Top 15 Most Insane Car Racing Accidents

In the world of racing, there are a lot of accidents that are accounted. Some of these accidents are remembered by the public. It may be because of the impact the accident has brought to the spectators (literal or not), or the driver(s) involved in the accident is widely popular or adored. In this article, 15 of the most memorable or insane accidents in the world of car racing are included here.

15. The Belgian Grand Prix, Zolder (1982)

On the year of 1982 in the Belgian Grand Prix, Gilles Villenueve, a prominent racer of his time, encountered a serious crash.  This is because, after the bend of the course, he noticed a car ahead of him which happens to be too slow in comparison to his speed. Seeing that he can’t slow down at the moment, he attempted to turn around but failed to do so because of the slower car. In result, his car, the Ferrari flew into the air, somersaulting, and crumbling. He was still inside the car when all was progressing and eventually bump into a fence. He was still able to be brought to the hospital alive but with a broken neck.In due course, the Canadian racer died.

14. The Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown(2008)

Scott Kalitta is one of the legends in the world of American drag racing. You can imagine the grief of his fans when they saw him in his tragic moment. The race was almost at its end when the engine of his car exploded and therefore damaged the parachute that was supposed to make the car slow down. In result, the car continues to move in a sand trap and eventually struck into a concrete wall in about 125mph. It was really unfortunate because Scott somehow managed to qualify for the next race. The spectators were even moved when his rival moved the car to the finish line as a tribute to the dead racer.

In reaction to the accident, the NHRA reduced the distance of the tracks to a thousand feet, increase the length of the sand traps, and have cushioned the concrete walls.

13. The Daytona 500, Florida (2001)

To those avid fanatics of car racing especially those who watch NASCAR, it would be impossible for you to unheard of the name, Dale Earnhardt Sr. or also known as “The Intimidator”. He was one of the most notable racers in the history of NASCAR. On February 18th, 2001, his car was hit by Sterling Martin’s car. He then tried to getaway to the track until it was again hit by Ken Schrader’s car and have caused his car to plunge into a wall in about 160 miles per hour. Schrader then went to check his condition and then signaled for help. Not long after, Earnhardt Sr. was declared dead.

12. The Riverside International Raceway, California (1964)

Joe Weatherly or also known as “The Clown Prince of Racing,” was a successful and skilled racer of his time. During the race of the defending champion on the fifth time of the season, he lost control and ended up crashing the wall that led to his death. It was found out that he wasn’t in a harness so his head got out of the window. As a lesson to this accident, NASCAR has installed window nets on all their cars. Weatherly was the only defending champion who died during a race in the history of NASCAR.

11. The JGTC, Fuji (1998)

The JGTC, currently known as Super GT make use of the finest tracks in Japan and introduce a variety of cars (Ferraris, Porsches, Toyotas, etc.) During that race at Fuji Speedway, the climate was known to be terrible as there was a heavy rain with thick fogs. Before the race has started, the safety vehicle has been running so fast that when it suddenly stopped, it has made the two racers astonished in the unanticipated obstacle. This has made the two Porsche to crash. The other car has landed on the grass which was also hit by a Ferrari 355, driven by Tetsuya Ota who didn’t see the car because of the fog. This has caused both cars to rush into flames. Ota was still stuck in the car when it was burning that has caused him to have his face into surgery. After the accident, Ota was never seen to race again.

10. The German Grand Prix-10,Nordschleife (1976)

The GGP in 1975 was conducted in the Nordschleife, in which the location got a reputation for being risky and perilous. It was even been made more dangerous due to a heavy rain. During the second lap, a racer named Lauda lost control of the car that has caused him to hit the wall and his car to rush into flames. It was even made worse when it was hit by another car. Because of the accident, a Grand Prix would never again occur in Nordschleife.

9. The Italian Grand Prix-9, Monza,Italy (1978)

A misperception was made during the race when a starting signal was released even before all the racers are prepared and are into position. This has caused the cars in the backside to rush just so that they can catch up with the others. This resulted to the clashing of cars and has brought a major collision.

The Italian Grand Prix-9, Monza,Italy (1978)

Image Source: http://en.espn.co.

Racer Peterson was trapped in his burning car that led to injuries and minor burns. He was still alive then when emergency response is delayed due to the poor official’s decisions and communication that have made his complications worse that led to his death the next day.

8. The Paris to Madrid Race-8 (1903)

This is one of the earliest races in motorsports and basically it is yet evolved and therefore dangerous. The race track is 1300 km long and is participated by 300 racers. They were not allowed to repair their cars on every stage which have caused a lot of cars to retire and stop in the middle of the track that has been crashed by other cars. Racers crash trees, crossing signs, and other cars. Other cars caught on fire and disintegrated. Spectators in the area were also hit by other cars. The race was no doubt a mess. In total, eight were dead and a lot were injured.

7. The Tour de Corse-7, Corsica (1986)

 The World Rally Championship pushed their cars to the limits by allowing it to be driven in non-race track terrains (gravel, snow, etc.). The cars were then Group B, type of light cars that are turbocharged with engines that are powerful. It was said that the other cars go 0-60 mph. The vehicles were so powerful that the limited courses aren’t enough for it. During the race, racer Toivonen with his co-driver hit the car, with it moving along, it went down a narrow valley and landing on one of its roof, it burst into flames. Both of them died and were hardly identified when the flames were extinguished. Before the race, it was said that Toivonen protested that the car is too powerful and therefore dangerous. It turns out he was right.

6. The Indianapolis 500-6, Indiana (1964)

Racer MacDonald is said to have an unsteady and a fast car which is dangerous if driven on the track. He was aware of its dangers but eventually continued to drive it anyway. During the second lap, his car lost its control that it struck the wall and caught into flames. Sachs, a prominent racer, tried to avoid the chaos but eventually failed. He was caught in the burning fire and caused an explosion. Sachs then died in an instant while MacDonaldsuccumbed to his major burns. The race was brought to a halt and therefore was the first Indianapolis 500 to have ever discontinued because of an accident.

5. The South African Grand Prix-5 (1977)

 During the race, racer Zorzi caught his car on fire that has made him stop to the sides of the course. Two marshals then came to respond the accident until two cars were fast approaching unnoticed to their position. The first marshal made it successfully to Zorzi but the other one, Jansen van Vuuren was struck by a car of Tom Pryce which made him somersault into the wall and has caused Vuuren to die.  Pryce, too, was killed due to the extinguisher that Vuuren had been carrying which have crashed into his head.

4. The Rally de Portugal (1986)

Rally de Portugal (1986)

Image Source: http://www.thesportster.com

Naturally, the Portuguese course doesn’t have walls to protect the spectators away from the cars. Instead, the crowds would stand near and even in the center of the road. When racer Joaquim Santos lost control and tried to turn left but eventually failed, he could not prevent the spectators and the car to collide. In result, three died and a lot were injured.

3. The San Marino Grand Prix, Imola, Italy. (1994)

 It was then the third race of the season. The race has resulted in the accident of three skilled racers. The first to have ever caught into an accident was Rubens Barrichello who was badly injured because his car somersaults into the air and struck the tire barrier. It was then followed by Roland Ratzenberger who died when his car loses control and hit the wall at 135 miles per hour which have caused a fracture to his skull. Then it was Senna who crashes a wall in 135mph badly injuring him. The front wheel of the car was detached and hit his head which caused a fracture in his head that led to his death.

2. The Mille Miglia , BresciaRome (1957)

 It is an endurance race that is similar to a rally race. Various types of cars are allowed to enter with the slowest one to start first. There were two fatal accidents that have been accounted. The worse one was the car that Alfonso de Portago and his co-driver have driven as it was moving at 120mph and have caused the tire to burst. The impact of the blowout have resulted in the car to roll on the road, killing the drivers inside, and the car eventually moved to the direction of the spectators that led to the additional death of nine people. The idea of mixing different types of cars was then considered a bad idea and therefore led to the prohibition of this kind of race.

1. The24 Hours of LeMans,Le Mans, France (1955)

 This is by far the race that accounted a lot of deaths in an auto racing event thus it is considered as a legend in the world of racing. The accident was started by a Jaguar that suddenly stopped in the pits nearby that have caused a lot of cars to avoid a clash encounter. The Mercedes that is driven by Pierre Levegh could not avoid the obstacle and ended up striking another car that landed to the spectators. He then flew away and eventually died. Parts of the car landed to the crowd injuring and killing them. Cars that are built with magnesium got into a fire and have burned a lot of spectators. In result, 84 people were dead and 100 more were injured.

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