One spectator has been killed in a crash involving British driver Jann Mardenborough during the VLN Endurance Championship race at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit.
Mardenborough’s Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 flipped over the debris fence after hitting the barrier at the Flugplatz corner, with pictures showing the wrecked vehicle in an area where the fans are located.
23-year-old Mardenborough, who races in the GP3 Series with Carlin and will continue his long-running association with Nissan in their LMP1 venture at Le Mans this season, was sharing the car with fellow GT Academy product Wolfgang Reip and Japanese driver Kazuki Hoshino.
Watch the video below (Please note it does not contain footage of the car landing in the crowd):
A statement from VLN read: “The opening round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nurburgring was marred by an accident on Saturday which injured several spectators.
"One of the spectators died, despite the immediate actions of the rescue crew in the medical centre at the circuit.
"The other injured spectators have been taken to hospital for ongoing medical care.
"The race was stopped to give emergency crew quick access to the circuit, and wasn't restarted.
"The accident occurred in the Flugplatz part of the circuit, with a competitor leaving the circuit for a yet unspecified reason and finishing up behind the safety fencing.
"The VLN and the organisers are deeply saddened by the accident, and their thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims."
There is no official update on the condition of Mardenborough, although the video footage appears to show the driver standing on his feet having escaped from the overturned GT-R. The team were competing in the opening round of the Nordschleife-based series to help with their preparations for this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours and the rest of their endurance program.
Shortly after the accident, Nissan issued a statement to express their sadness at the accident and confirm that Mardenborough had been taken to hospital for "further routine checks".
"During today’s ‘VLN 1’ race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, a serious incident occurred involving the No.23 Nissan," the statement read.
"The car is reported to have left the track at the ‘Flugplatz’ section and vaulted the catch fencing, landing on its roof in a spectator area.
"Several spectators were injured in the incident and despite immediate efforts one of them succumbed to their injuries. The others have been taken immediately to hospital for care.
"The driver, Jann Mardenborough got out of the car and, after initial checks in the circuit Medical Centre, has been taken to hospital for further routine checks.
"Today’s events have been a tragedy. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by these events and our immediate thoughts go to the deceased, those injured and their families and friends.
"The team is fully co-operating with the race organisers to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident."