10 Tragic Fatal Motorsport Crashes

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Motorsport

Motor racing is one of the most famous and largest sporting events in the world. The F1 (Formula One) is the most popular sporting event in the world, while NASCAR holds its top position in America. These events were just a demonstration event during the 1900 Summer Olympics but later on it found its own way as a sport event. Now motorsport has a lot of passionate drivers and spectators all over the world. Every sporting event has its own precaution measures and if these are not followed, then the accident is somewhere around the corner.

Most of the drivers are less than 30 years old and so they tend to be less cautious and take more risk than the older ones. These racers should realize how quickly they can be killed if the safety measures are not followed. Passion is something that is provoking them to take such risks, but if the same passion takes away the lives during the event, then it turns out to be a tragedy.

Let’s see some of the Fatal Motorsport Crashes,

10. Scott Kalitta

Scott was a two time Top Fuel Drag racing champion and also the first driver to win both the funny car divisions and Top Fuel.

During a racing event in Englishtown, New Jersey, Scott was in a qualifying round. When he was about to end his race, his engine exploded and the parachutes failed to open up. The car moved through the sand trap and hit the concrete wall at about 480 Kilometers per hour.

As soon as this incident happened, NHRA reduced the tracks to 1000 feet in order to extend the length of the sand traps. Scott had qualified for the race next day, but he was no more to participate in the race.

9. Bruce Mclaren

Bruce never won a Formula One championship, but he was a stupendous driver. He has about 100 races in his bag. Mclaren has won about 4 times and has completed the tracks 27 times. He is also the founder of the Mclaren Motor Racing Ltd which is actively working even now.

Mclaren died at the age of 32 when his Can-Am car crashed on the Lavant straight at Goodwood Circuit in England. He was testing his new M8D when the rear body came apart due to the speed of the car. This led to disturbing the aerodynamic formula and so the car lost its control and spun, moved away from the track and hit a bunker used as a flag station.

8. Roland Ratzenberger

Roland was an Austrian racing driver. He entered the formula Ford Festival in England in 1985 and finished second. In 1994, he achieved his goal of being a formula one driver, signing five races for a new Simtek team.

He was killed during a qualifying round at the Imola Circuit on April 30, 1994. He had damaged his wing in the previous lap and instead of coming back to the pits, he continued his race as he was competing for the final gird spot. The high speed generated a downforce and broke the wing, which moved under the car. The car failed to turn at the Villeneuve corner and struck the wall at 195.7 Miles an hour. The cause of death was a skull fracture.

7. Joe Weatherly

Joe was called as “The Clown Prince of Racing ? during his times for playing pranks with his fellow competitors, partying hard in the early hours with his close friend, Curtis Turner and he once took a practice run wearing a Peter Pan suit. Though he was called as the clown, he was a better driver during the races. He had won 25 races during his 12 year in NASCAR career.

Joe died on January 19, 1964 during the fifth race of the 1964 season at the Riverside International Raceway. He was not wearing a helmet and a shoulder harness, also the window net was not installed, because he was afraid that he would be stuck in a burning car. When the crash took place, his head moved outside and hit the retaining wall, killing him instantly.

He was the first and the only defending champion to die during a race in NASCAR history.

6. Eddie Sachs

Eddie has won a lot of races across various stages in American Motorsport and he has also raced a number of times in the Indianapolis 500. He was also called as “The Clown Prince ? because he used to tie a lemon on his neck due to reason only he is aware of.

Sachs was killed when his car crashed with Dave Mcdonald in the second Lap of the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Dave’s unstable car had crashed and burst. Sachs was just behind Dave’s car and was trying to avoid a hit, but unfortunately he slammed his car on to it causing an explosion. Sachs died even after having only few burns.

5. Mark Donohue

Mark Donohue is best known for his 1973 Can-Am Championship, where he won all the races expect for one. After the championship, he earned a nickname “The Can-Am Killer ?. He has won as lot more races in his racing career.

He died during a practice session, when he lost control of his March 751 after a tire failure. This sent him careening into the fencing at the fastest corners of the track. A debris from the accident killed a track Marshall. Mark would have hit his head either on the catch fencing or on the bottom of the wood frame. He was not injured when he came out of the car but later on in the hospital, he lapsed into a coma and died of a Cerebral Hemorrhage.

4. Gilles Villeneuve

His career started in Quebec, as a snowmobile racer. Later on, he moved on to the formula Atlantic. He has won six races in his short career. In 1978, he drove for Ferrari.

In 1982, during a qualification round for the Bulgarian Grand Prix, he stuck a slower car and launched into air at about 252 Kilometer per hour. The car hit the ground very hard and then somersaulted, throwing Villenueve into the air. He was pronounced dead later on.

3. Dale Earnhardt

Dale Earnhardt was the most successful driver in the NASCAR’s History, winning 76 races and seven championships. His fans loved him a lot because he would do anything to win the race and his haters booed him for the same reason. His aggressive driving style earned him the nickname “The Intimidator ?.

He died in February 18, 2001, at the Daytona International speedway. Earnhardt was in his last lap when the crash took place. He hit the wall at about 290 kilometer per hour. He died of a basilar skull fracture.

2. Ayrton Senna

Senna was designated as the greatest Formula One driver in its history. He is a three time champion and has won the Monaco Grand Prix six times. He held the pole position record for 17 years from 1989 to 2006.

His 1994 start was a bad one, despite winning the pole in the first two races, he failed to win with 20 point behind the driver’s standing. Roland Ratzenberger’s death had kept everyone on the edge and Senna was leading at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. He lost the control of his car and hit the retaining wall at about 250 kilometer per hour. His helmet hit the wheel housing and caused severe skull fractures. He died later on.

Senna had planned to raise an Austrian flag in the remembrance of Roland Ratzenberger.

1. Pierre Levegh

This was the most disastrous accident ever happened in the history of motorsport which happened on 1955. Pierre Levegh was a factory driver for Mercedes Benz. Pierre was moving at a great speed with a car in front of him. A slower car blocked the way of the lead racer. Although the leading one managed to avoid the collusion, Pierre did not have time to react. He rammed at the slower car at about 270 Kilometers an hour. The car flew up in the air and its parts flew into the spectator’s side. The fuel tank burst out sending many more parts into the spectator’s stand. This tragic incident killed about 83 people and 120 more were injured.

This accident nearly put a full stop to motor sporting. France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and many other nations banned Motor sports until safety is on the higher side.

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