Teenage Formula Three driver Sophia Floersch hints of return to the Macau Grand Prix, one year after horrific crash

South China Morning Post

The brave 18-year-old racing car driver underwent 11 hours of surgery and returned to the track four months later

South China Morning Post |

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Germany’s Sofia Floersch is poised to return to next month’s Macau Grand Prix after her crash in 2018.

The German teen who survived a terrfying crash at last year's Macau Grand Prix hopes to return to the race.

The motor racing world was shocked when Sophia Floersch’s Van Amersfoort Formula Three car flew off the track at 276km/h before smashing a photographer’s bunker during the race last year.

Young Post's exclusive interview with Sophia

Incredibly, the brave 18-year-old German was back in her car four months after undergoing 11 hours of surgery to repair several spinal fractures, and she told fans on social media of her desire to return to the famous 6.2km Guia circuit.

“I really want to go to Macau GP 2019,” she tweeted last week. She also teased fans by saying she had a big announcement to make and invited fans to guess what it was but the tweet has since been removed.

Floersch is currently competing in the inaugural Formula Regional European Championship. She is in sixth place overall in the drivers’ standings in the competition for Formula Three drivers.

Sophia Floersch steers her Van Amersfroot Racing car during a Van Amersfroot Racing team test driving at the Monza racetrack, northern Italy in March, four months after her crash.
Photo: AP

The Van Amersfoort team are expected to announce their line up for Macau and Floersch could make the cut for the 66th running of the Macau Grand Prix set for the weekend of November 16-17. Last year, Van Amersfoort sent three drivers to Macau and it remains to be seen whether the Netherlands-based team will send all four drivers who are competing in the Formula Regional European Championship next month.

The ambitious Floersch, who aspires to become “the first female world champion in a man’s world” is one of four drivers for Van Amersfoort Racing, which is led by Britain’s Dan Ticktum, the two-time reigning Macau Grand Prix champion.
In an interview with BBC Sport recently, Floersch recalled the pivotal moment when her car went airborne during last year’s Macau Grand Prix that shocked thousands in the grandstands at Lisboa Bend and millions watching the drama unfold on TV.
“I remember flying, I remember everything. I brake, my hands came off the steering wheel and I went into the wall on the right side first, which turned me around so I went backwards,” she told BBC Sport.
“There were those big sausage curbs, they made me fly and then I hit the fence, then the house [photographer’s bunker].
“The crash was horrible, I’ve watched it so many times. It’s OK now and also I think talking about it helps. The sport is not the safest but in the end, I am still here.”
New safety measures were announced by Macau Grand Prix organisers last month. Upgrades are being carried out at the Reservoir, Mandarin Oriental Bend, Lisboa Bend, Guia Hill areas and “R” Bend. These include increasing the buffer zone at Lisboa Bend, and additional impact protection foam and new safety crash barriers at various points around the circuit.