Conflicting accounts of Venezuelan Formula MX driver’s fight

Written by By Staff Writer

Gabriel F. García Marquez, founder of Formula MX, holds up a replica of the Le Mans 24 hour trophy at the launch of the 25th Formula MX Championship

Oscar Goncalves dos Santos, a 19-year-old Venezuelan who has been a prominent Formula MX driver for years, has been placed under investigation by local police after a video of him fighting with officials surfaced on social media this week.

The Instagram video shows dos Santos throw punches at officials, who appear to be looking on as the melee unfolds.

The authorities are trying to figure out what happened, as the video was uploaded August 9, and authorities had been waiting to see it before completing their investigation, a source from the Autodromo Nacional de Jerez said.

The three-minute video shows dos Santos in a white one-piece racing suit and black helmet, with a red bandana and black gloves on his hand as he strikes several people while hanging on the pit wall.

Dos Santos — who goes by the name of “Baduel” in the video — sent out a series of tweets Monday night saying that a feud between him and a colleague had gotten out of hand.

“What happened was all for the benefit of the sport,” said dos Santos. “The story I tell is a tale of a coach who takes advantage of innocent emotions of youth and alcohol.”

The “Coach” identified as José Benitez Garcia, nicknamed “El León,” could not be reached by CNN.

“Baduel, you’re trying to destroy a career,” Garcia told The Los Angeles Times in Spanish in an email. “It seems that he got into trouble because of me, but I don’t know what happened. If I had a chance to do it again, I would teach him a lesson. I don’t want to think about it, because he hasn’t done anything to deserve it.”

‘Risk a hell of a lot’

Dos Santos told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that he had used alcohol and slurs during the incident but that it had ended quickly and that he was waiting for the authorities to clear his name.

The situation went public only when Garcia posted the video on social media, the source told CNN.

“The issue was resolved as soon as the incident happened. Baduel called me two minutes after the incident to tell me that it was over and that he was okay,” Garcia told the Los Angeles Times.

Dos Santos, who has competed in numerous Formula MX races, said in a statement on his website that he felt the video sent a wrong message about Formula MX and that he had applied for disciplinary action and obtained a penalty.

“Having my profession taken away, that would damage my family and my image, would be risk a hell of a lot. The time has come for the sport to start realizing that all is not right in terms of the public perception,” Dos Santos said.

Leave a Comment