David López Tomico has died after a fatal crash in Saturday’s inaugural Rallysprint San Bartolomé de Pinares, a round of the Castilla and León Rallysprint Championship, in Ávila, Spain.
He was competing in the second special stage, which ran from the port of El Boquerón back to San Bartolomé, when his Fiat Abarth Grande Punto went off the course along the first downhill section before rolling. He and his co-driver Natalia Ríos Díaz were trapped inside the car before being extracted by the Ávila Fire Department, though Tomico succumbed to his injuries.
Race officials cancelled the rest of the stage for the day.
Tomico had been both a driver and co-driver in his career, primarily focusing on domestic gravel and historic championships.
In 2022, he joined Spanish Rally Champion Sergio Vallejo‘s crew ahead of Vallejo making his Dakar Rally début the following year. Tomico served as lead engineer of the rally raid programme in partnership with Astara Team, who fielded the entry for Vallejo.
“Again, this sport hits us where it hurts the most. Vallejo Racing is in mourning because we lose one of our own: David López Tomico, a passionate lover of motorsport, a leader in his work and an example of perseverance and love for his own,” reads a statement from Vallejo. “He joined the team in 2022 and his spirit and strength were fundamental for the Dakar 2023 project to bear fruit.
“Today we not only lose a mechanic or a team member, but we leave a friend of the real ones. David, your strength will always be with us.”
Tomico’s loss continues a difficult year for the rallying world, especially in Spain as Julio César Castrillo and his navigator Francisco Javier Álvarez were killed in an accident at the Rally Villa de Tineo last Saturday. World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen died after a testing crash last Thursday and Croatian rally great Tihomir Filipović passed at 67 the day before Breen from a lengthy illness, while motorsport great Ken Block was in a fatal snowmobile accident in January.