonetheless so energetic?’
“That was undoubtedly because of the protection of the Tremendous Components automobile itself, and moreover that, the place precisely I hit the limitations, the way in which the automobile broke aside and dispersed the power of the impression… these type of issues simply occurred like a miracle.”
Sasahara and his team-mate within the #37 TOM’S Toyota GR Supra, Giuliano Alesi, rounded off their season by ending ninth, leaving them 14th within the last GT500 standings.
That got here towards the backdrop of the sister #36 TOM’S machine of Sho Tsuboi and Ritomo Miyata taking a dominant championship win, which adopted Sasahara’s Tremendous Components team-mate Miyata sealing the crown in the single-seater series at Suzuka.
“It has been a troublesome yr,” mentioned Sasahara. “I actually did not suppose it was going to be so onerous, and now I simply really feel exhausted.
“As a member of the group, I am blissful that the automobile subsequent to me received the title in each classes, however personally it is irritating. In Tremendous Components I could not race the entire season, however in Tremendous GT we had numerous extreme points and the group struggled.
“However everybody round me within the group was understanding, and I did not lose confidence as a driver, and we made some progress by desperately attempting numerous various things. It is good I used to be in a position to achieve expertise in that space.
“If we will resolve our points, I am certain that we may be as quick because the #36 automobile, so I’m not too anxious about it.”