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The car 'left the circuit and made contact with the outside wall'

Dubai Autodrome officials describe events leading up to Friday's tragic accident

Image Credit: Gulf News
The Autodrome's safety team battles the flames consuming Christophe Hissette's car.
Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Autodrome has issued a perspective on the unfolding of events leading to the tragic death of Christophe Hissette in an accident at the Autodrome yesterday.

"His car caught fire upon which the marshals, safety teams and medical crews were instantly dispatched to the scene. The fire was extinguished, whereupon a medical helicopter evacuated the driver to Rashid Hospital where Christophe Hissette was declared dead on arrival," said the official press release from the Dubai Autodrome.

"At 10.05am, five minutes into the qualifying session, on the approach to Turn 16 of the International Circuit configuration, car number 42 of the AUH Motorsport team, driven by Christophe Hissette, left the circuit and made contact with the outside wall before coming to a stop. No other cars were involved," the statement added.

Hissette was most probably the most experienced driver involved in racing at the Dubai Autodrome. He was a vastly experienced racing driver who was a familiar and popular figure on the Gulf motor racing scene. Among other things he was the reigning European Masters Champion and leading contender for the 2010 Gulfsport Radical Cup.

Growing up in the UAE, Hissette started his racing career as a kart driver and went on to win the UAE National Championship several times. His most recent accomplishment was his win in the Battery 24-Hours Race at the Dubai Kartdrome as part of the Batelco team.

Hamish Brown, General Executive of the Dubai Autodrome, had a lot of respect for the late driver. "His passing away is a great loss to the region's motorsport community. He was well known in the racing community and much respected by us all," Brown has been quoted in the press release.

A brief message on the official notice board of the Autodrome announced the cancellation of yesterday's final round. "Due to the incident that occurred during qualifying for Radical Cup, it has been decided that the meeting will be abandoned due to the insufficient safety equipment being available after the incident," says the statement jointly signed by Chairman Matthew Norman and stewards Michael Prophet and Allan Nimmo.

Meanwhile, Dubai Police said that the Traffic Department and the Forensic Department are investigating the crash.