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Feb 7, 2013 / reports


As you may have seen during the SPEED broadcast of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener at Daytona last weekend, long-time C360R driver David Thilenius was involved in a nasty shunt after the infield kink during the race. Dave was taken to hospital and was released a few days later with six broken ribs and has now returned home to California where he's recovering well. As soon as he's able he plans to resume his physical training and hopes to be back in a car in April.

Dave wrote an email to friends that we've included in its entirety here. GET WELL SOON DT!


by David Thilenius:

Hey!  In January another season of Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge action kicked off at Daytona International Speedway.  I was looking forward to a new season with my new co-driver Aaron Povoledo in the Compass 360 Honda Civic Si. Unfortunately, I managed to crash the car in the second practice session and again early in the race.  It wasn't the worst race weekend I've ever had, but it was close.

The #74 Compass360 Honda Civic felt okay to me in the first practice session, but when Aaron got in the car he reported it felt "darty".  When I got in the car in the second practice, the rear suspension felt very unsettled.  The crew checked over the car in the pits, but were not able to find anything wrong. I returned to the track. On my second trip through the high speed kink in the infield, the car snapped sideways. I caught the first slide. But, when the car oversteered again, the right rear tire hit the rumble strips on the exit of the corner and I could not catch it.  The car rotated and backed into the guardrail, bounced off and then ended up in the tire wall outside the second hairpin. It is tough to know for sure, but we suspect the right rear spring perch broke which caused the unsettled feeling in the rear suspension and the spin when the rear spring fell out of position.

The damage to the Civic was extensive. The crew was able to piece the car back together, but we missed the third practice session and qualifying while the work was completed. Aaron drove the car in the final practice, running a time which placed us third.  

My first chance to drive the repaired Honda was when the green flag flew starting the race. The car felt great and I was able to move forward in the field. Under the first full course caution, about 20 minutes into the race, the #74 Civic was running to catch the back of the field when the car pushed wide in the Kink and spun across the track and into the inside guardrail.

I wish I could tell you what caused the car to run wide, even if it was a mistake on my part, but the first thing I remember after the accident was being in the ER at the local hospital in Daytona. Initially, I did not think I was hurt too badly. I refused pain medication and told them I did not need to be admitted. But, not too long after that, the pain in my left side started to get worse. They gave me some medication they said was seven times more powerful than morphine, but rolling on my side for x-rays was still really painful. I did not put up a fight when they decided to admit me, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital. The final tally was six broken ribs on my left side.

I am back in California now. As long as I stay on top of my pain medication, I am doing okay. Recovery is going to take a while, but I am already looking forward getting back in the Compass360 Honda Civic later this season.


If you want to drop David a line, send him an email at dmthilenius at aol dot com.
Thanks to Sideline Sports Photography for the photos, and to APR for the final one (above).