There have been a number of horrible racing accidents over the years most recently the NASCAR crash on Saturday in Daytona in which a number of spectators were injured and my hopes go out to their families at the moment. However this isn’t the first big accident in motor racing here I will show what I think are the worst to happen in racing.
The crash happened as the cars were approaching the checkered flag Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski however he spun out causing a chain reaction crash The car of Kyle Larson crashed into the wall and fence that was protecting the spectators. Debris rained down on spectators and injured at least 33 people. The engine had been ripped from the car and stood in the hole the car made in the fence. Larson stood in shock several yards away from his car.
Le Mans 1955
This accident has to be the most horrible accident ever to befall motorsport. The cause of the incident has been argued ever since the accident. Pierre Levegh was racing for Mercedes Benz in a 300 SLR. HE crashed into the rear of Lance Macklin’s much slower Austin Healey 100 at 150 MPH on lap 35 of the race. Levegh’s car was launched towards the left side of the track where it landed on an embankment that separated the track from the fans. The crash caused the Mercedes to break up and fly into the crowd. This crash caused the death of 84 people (including Levegh) and injured 120 other spectators.
This race did not result in the death of spectators thankfully however it did result in the death of two drivers, one rather unknown and another a legend. The Imola track is famed for its danger and accidents. Roland Ratzenberger was killed during qualifying when the front wing of his Symtek car broke whilst going flat out round a corner, the car then crashed into a concrete wall. The second incident of the event caused the death of possibly the greatest racing driver of all time Ayrton Senna. As Senna entered the high speed Tamburello Corner on lap 7 the Williams he was driving left the track at 205 MPH hitting the concrete wall at 135 MPH. Senna was removed from the car within 2 minutes of the crash and was airlifted to Bologna’s Maggiore Hospital where he was pronounced dead. After the crash an Austrian flag was found in the car. It is believed Senna meant to honour Ratzenberger after the race.
I say again my hopes go out the families of the Daytona crash and I wish them well.