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May We Never Forget


“Correr, competir, eu levo isso no sangue, é parte de minha vida”

“Racing, competing, I take it in blood, is part of my life”

This is a quote from the late Ayrton Senna who was killed in a crash at Imola during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Racing is my love in life. I love watching cars race one another lap after lap. I love all forms of racing. Whether it’s driving full-speed down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans or driving side-by-side inches apart at 200 MPH on the high banks of Daytona, racing is just something only people with a passion will understand.

But as anybody knows, when you step into a race car, there’s a chance you’ll never get out alive again. No matter how safe we try to make it, death will always remain a possibility.

2013 saw a number of drivers who met the ultimate end. Since we’re nearing the end of the 2013 racing season, I feel it appropriate to list those we lost this year.

*Note* All of the information is from Motorsports Memorial which is a database that lists all of the known drivers that died in the name of speed.

Stan Redmond

A popular New Zealand’s Formula 5000 racer, Stan Redmond passed away on Thursday, 21 February 2013 at Dunedin Hospital as the result of a tragic car racing accident which happened six days before at Teretonga Park circuit, Invercargill, New Zealand.

On Friday, 15 February 2013, the experienced Stan Redmond, 65, sustained serious head and upper body injuries after colliding with another car and hitting the safety barriers during a practice session for a round of the MSC New Zealand Formula 5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, which was part of the Evolution Motorsport Classic Speedfest meeting program at Teretonga Park.

Redmond was taken by St. John ambulance to Southland Hospital, and later that night he was air-lifted to Dunedin Hospital, being listed in a serious but stable condition until his death, six days later.

He was survived by his wife Joanna, his four children Ava, Tyler, Stephen and Philip. Born in Northern Ireland, Stan Redmond was lived in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was the owner of the Flexoplas Packaging Ltd. based in his hometown.

Stan Redmond was at the wheel of a Lola T332. He was influential in reviving the Formula 5000 class racing in New Zealand, using stock-block pushrod V8-engined single-seaters built and raced originally in the 1970’s. He had campaigned classic Formula 5000 cars since the 1990s, also competing in UK. Among his career’s best results was a second place at Brands Hatch in 2008.

Col Wenzel

Australian Alfa Romeo enthusiast Col Wenzel passed away on Monday, 25 February 2013, two days after a race accident which occurred during the Top Gear Classic Race Meeting held at Lakeside Park, in Kallangur, 15 miles north of Brisbane, state of Queensland, Australia.

It happened at about 15h30 on Saturday, 23 February 2013. Col Wenzel was driving his Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV in the third round of the AROCA (Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia) Italian Challenge Race Series. Suddenly the car went out of control and crashed into the embankment on the Eastern Loop of Lakeside Park. Seriously injured, he was treated at the track by a Queensland Ambulance Service crew, before being transferred to Brisbane hospital. He failed to recover and died two days later as the result of injuries received.

According to eyewitnesses reports, the car’s throttle could have jammed during the race. This caused Wenzel to leave the track with the engine at maximum rpm, crashing hard after crossing the run-off area.

An experienced racer, Colin Wenzel had his debut at the age of 17, taking part in a race just at Lakeside Park in 1967. During his long career he competed against some of the great Queensland touring-car drivers of the 1970s and 80s such as Dick Johnson, Eric Olson, Bruce Allison and others.

Dale Wondergem and Marcus Johnson

During a “hot laps” practice session a 360 sprint car crashed into the pit area hitting two people. One, a 68-year-old man died at the scene. A 14-year-old boy died en route to or at Rideout Memorial Hospital.

Dale R. Wondergem, Jr., 68, was the owner of a car racing in the event, but it was not involved in the accident. Dale was a resident of Grass Valley, Nevada County, California. Place of birth is believed to be in Michigan; specific city and county is not known by us at present.

After graduating from Cedar Springs High School class of 1962 (located in Cedar Springs, Kent County, Michigan), Dale served in the U.S. Air Force before moving to California in 1966. His racing began on two wheels with his brother, Jack. Later Dale moved on to sprint cars as a driver, then as an owner.

Survivors include his wife, Jeraldine J. Wondergem, two grown children, and a brother, Jack Wondergem.

Marcus Johnson, 14, was a resident of Penngrove, Sonoma county, California.

The driver of the car Chase Johnson was a 17-year-old from Petaluma, California. In spite of his youth, he had two years of experience in sprint cars, and was a fourth generation racer. The accident was reported to be caused by mechanical failure, not driver error.

The track was previously known as Twin Cities Speedway, but was renamed as Marysville Raceway Park at some time after 2003.

The only prior fatality in the track’s forty-five-year history happened in 2010. Driver Merle Allen Shepherd (1953-2010) was killed during a semi-truck race.

Derek Sanchez

NHRA driver Derek Sanchez, 47-year-old, lost control of his 1933 Ford Super Gas Roadster with big-block Chevy power, and crashed hard into a wall during the second round of Super Gas eliminations, held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, on Saturday, 06 April 2013. Sanchez was transported to a local hospital and succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, 11 April 2013.

Derek Sanchez was reported to be from Yuma, Arizona; it is unclear whether he was a native or a resident of that town.

John Mansell

An elderly Tasmanian competitor who lived in Thornton, Newcastle, state of New South Wales, Australia, died in a fiery crash while taking part in the 22nd edition of the Targa Tasmania – The Ultimate Tarmac Rally, held from 17 to 21 April 2013.

John Mansell, 71-year-old, was fatally injured when he lost control of his red Porsche Cayman #933, while travelling at speeds of up to 200 km/h. The accident happened at about 09h15 on Wednesday, 17 April 2013, less than four kilometers after the start of the first competitive stage of the five-day rally. The car went over a high-speed crest and became airborne on Porters Bridge Road, near the small village of Exton, Deloraine, west of Launceston, northern Tasmania. It ploughed through some small trees on the right side of the damp narrow road, before crashing hard into a gum tree, bursting into flames on impact.

John Mansell died at the scene, his car badly damaged. The place of accident was reached in a matter of seconds by rescuers, including fellow competitors who parked their race cars and came to help. They emptied their fire extinguisher onto the burning Porsche before being joined by an ambulance crew, but doctors could do nothing to save Mansell’s life.

A native of Launceston, John Mansell was a veteran Targa racer, well known in Tasmanian motorsport circles for taking part in Targa Wrest Point and non-competitive Porsche tours. His 26-year-old co-driver Tristan Catford, who sustained severe neck injuries and a suspected broken pelvis, was taken to Launceston General Hospital.

After the accident, the opening stage of the rally was immediately stopped, but the event moved on to the next stage and the competition resumed. Organised by Octagon and sanctioned by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport the Targa Tasmania – The Ultimate Tarmac Rally, a classic event in the style of the Mille Miglia, Coupe des Alpes and the Tour de Corse, was part of the four-round 2012-2013 Australian Targa Championship, which comprised Targa Adelaide in South Australia, Targa High Country in the state of Victoria and Targa Wrest Point in Hobart, Tasmania. The rallies were reserved to classic, historic and modern GT and sportscars, divided into fourteen different classes.

This was reported to be the second fatality in the Targa Tasmania since the rally began in 1992. Co-driver Ian Johnston lost his life during the Riana stage in north-western Tasmania, in 1996. But there have been several other fatal accidents in the Australian Targa Championship races, throughout Australia, most notably when the international racing legend Peter Brock was killed in Western Australia on 08 September 2006.

Christian Devereux

Historic cars driver Christian Devereux, 50, from Chiswick, a suburb of west London, UK, was driving his 1965 Mini Cooper S #67 in the Pre-66 Touring Car Race, which was part of the 2013 Donington Historic Festival three-day program. The race, held on Sunday, 05 May 2013 at Donington Park, was the opening round of the 2013 Master Historic Racing Pre-66 Touring Car Championship, in which Devereux was a regular.

Twenty vehicles ranging from the 1950s to the 1960s, started the hour-long race. At about 16h30, during one of the last laps of the race with less than five minutes to go, the Ford Mustang #81 of Benjamin Beighton-Chris Beighton, driven by the first, spun at the exit of Coppice, the fast right-hander at the back of the circuit. Beighton rolled back to the track and Devereux was unable to avoid the Mustang, crashing head-on into it. According to eyewitnesses, the Mini racer could have been blinded by other cars running ahead of him coming from the crest before the turn, and the accident did not appear to be particularly serious. But, despite the professional efforts of the marshals and the well-trained rescue team that reached him quickly, Christian Devereux succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.

Despite several thousands of spectators were at the track watching the races, Christian Devereaux’s accident did not take place in front of many of them, as was sadly overblown by newspaper reportings, being Coppice away from the main viewing areas. As a consequence of the fatal accident, the remaining two events of the meeting were cancelled.

A number of competitors in the Masters Historic Racing Pre-66 Touring Car Championship carried tribute stickers to Christian Devereaux on their vehicles, for the rest of the 2013 season.

Josh Burton

Josh Burton died in I.U. Health Bloomington Hospital of injuries from a flip at Bloomington Speedway, during the B-Main race of a WCD Sprint Cars meeting.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Josh’s dream was to be a sprint car driver. Josh won his first sprint car feature race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana in 2012 and also had been Rookie of the Year at Lincoln Park and Bloomington Speedways. He was known for painting the Hoosier logo on his racing tires orange.

Survivors include his parents, Jerry and Darlene Burton; three sisters, Brandi, Jerica, and Peyton; and one brother Chris.

A member of the International Union of Bricklayer’s and Allied Craftworker’s Local #4 of Indiana and Kentucky, Josh also worked part time at Jerry Burton Masonry working with his father.

Burial was in Clover Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, Indiana.

Leroy Kay and David Richardson

Two experienced race car drivers lost their lives in a multi-vehicle crash which happened during the main event for “dwarf cars” at Reno-Fernley Raceway, 30 miles east of Reno in northern Nevada, United States. Dwarf cars are small single-seaters with motorcycle engine. The accident occurred on Saturday night, 25 May 2013.

Leroy Kay, 67, of Yerington, Nevada, and David Richardson, 63, of Truckee, California, were killed on the last lap of the race when one of their cars spun, hit the wall, then slid down the track in front of the field. It was T-boned by the other car, and both drivers died.

An Army Veteran who served during the Vietnam War, Leroy Kay was born in 1945 in Oakdale, CA to Jet and Mabel (Askew) Kay. He owned a drilling company since 1980. A passionate motorcycle racer, he began racing dwarf cars only in recent years, after his retirement. Leroy Kay was survived by his girlfriend, Donna MacGill; his son, Darrin Kay; step-sons, Randy and Eric MacGill; his step-grandchildren, Chase, Kali, Ivan, Cleo and Madison; his brothers, Bob, Jim, Frank, Richard, David and Donnie.

John Giddings

The 2013 Orange City Council Classic Forest Rally organised by the AMSAG (Australian Motorsport Action Group), was marred by the death of one of the competitors, veteran rally driver John Giddings.

The accident occurred at about 15h00 on Saturday, 25 May 2013, during the fifth special stage Coolamatong 1, in the the Canobolas State Forest, some 22 kilometers South-west of the city of Orange, state of New South Wales, Australia. John Giddings, 70-year old, was in his orange painted Datsun 180B #11, co-driven by Richard Davidson, when the car went out of control, left the road and hit a tree. Both its occupants were taken to Orange Base Hospital and later John Giddings was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where he died on Monday, 27 May 2013, from spinal and thoracic injuries. His co-driver Richard Davidson sustained a fractured sternum and ribs.

Queenslander John Giddings was an experienced racer, which career spanned over several decades. As a rallyman he competed in great Australian events, such as the Round Australia trial and the Australian Safari, in which he achieved a best result of 5th outright in 1985, in a Datsun 720 with Rod Jones as co-driver. Giddings also competed in the classic Tooheys 1000 at Mount Panorama, Bathurst in 1988, finishing a remarkable 5th overall with Bruce Stewart in a turbo-charged Ford Sierra RS500 entered by Caltex CXT Racing Team. He became a regular AMSAG competitor since the mid-2000s, driving his trusty Datsun 180B up till then with considerable skill and success.

A former Bathurst businessman, John Giddings was survived by his wife Marilyn, son Michael and daughter Amy.

After the accident, the rally was not stopped and Joe Chapman-Greg Westman in a Subaru WRX eventually were the winners, from Andrew Travis-David Travis in a Datsun 1600, and Bill Brown-Arron Topliff, third in a Datsun P510.

This was reported to be the first fatality in an AMSAG event since the deaths of three officials of the Southern Cross Rally, during a displacement stage, on 13 October 1968.

V?ra Filipová

The experienced Czech rally driver V?ra Filipová lost her life as a consequence of an accident which happened during the 2013 Rallye Teplice.

V?ra Filipová with her daughter Carolina Filipová, 17, who acted as her co-driver, was taking part in the rally, second round of the 2013 Central Europe Rally Cup Championship. They were the only female team in the rally, sharing one of the two Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX light blue painted cars entered by Filip Racing Team, the other car was driven by V?ra’s husband Vladimir Filip, with Miroslav Noah as co-driver.

The seventh special stage of the rally, from Krásný Les to Adolvov, in the Karlovy Vary District, Czech Rebublic, started at 15h50 on Saturday, 01 June 2013. The accident occurred shortly before the finish of the 7.1-kilometer asphalt course, near the village of Adolfov, when the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX #12 driven by the 44-year-old V?ra Filipová, who was running around the 18th position, went out of control and crashed. The car left the road and rolled over, crashing into a tree. The driver was killed at the scene, her co-driver Carolina Filipová was admitted to Teplice hospital with serious injuries.

After the tragedy, the stage was immediately stopped and the final classification of the rally was taken by the previous sixth special stage standings. Martin Šikl – Petr Vilímek, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX were declared the winners.

Fernando Lopes

On Sunday, 02 June 2013 a kart race was organized on the streets of Carpina, a town in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, in the Northeast Region of that country. The event, denominated Campina Kart Racing, was the fourth round of the Copa Interiorana de Kart. One of the participants in that race was Fernando Lopes, a native and resident of Recife, the capital of the state, which is located some 50 kilometers south of Carpina.

The course was laid over streets within and around Parque de Eventos Jota Cândido, a fairground, and the race was held under low standards of safety. Spectators, dogs and even goats crossed the streets that made the course at their own will; kerbs were protected by piles of tyres loosely arranged, and nearby obstacles such as trees and poles remained unprotected.

During one of the races a driver spun at the exit of a right-left chicane located in one the straights, and hit the left side. As this driver was being helped by a marshal, a group of karts passed by at speed. Lopes, the last of this pack, run wide at the exit of the chicane and hit the tyres placed by the right side kerb with the right rear wheel of his machine. Lopes’ kart jerked to the right, climbed on the low tyre barrier and flipped, throwing him heard-first against the base of an I-shaped concrete light pole; he landed on the sidewalk to the right of the circuit. His kart also hit the pole and bounced back, upside down, to the middle of the road. A large number of spectators invaded the circuit – some attempting to help Lopes, but most moved by sheer curiosity – and the event was immediately stopped.

Lopes was observed to be moving after the crash and even tried to stand up, but quickly lost consciousness. Rescue to Lopes was chaotic due to the crowd that surrounded the site of the accident. The unfortunate driver was taken by ambulance to Unidade Mista Francisco Chateaubriand, a local hospital, but suffered a cardiac and respiratory arrest before arrival. While at the UMFC his condition was determined to be critical, and doctors decided to transport him to Recife for better care. Lopes however passed away shortly later, while still at the UMFC. A 32-year old, he was a lieutenant with the Brazilian Army. Nicknamed “Animal” by his friends, Lopes was married and had a young daughter.

The fact that Lopes’ fatal accident occurred under an event held under such low levels of organization caused commotion. The day after the accident Waldner Bernardo, president of the Federação Pernambucana de Automobilismo (FPA), the state’s highest racing sanctioning body, issued a note informing that the race in Carpina was a “pirate race” that it had taken place without any approval or agreement by the FPA. Local authorities in Carpina confirmed that the race organizers – who had planned to repeat the event three months later, in September – applied to and received permission to run the event; however, the same authorities also stated that no validation or the organizers’ purported credentials with the FPA was carried out. The mayor of Carpina, Carlos Vicente de Arruda Silva, declared that “[We] allowed the use of the space [at Parque de Eventos Jota Cândido and the streets]because they [the race organizers]told us that they had an authorization of the Pernambuco Karting Association. I did not know this was a pirate event”. Maicon Ribeiro, Carpina Culture and Sports Secretary, used similar words, stating that the town simply allowed the organizers to use the fairground for the race – without verifying whether said organizers could or were able to run such an event. While Waldner Bernardo confirmed that Fernando Lopes did not a valid racing license, Adevandio Bastos, one of the organizers of the race in Carpina, declared in an interview to the website Superesportes that all that drivers that competed in the event had licenses issued by an “association” – but, when question, Bastos was not able to demonstrate the existence of these licenses. On 06 June the FPA announced its intent to sue the organizers of the Carpina Kart Racing. Meanwhile, the Carpina Police Department opened an investigation on the accident.

Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson of Montréal, a volunteer marshal at the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix, was killed when he was run over by a mobile crane. He was walking beside the crane while recovering the Sauber C32 – Ferrari of Esteban Gutiérrez who had hit a wall at the second bend of the track, with four laps to go.

The accident occurred on Sunday, 09 June 2013, shortly after the checkered flag waved to signal the end of the race, held at the “Circuit Gilles Villeneuve” in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The marshal fell in the path of the recovery vehicle that had lifted the damaged Sauber Formula 1 car to return it to the pits, after trying to retrieve his dropped radio. He was rushed to the circuit’s medical centre, and then transferred by helicopter to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montréal, where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after admission.

A member of the Automobile Club de l’Ile Notre Dame, Mark Robinson would have been turning 39 on 12 June 2013. He grew up in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Laurentides region, Québec, and moved to Montréal in the 1990s, working in logistics at UPS. A Formula 1 enthusiast, Robinson worked as a marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix for the last ten years.

Jason Leffler

Jason Leffler of Long Beach, CA began his career at the age of 12 in quarter midgets. From there he moved up to three-quarter midgets and ultimately midget racing. Leffler’s first full-time effort came in 1997 when he was crowned the USAC National Midget champion.

In the late 1990s, Leffler won three consecutive USAC Midget championships (1997-99). In 1998, Leffler won the USAC Silver Crown Championship in his first full season of competition in the series. He won major races like the Hut 100, Night Before the 500, and the Belleville Midget Nationals.

Leffler drove for Steve Lewis’ Nine Racing from 1997-2000, winning 11 times between 1998-2000. 1998 victories came at Louisville, Pikes Peak, I-70, and Manzanitta.

In pursuit of his third consecutive Midget title, Leffler captured the Copper World Classic from the pole. Leffler scored victories at Anderson, Mount Lawn, IRP, and the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale. Leffler became the first driver in 37 years to win three consecutive USAC Midget championships.

Leffler won three USAC Western States races and picked up two more wins at IRP in 2000.

In Steve Lewis’ #9, Leffler won the Copper World Classic USAC Midget feature from the pole at Phoenix International Raceway in 1999. Leffler won the Turkey Night Grand Prix later that season. He also won the race in 2005. He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

1999 was the year Leffler branched out beyond USAC as well. Leffler made his debut in three racing series: ARCA Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. On January 24th, Leffler’s IndyCar debut at Walt Disney World ended when he crashed out on lap two. Leffler finished fifth in his ARCA debut on November 20th at Atlanta. Leffler’s best finish in four NASCAR Nationwide Series starts was a 22nd at Richmond.

Leffler finished 17th in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.

In 2000, Leffler joined Joe Gibbs Racing to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (then called the Busch Series). At season’s end, Leffler recorded two top-5s, four top-10s and three poles. His best finish came at Phoenix, where he finished second after winning the pole.

2001 saw Leffler move up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (then called Winston Cup), driving the #01 Dodge for Chip Ganassi. Leffler captured the pole for the inaugural race at Kansas Speedway. A 10th place finish at Homestead was his best effort. It was his only top-10 finish in Sprint Cup. Leffler never completed another full season in Sprint Cup.

For the third time in as many seasons, Leffler found himself starting another NASCAR season with a new team and series. Leffler piloted Jim Smith’s #2 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (then called Craftsman Truck Series). The result was a career year for Leffler. He had 11 top-5s, 15 top-10s and won eight poles en route to a fourth place finish in the point standings. Leffler’s season starting position average was 3.9.

In 2003, Leffler won the CWTS race at Dover for his first NASCAR victory. In August, Leffler picked up a ride in Gene Haas’ Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars. A full-time Nationwide effort in 2004 was highlighted by Leffler’s first series win at Nashville Superspeedway.

For the 2005 season, Joe Gibbs Racing expanded to a third team, the #11 FedEx Chevrolet. Leffler was selected to drive the car. A fruitless effort only produced one top-15 finish and he was released mid-season. While still employed at JGR, he returned to the Nationwide Series at Daytona to drive for Braun Racing, after regular driver Shane Hmiel was indefinitely suspended for failing a drug test.

Leffler remained a driver for Todd Braun until the sale of the team to Steve Turner in 2010. The renamed Turner Motorsports retained Leffler for the 2011 season as well. With some stability around him as a full-time Nationwide driver, Leffler finished in the top-10 in point standings for five consecutive years (2007-11). 2007 was Leffler’s best season, finishing third in points. He won his second and final NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 28, 2007 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It marked Toyota’s first win in the series.

Leffler competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012. In nine starts, Leffler recorded six top-10s but was released by KBM in August.

Without a full-time NASCAR ride, Leffler returned to open wheel racing. He was slated to run his first season in a winged sprint car – the #13 Accudoc, ASE, Braun Auto car for Tom Buch Racing.

“I’ve got a lot of learning to do, Leffler said. “It’s cool to be able to race three times a week and figure things out. I’m really looking forward to racing at the historic places in PA and racing some of the best sprint car drivers out there” … I’m ready to get going and really looking forward to some real racing again.”

The team competed across several sanctioning bodies: 410 Sprint Car, All Star Circuit of Champions, MOWA and World of Outlaws. His best finish unofficially was a fifth-place finish at Susquehanna Speedway on May 12, 2013.

Leffler made his first NASCAR start of the season on Sunday, June 9th at Pocono Raceway driving the #19 Humphrey Smith Racing #19 Toyota. From 1999-2013, Leffler started 73 races in Sprint Cup, 294 in Nationwide and 56 in the Camping World Truck Series.

On June 12, 2013, Bridgeport Speedway, a 5/8-mile dirt oval in Swedesboro, NJ, was hosting the Night of Wings. The event featured a $7,000 to win, 25-lap feature for the 410 Sprint Cars.

Leffler, 37, of Huntersville, NC was running in second place in the first heat race, when something broke on his car. “The car veered towards the fence and hit the wall head on,” at 8:30 PM.

According to The Sporting News, “Leffler apparently had a mechanical failure…and hit the wall at least twice.” The car flipped multiple times. The racing event was suspended immediately. “a failed part on the front end likely caused the car to angle into the wall at a high speed.”

Leffler was “reportedly unconscious….and had suffered major injuries.” According to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman, Leffler was removed from the car; he was transported by Medivac helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, PA. He was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 9:02 PM.

According to state law, the accident is under investigation by the New Jersey State Police, who license intrastate racing facilities. Police said the accident included “a malfunction of the car.” The New Jersey State Police’s official Twitter account posted at 11:31 PM: “Logan Township, Bridgeport Speedway fatal accident victim I’d as Jason Leffler, 37, of Huntersville, N.C. Accident under investigation.”

“According to his team, Leffler was wearing a Simpson Hybrid head and neck restraint system.” An Instagram photo of Leffler from earlier in the season show him wearing a Simpson Hybrid Pro Silde head and neck restraint.

Dr. Fredric Hellman, the Delaware County (Pa.) Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on Thursday. The cause of death was “a blunt force neck injury caused by a head-whip-type motion.”

Prior to the completion of the state police’s investigation, ESPN’s David Newton cited “multiple safety experts” in stating that a “180-degree” full containment headrest could have reduced the injuries to Leffler. Leffler’s seat did have a “head flapper” side headrest. Lajoie said it was insufficient in a side impact.

During the lateral impact, his head did not maintain proper alignment with the rest of his body. The head and neck restraint stops forward motion but not lateral beyond “30 degrees.”

“There is nothing to stop it from doing that, Bill Simpson said. “That car that Leffler was driving, it did not have a 180-degree head surround like a [Sprint] Cup car has. When he crashed and landed on his side and stopped, his head kept going.”

Simpson has studied the head restraint that Leffler used. “There’s nothing wrong with that system. It’s good. But they don’t protect you after 30 degrees. You have to have some kind of a head support. Period.”

He was survived by his son, Charlie Dean Leffler and Charlie’s mother, Alison Courtney East (born: April 10, 1978). Alison married Jason in Hawaii on December 11, 2001. Charlie was born on August 16, 2007.

Emma Wilkinson

Emma Wilkinson, a British driver taking part in the 2013 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, and two by-passers were killed in a head-on crash which occurred on a Siberian road near the small village of Golyshmanovo, around 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of Tyumen, Tyumen Oblast, Russia.

It happened at approximately 13h40 on Wednesday, 12 June 2013, on the third week of the classic and vintage car rally, during a 674-kilometer displacement stage from Omsk to Tyumen.

While traveling along the E22 federal motorway, which was described locally as very dangerous, towards the next checkpoint located at Tyumen, the 1970 Chevrolet C10 pick-up #92 driven by Emma Wilkinson was hit head-on by a Volkswagen Polo coming at speed from the opposite direction. According to eyewitnesses reports, the driver of the private car could have fallen asleep moments before careering across the road into the path of the oncoming Chevrolet. Traffic was very light at the moment and no skid marks were found on the asphalt.

Emma Wilkinson was killed almost instantly, her partner and co-driver Peter Davies, was unscathed. Two of the three occupants of the other car, all members of the same family, lost their lives. A 32-year-old man and his three-months-old daughter from Khanti-Mansiyskiy autonomous region, which names were not released, died on the spot. Another female passenger, 29, who sustained critical injuries was rushed to the hospital in grave condition.

Emma Wilkinson, 46, from Brigstock, Northamptonshire, was survived by her son and a daughter. She was a retired Virgin stewardess at her racing debut in the endurance rally for historic, in which also her two brothers Robert and Mark Wilkinson were participating, in a 1926 Bentley 6.5 Tourer.

This was the 5th edition of the Peking to Paris marathon, which route started from Peking, China, on 28 May 2013, alternating displacements at a specified speed limit on the open roads and timed sections, through the Gobi Desert, to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia; then into Siberia, westwards to Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Samara, and Kiev, Ukraine; then from Bratislava, Slovakia, towards Schladming, Austria, Gstaad, Switzerland, and Troyes, France, to the finish line in Paris, France, on 29 June 2013.

Robert Hanneman

Robert Hanneman was killed in a crash at Blackhawk Farms Raceway

Sébastien Clouzeau

Sébastien Clouzeau, 38, from Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, northern France, died from injuries sustained two days before in a crash which happened on Sunday, 16 June 2013, during a Trophée F3 Classic race held at Spa-Francorchamps.

He lost control of his light blue and white 1984 Martini MK42 – Alfa Romeo #19, former Pierre-Henri Raphanel’s car, and crashed at Raidillion, on the last lap of the second Formula 3 heat of the meeting. The car hit the left wall at high speed and bounced into the rail on the right side of the track. Sébastien Clouzeau suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to Liège hospital, where he was in an induced coma until his death, on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 late morning.

The race was the third round of the 2013 Trophée F3 Classic, an international series sanctioned by FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile), and reserved to pre-1985 Formula 3 single-seaters.

A regular on the F3 Classic Association since 2009, Sébastien Clouzeau had already raced at Spa-Francorchamps in 2010. Place of birth not confirmed.

Jeffery Bower

Formula Vee driver Jeffrey Bower, 70-year-old from Chester, New York, lost his life during practice for a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) regional race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, United States.

The one-car accident occurred at about 14h30 on Friday, 21 June 2013. According to eyewitnesses reports, Jeffrey Bower’s single-seater failed to slow down on the approach to a corner, ran off course and crashed into a barrier. Bower was taken to a local hospital and died shortly afterwards.

A SCCA member since 1990, Jeffrey Bower was an experienced driver who competed in races throughout the northeastern United States tracks.

Allan Simonsen

The 90th anniversary running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was overshadowed by the fatal accident of Allan Simonsen. He was critically injured when his car crashed at Tertre Rouge in the third lap of the race. Simonsen died shortly after arrival at the circuit Medical Center. He was in his seventh consecutive appearance as a driver at the 24-hour classic.

One of the world’s leading GT drivers and among the most prolific, in recent years Allan Simonsen took part in 30 to 40 races a season, competing in the European GT championships as well as in the Australian V8 Supercar series. Born in Odense, Denmark, in 1978, he started working as a mechanic. Simonsen took up on racing karts at the age of 11, before progressing to cars in 1999, when he drove a Formula Ford 1600 Van Diemen RF99 , winning the Danish championship. He moved to England in 2000 to race in Formula Palmer Audi and the following year he competed in the British Formula Renault Championship and in the German Formula 3 series, driving a Dallara F300 – Opel for Van Amersfoort Racing. However, due to the lack of money his promising single-seater career came to an end, and Simonsen focused his attention on GT car racing, first in UK, joining the Veloqx Motorsport team and driving a Ferrari 360 in the 2002 British GT Championship.

In 2003 Simonsen settled in Australia, where the Danish driver became almost an adopted Australian, competing for a number of years in different categories, always with success. He raced in the Australian V8 Supercars series, driving a Holden Commodore entered by Team GRM, and also in the Australian Nations Cup GT Championship, winning the title in 2007 and finishing second in 2008, in a Ferrari F430. As a multi-purpose driver, he even had a full season of the utes pick-up series in 2005 and in 2007 he participated in a few rounds of the Australian Rally Championship, at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.

A cheerful character and a brilliant talent, the list of teams for which Allan Simonsen competed is large. Back to Europe, he had his debut in the Le Mans Endurance Series, driving a Porsche 996RS for the Italian team Autorlando Sport, then he drove a Ferrari 430 for Team JMB in the European FIA GT3 Championship. In 2007 he scored a remarkable GT2 class win, 25th place overall, in the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring, sharing with Britain’s Robert Bell the Ferrari F430 of Virgo Motorsport.

Simonsen made seven consecutive starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having his debut in 2007 when he finished 3rd of the GT2 class, 25th place overall in a Porsche 997 GT3-RSR, with fellow countryman Lars-Erik Nielsen and Pierre Ehret of Germany as team mates. He joined Team Hankook/Farnbacher, driving their Ferrari 430 GT2 in the Le Mans Endurance Series and other international sportscar events, from 2008 through 2011. Paired with Dominik Farnbacher, Allan Simonsen obtained a class win in the 1000 Km of Okayama in 2009 and the following year he won the SP7 class in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, sharing the car once again with Farnbacher, Marco Seefried and Lehman Keen, winning also the 2009 Asian Le Mans Series title. Simonsen, with Farnbacher and Keen achieved another podium finish au Mans in 2010, coming home 2nd in the GT2 class, 12th place overall.

Among his Australian career highlights, was a third place in the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama, state of New South Wales, in 2011, setting also the best lap of the race. Simonsen drove the Holden Commodore for Kelly Racing, with Greg Murphy as team mate. He kept on racing for different teams in Australia and Europe in 2012. Driving a Ferrari 458 Italia GTE Pro for Jim McWhirter’s team JMW Motorsport in the European Le Mans Series, Simonsen was leading his class and should have won the title, but missed the final round of the season because of his Australian commitments. He also raced a Lamborghini Gallardo in the Australian Production Car Championship, and an Audi R8 LMS GT3 entered by WRT Racing Team in the VLN Nürburgring series. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans Simonsen shared a semi-works Aston Martin Vantage V8 owned by Jim McWhirter, with Dane team mates Christoffer Nygaard an Kristian Poulsen, in the GTE Am category of race-prepared road cars, but they did not finish the race.

In 2013 Allan Simonsen signed for a full season in the World Endurance Championship, driving the team JMW’s Aston Martin Vantage V8 with fellow Danes Nygaard and Poulsen in the GTE Am class. The category mixed pro and amateur drivers and Simonsen was the top professional in his strong all-Danish crew. They won the GTE Am class, 19th place overall, at the season opener 6 Hours of Silverstone on 14 April, and three weeks later the Aston Martin Vantage V8 #95 finished runner-up in class, one lap behind the Ferrari F458 Italia of Matteo Malucelli-Vicente Potolicchio-Rui Aguas. The next round was the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 22 and 23 June 2013.

At Le Mans Allan Simonsen who was at his seventh Circuit de la Sarthe start, was among the favorites to finish highly over the 24-hour race, and qualified the car on pole in the GTE Am class. Came race day, and after only nine minutes of racing with a threat of rain, Simonsen who was first in his class, started his fourth lap. His Aston Martin went out of control at the Tertre Rouge corner, the fast bend that leads into Les Hunaudières straight, and shifted sharply to the left at high speed, after running wide and over the wet blue kerbs. The car went over the 25-meter paved run-off area and crashed violently against the unprotected barrier, on the driver’s door. The very bent monocoque with the side of the car open, bounced almost on the path of the oncoming drivers, while a tyre coming off the front left wheel and rolling across the track. According to an on-board footage from Gimmi Bruni’s Ferrari, following immediately behind Simonsen at the time of the crash, another AF Corse’s Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Toni Vilander skidded right round in a separate incident just seconds earlier at the same corner. The evidence suggests that this car possibly was instrumental, but not the cause of Allan Simonsen’s crash.

The driver was extracted from the wreck several minutes later while yellow flags were shown at that section on the track. In a serious condition, Simonsen was transferred to the Circuit Medical Centre, but despite the efforts of the doctors, the Dane died from his injuries shortly after his arrival.

After the accident the organizers deployed a safety car, which remained on track for almost 50 minutes, to enable the marshals to clean the accident and to rebuild a long stretch of destroyed guardrail. The Aston Martin Racing’s principal, David Richards decided to keep on racing with the other four cars of the team across the two GTE Pro and Am classes, at the request of the family, and in tribute to Allan Simonsen. He was the first race fatality at Le Mans since 16 years. In 1997 the Frenchman Sébastien Enjolras lost his life during a pre-qualifying run (Essais Préliminaires), at the wheel of a WR LM97 – Peugeot.

Allan Simonsen was 34-year-old. He was survived by his partner Carina and their daughter Mie-Mai, born in 2012.

Wolf Silvester

Two-time VLN champion Wolfgang Dess, 55-year-old industrialist from Nürnberg, Bayern, Germany, who raced under the nom de course of Wolf Silvester, died from a suspected heart attack, during the third round of the 2013 VLN Nürburgring Long Track Championship, held on Saturday, 22 June 2013.

Wolf Silvester apparently lost control of his Opel Astra OPC #350 during the race. The car then angled back across the track and parked itself gently on the roadside, at the Schwalbenschwanz. When the marshals approached the stopped car, they found the driver sitting motionless in the seat. The emergency crew vainly tried to resuscitate him on the way to the circuit’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by the chief medical officer.

The VLN Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (Nürburgring Long Track Championship), called “Veedol-Cup” between 1977 and 2000, and “BF Goodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft (BFGLM)” between 2001 and 2009, is composed exclusively of races held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife plus grand prix circuit.

A regular in the series since many years, Wolf Silvester raced for team Bonk Motorsport. Paired with Mario Merten, he won the overall title in 2006 in a BMW 318IS, and in 2010 in a BMW Z4. In 2012 Wolf Silvester won his class in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. In 2013 he shared with his team mate and old friend Merten an Opel Astra OPC entered in the Klasse VLN-Cup-Fahrzeuge 1 – Opel Astra OPC Cup.

After the incident, the event was stopped. Winners of the race were Ferdinand Stuck-Johannes Stuck-Frank Stippler in the Audi R8 LMS ultra entered by Phoenix Racing.

Vadym Nesterchuk

Vadym Nesterchuk, 42, was a prominent Ukrainian race car driver and businessman, founder and first driver of the Sixt Ukraine team, the first Ukrainian rally team to compete in the world’s prestigious cross country raids, including the Dakar Rally, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Rallye des Pharaons.

In 2013 the Sixt Ukraine team filed an entry for Vadym Nesterchuk in the 5th edition of the Silk Way Rally, the international marathon rally to be held from 05 to 13 July 2013 in Russian territory, under the aegis of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Russian Automobile Federation.

Almost two weeks before the start of the rally, Vadym Nesterchuk was testing his Mitsubishi L200 on a desert course in the United Arab Emirates, on the northern edge of Rub’ al Khali, one of the largest deserts in the world. During his second testing day, Nesterchuk had an accident and his car got stuck in quicksand, near the Liwa Oasis, about 150 kilometers south-west of the city of Abu Dhabi. Nesterchuk and his Pakistani co-driver by the name of Ali, vainly tried to dig it out, and the driver decided to walk to the nearest village for help.

According to a Sixt Ukraine team’s member report, they received GPS coordinates of the site, sent by Nesterchuk. Unfortunately, the rescue team which started from a camp more than 70 kilometers away, did not arrive in time, Vadym Nesterchuk was already dead.

Given the extreme conditions, Nesterchuk died in the desert. The rescue team that located him on Monday, 24 June 2013, found his body lying on the roadside. The distance from the place of accident to the road was only about 10 kilometers and Vadym Nesterchuk managed to reach it, but then he fell down unconscious. The preliminary cause of Nesterchuk’s death was dehydration, caused by the 50-degree heat.

Shortly later the rescuers reached the racing car parked in the desert, and saved the life of Pakistani co-driver Ali. He said that Nesterchuk had left to him all the water, having taken with himself only a small bottle, while walking towards the road.

A native of Kalynivka, in Vinnyts’ka region, Ukraina, Vadym Nesterchuk was survived by his wife and two children. He made four starts in the Dakar Rally, the first of which in 2009, riding a quad. His career’s best finish occurred in 2011 when he was 35th overall, driving the Sixt Ukraine’s Mitsubishi, becoming the first Ukrainian to do so. Nesterchuk headed the car rental company Optima-leasing since ten years and also owned the “Paris — Dakar Restaurant”, in Kyiv, Ukraina.

Andrea Mamé

Immediately after the flying start of the first Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race, at Paul Ricard at 09h20 on Sunday, 30 June 2013, a serious five-car accident caused the race to be red-flagged.

While running in the middle of the field two cars collided along the main straight at a speed of about 200 km/h. Andrea Solimè #10 left front end hooked the right rear of Andrea Mamé #11 and both cars swerved to the right, crashing hard into the wall near the end of the pit line. Three other drivers were involved in the accident, Vaclav Petch #77, Tomas Kral #88 and Dario Cerati #33. Solimé’s car was broken in two on the impact, the others were badly damaged.

A few seconds later medical and safety teams were on the scene to attend to the drivers involved. All five drivers were taken to the Medical Centre of the circuit for assessment. One of them, Andrea Mamé, 41, from Milan, Italy, suffered critical injuries from which he later succumbed.

The event was the 4th round of the 2013 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe, reserved to Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo race cars, driven by gentlemen racers divided into the amateur and pro-amateur classes.

Andrea Solimè also from Italy, sustained a fractured vertebra and was transferred by helicopter to the Sainte-Musse hospital, in Toulon. After the accident, the race was immediately stopped and the organizers decided that the remainder of the day’s Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series events were canceled.

A motor-racing enthusiast, a talented amateur driver and a well known steel industrialist, Andrea Mamé raced for Team Bonaldi in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo since 2011, with fellow racer Mirko Zanardini as team mate; the pair were in 2nd position of the AM Class in the 2013 standings of the series, before the Paul Ricard round. Andrea Mamé was the chairman and CEO of the Mame Group he had founded in 2009, and one of the owners of the Autodromo Franciacorta race track in Castrezzato, province of Brescia, Italy.

Paul Mulcahy

Irish rally driver Paul Mulcahy passed away following injuries received in an accident that occurred during the Carrick-on-Suir Ravens Rock Stages Rally. It happened around 13h30 on Sunday, 30 June 2013.

Organized by the Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club, the rally was the 5th round of the 2013 Republic of Ireland’s Dunlop National Rally Championship. After the accident, the remainder of the event was cancelled as a mark of respect.

An experienced member of the Irish rallying circuit, Paul Mulcahy lost control of his Toyota Starlet #16, during the approximately 10 miles long fourth special stage of the rally. The car crashed into a stone wall on the road between Kill and Carroll’s Cross, west of the small town of Waterford, province of Munster in the South-East Region of Ireland. Mulcahy was pronounced dead later at Waterford Regional Hospital. His co-driver Kevin Power sustained minor injuries.

Paul Mulcahy worked as a panel-beater at Mulhearne’s Garage in Mahonbridge, Waterford. He was reported to be from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland; it has not yet been determined if he was born or just resided there. He was survived by his wife Fiona and their first son, born just two months before; his parents Tony and Breda Mulcahy, one brother and one sister.

Lawren Jones

An experienced drag racer and former NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car competitor, Lawren Jones, 59, succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident which happened on Friday, 05 July 2013, at the Albuquerque Dragway in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.

Lawren Jones was known in the area as a talented racing driver and an accomplished mechanic who built and tuned his cars. He was at the Albuquerque Dragway for the second consecutive day, making testing and licensing passes after several years of retirement. Jones was excited to get back to the track at the wheel of his black painted 1955 Chevrolet Nomad “Lil Mad” Pro Modified car.

During a high-speed run, Jones lost control of his car which rolled several times, and went over a barrier. He was travelling at an estimated speed of 200 mi/h (322 km/h). Seriously injured, he was transported by helicopter to an Albuquerque hospital, where he later passed away.

James McIntosh

The accident that claimed the life of rally co-driver James McIntosh, 40, occurred during the 14th special stage of the International Rally of Queensland, in the Imbil State Forest on the Sunshine Coast, Gympie Region, Queensland, Australia, some 160 kilometres (99 miles) north of the state capital, Brisbane.

It happened on Sunday, 14 July 2013. The Subaru Impreza Sti #40 entered by Brecknell Engineering & Welding, driven by Grant Brecknell, 45, from Bunya, Brisbane, went out of control on a fast section of the special stage. It rolled several times and slid down a steep embankment crashing among the trees. Grant Brecknell was taken by helicopter to Royal Brisbane Hospital with serious chest and spinal injuries. His co–driver James McIntosh was killed on the spot.

The pair were competing in the Queensland Rally Championship division of the international event, which was the third round of the 2013 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. Organized by the Brisbane Sporting Car Club Ltd (BSCC), the first edition of the rally was held in 1968.

James McIntosh was reported to be of Middle Park, a western suburb of Brisbane, Queensland; it is unclear whether he was a native or a resident of that town.

Kramer Williamson

Sprint Car legend and racing veteran Kramer Williamson, 63, died following a crash that occurred during a URC-United Racing Company 358/360 Sprint Car Challenge heat-race at Lincoln Speedway, in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, 03 August 2013.

Known as “Pink Panther”, Williamson was driving his familiar pink #73 car, when he touched wheels with another competitor and crashed into the outside wall at turn 2 of the high-banked clay oval. The car climbed high over the fence before bouncing onto the track, and flipping several times. Severely injured, he was airlifted to the York Hospital, where he underwent surgery but passed away on Sunday, 04 August 2013 afternoon.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Kramer Williamson resided in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. During his racing career which spanned over four decades, he competed successfully with USAC, IMCA and the WoO, and was a multiple URC Champion. It is believed he was the driver with most URC main event wins in history. Williamson won races at 33 different tracks in nine States, plus Australia and Canada.

This was reported to be the first fatality at the Lincoln Speedway since 1975, when Steve Howard lost his life after a sprint car accident.

Mike Stevens

Robert Michael “Mike” Stevens died in the aftermath of a four-car crash at the Oyster Bed Speedway in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Queens County, Canada.

The accident occurred about 23h20 on Saturday night, 03 August 2013, during the Parts For Trucks Pro Stock Tour feature race. The event was a round of the 2013 Maritime Pro Stock Tour series that was being held at the 1/4-mile paved oval track. On 98th of the 100-lap race, following a restart after a caution flag, a group of drivers in the middle of the pack got tangled up on the third turn. Mike Stevens who closely followed tried to avoid the wreck by turning his black #4 Chevrolet to the outside. But the car went up the wall and onto its side before flipping onto its roof, coming to rest upside down on track.

According to eyewitness reports, it did not seem a hard impact. Stevens was apparently uninjured and responding over radio, while marshals waving a red flag for drivers to stop. The race was not resumed.

The emergency crews rushed to the scene, but suddenly things deteriorated. After having removed his helmet and HANS device while he was still hanging upside down, the driver released the safety harness. He fell from the seat, landing on the roof with his head in a position that prevented him from breathing. The rescuers could not reach him before he suffocated. Stevens was removed from the scene by ambulance and taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in nearby Charlottetown, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. It is believed that other factors may have also played a part in the tragedy, including the fact that several other cars had to be cleared away for emergency workers to get Stevens out of the wreckage.

Hailing from Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada, where he worked as a site foreman with Dobbelsteyn Service & Maintenance, Mike Stevens was 30-year-old. He was married for four years with his wife Sharon and had two small sons, Brody and David. A popular racer, Stevens first got behind the wheel of a car at the age of 15. Having his father, his uncles and a number of longtime friends on his pit crew, Mike competed in the Maritime Pro Stock Tour series for eight years, scoring three outright wins in the previous three seasons, and 23 top-ten finishes, placing as high as eighth in the overall season standings. In 2013 Stevens had won a feature race at Riverside International Speedway, located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, and ranked 16th in points before his fatal race.

This was reported to be the first fatality in the Maritime Pro Stock Tour series, formerly known as Maritime Association of Stock Car Racers (MASCAR), since 1984, whenDebbie Hallahan lost her life at Riverside International Speedway.

Ina Schaarschmidt

Considered to be the best female team of the German rallying scene, rally-woman Janina Depping, 34 and her co-driver Ina Schaarschmidt, aged 29, lost their lives as a consequence of a horrific accident that occurred during the 2013 Rallye Wartburg. This was the 54th edition of the event, third round of the 2013 Deutsche Rallye Series, held in the town of Eisenach, Thüringen, Germany.

It happened around 19h00 on Saturday, 10 August 2013. While travelling at high speed, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX #14 of Depping-Schaarschmidt went out of control during the fifth special stage of the rally “Glasbach”, between the villages of Steinbach and Brotterod, Thüringen. The car left the road, crashed backwards into a tree and caught fire.

Ina Schaarschmidt was so badly injured in the crash that she died at the scene. Janina Depping sustained a broken arm and severe burns, she was flown in critical condition to the Uniklinik hospital in Jena, Thüringen. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries four days later, at about 12h00 on Wednesday, 14 August 2013.

After the accident, the special stage was immediately stopped, and the remainder of the stages were canceled with immediate effect by rally organizers Motorsport Club Eisenach.

Born in 1984 at Leubsdorf, Sachsen, Ina Schaarschmidt worked as a nurse in a hospital in Bayreuth, in northern Bavaria, Germany. She started her career in 2009, competing in twelve rallies in northern Bavaria, scoring a class victory. Co-driving to Ludwig Holnburger in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, in 2010 Ina Schaarschmidt finished 11th overall in the ADAC 3-Städte Rallye. In 2011 she raced alongside Heinz-Otto Sagel in a Seat Leon FR TDi, and with Leonie Stiem in a Ford Puma, before joining the experienced Janina Depping near the end of the year.

The two women raced together the whole 2012 season. They took part in several rounds of the German Rally Championship, scoring remarkable results such as a 2nd place in the ADMV Wedemark Rallye, and 8th in the ADMV Rallye Erzgebirge.

In January of 2013 Ina Schaarschmidt was invited by Aaron Burkart to share his Lancia Delta Integrale in the Jänner Rallye in Austria, then a round of the European Rally Championship. Back home, she returned to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX of her close friend Janina Depping. After 8th place overall in the Sachsen Rallye in May, the Wartburg Rally scheduled from 09/11 August 2013 was only the second start of the female team during the year.

Todd Delaney

Competing in a demolition derby at the Gaston Lions Club Fair, Todd Delaney had just broken his flag stick to indicate that he was out of the race, when he slumped over the steering wheel. The car continued on and crashed into a wall.

Delaney was found to be not breathing, and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in nearby Muncie. He had been suffering from emphysema and had significant coronary artery disease. The coroner ruled that death was from cardiac arrest.

A resident of Muncie, Delaney had formerly lived in Missouri. The son of Doyle W. and Susan D. (Melvin) Delaney, Todd had served in the US Army during Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He had worked for 18 years for General Motors, most recently at their plant in Fort Wayne, IN.

Todd Delaney was survived by his wife, Debra L. Delaney of Muncie; one daughter, Amy Delaney; three sons, A.J. King, Christopher King and Seth Brian Delaney (fiancée, Stefanie Jeffries); one grandson, William Clayton Nathaniel Delaney – expected the end of August; his mother, Susan D. Delaney of Lebanon, OH; his father, Duke Delaney (wife, Pat) of St. David, AZ; one brother, Tim Delaney (wife, Pam) of Fredericksburg, VA; and one sister, Elizabeth “Betsy” Collins (husband, Andrew) of Lebanon, OH.

After services at Meeks Mortuary with full military honors, Todd Delaney’s body was cremated.

Janina Depping

Considered to be the best female team of the German rallying scene, rally-woman Janina Depping, 34 and her co-driver Ina Schaarschmidt, aged 29, lost their lives as a consequence of a horrific accident that occurred during the 2013 Rallye Wartburg. This was the 54th edition of the event, third round of the 2013 Deutsche Rallye Series, held in the town of Eisenach, Thüringen, Germany.

It happened around 19h00 on Saturday, 10 August 2013. While travelling at high speed, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX #14 of Depping-Schaarschmidt went out of control during the fifth special stage of the rally “Glasbach”, between the villages of Steinbach and Brotterod, Thüringen. The car left the road, crashed backwards into a tree and caught fire.

Ina Schaarschmidt was so badly injured in the crash that she died at the scene. Janina Depping sustained a broken arm and severe burns, she was flown in critical condition to the Uniklinik hospital in Jena, Thüringen. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries four days later, at about 12h00 on Wednesday, 14 August 2013.

After the accident, the special stage was immediately stopped, and the remainder of the stages were canceled with immediate effect by rally organizers Motorsport Club Eisenach.

An experienced rally-woman from Hannover, Germany, Janina Depping had her debut at the age of 18, driving a Suzuki Swift 1300. She was raised into a family of rally lovers, her father Bernd Depping competed in the German Rally Championship in the early 1980s, after which he promoted the career of his younger brother Dieter Depping, who became one of the greatest rallymen of his country, winning three times the German Rally Championship between 1992 and 1994, and later working as a test driver for the Volkswagen Motorsport team. Janina Depping won the Coupe des Dames two years in a row at the Rallye Sanremo, Italy, in 1997 with Taanja Hartjen, in a Ford Escort Cosworth and in 1998, with Regine Rausch in a Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo V. Then she obtained several individual successes in the German Rally Championship, including an overall victory in the Hunsrück Junior Rally in 1999, at the wheel of a Proton Wira Group N. She also competed in the German Rallycross Championship. In the mid-2000s she drove with considerable success a Mitsubishi Lancer taking part in the German Rally Championship. She finished 7th in points in 2006 and in the German Rally Series she was 2nd in the Independents’ Trophy.

Since 2007, she became a regular in the German Rally Championship and the German Rally Series, also competing occasionally in World Rally Championship events. Among the female rally co-drivers who raced alongside Janina Depping were Susanna Moufang, Sabrina Beier, Susanne Krämer, Claudia Güttler and Ina Schaarschmidt, who became her faithful co-driver by the end of 2011.

The two women raced together the whole 2012 season. They took part in several rounds of the German Rally Championship, scoring remarkable results such as a 2nd place in the ADMV Wedemark Rallye, and 8th in the ADMV Rallye Erzgebirge.

In January of 2013 Ina Schaarschmidt was invited by Aaron Burkart to share his Lancia Delta Integrale in the Jänner Rallye in Austria, then a round of the European Rally Championship. Back home, she returned to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX of her close friend Janina Depping. After 8th place overall in the Sachsen Rallye in May, the Wartburg Rally scheduled from 09/11 August 2013 was only the second start of the female team during the year.

Janina Depping was a member of the organizing commitee of the rally Wedemark. As a consequence of her death, the 2013 edition of the event, scheduled on 31 August, was canceled. She was survived by her husband Marcus Hesse whom she had married on the last weekend of July 2013.

Greg Pitts

Veteran 52-year-old UMP Modified driver Gregory Allan Pitts, “Greg” Pitts as he was known, passed away on Saturday, 17 August 2013 evening, at IU Health Blackford Hospital in Hartford City, Indiana. He had suffered health complications at the Montpelier Motor Speedway, in Montpelier, Indiana, whilst competing in his bright yellow #22 UMP Modified car, that went out of control and crashed.

Greg Pitts was born on 21 June 1961 in Noblesville, Indiana, and was a resident of Sheridan, Indiana. A 1979 graduate of Sheridan High School, he worked as a mechanic for R&T Auto in Sheridan, a Service Writer for Don Hinds Ford, a truck driver for Cripe Trucking Co. of North Manchester, Indiana, as well as working in the construction trade with Sanders Construction. He was survived by his parents Harold and Marcia (née Fancher) Pitts, and his brothers, Charles David Pitts and Jeffrey L. Pitts. He is interred at Crown View Cemetery in Sheridan, Indiana, United States.

One week after his death, an UMP Modified race titled as “Greg Pitts Memorial Race” was held at Montpelier Motor Speedway. The United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) began sanctioning UMP Late Model and UMP Modified cars in 1984.

Rob de Vos

Dutch competitors Rob de Vos and Marcel Benning lost their lives in an accident which occurred during the 2013 Rallye Deutschland historic support exhibition.

It happened around 12h00 on Saturday, 24 August 2013, along the eleventh special stage “Arena Panzerplatte 1”, in Landkreis Birkenfeld, Rheinland-Pfalz, 60 kilometers east of Trier, south-western Germany. The special stage, located on a disused military base that was designed for tank warfare training, consisted of many hills and tight bends. The teams that took part in the non-competitive vintage car demonstration programme, followed the stages of the Rallye Deutschland in the same course of the World Rally Championship event.

While passing over the famous “Sprungkuppe Gina” jump, near the village of Baumholder, the 1980 Triumph TR7 of Rob de Vos and his co-driver Marcel Benning, reg. plate 81-YB-90, went out of control after hitting a rock. The car that sported the race number C23 on its doors, left the track on the left side, slid into a group of trees and overturned. Despite the best efforts of the emergency crews who were on the scene immediately, both the occupants of the car succumbed to their injuries. It was necessary to cut off the roof of the car to extract them.

Both the deceased men were from Limburg region, Netherlands. A Schinveld native, Robert Josephus Maria de Vos, mostly known as “Rob” de Vos, 43, was survived by his partner Monique Goudemont. His co-driver Marcel Benning was born in Brunssum in 1965, and was survived by his wife Petra (née Hellenbrand) and his daughter Laura.

The first reports indicated that even a spectator was involved in the accident, with fatal consequences; this proved to be incorrect. The rally organizer cancelled the second passage of Arena Panzerplatte, scheduled in the evening of that same day, and the rally cars were re-routed back to the park of attendance at Trier. The competition resumed on Sunday, according to its original itinerary.

Marcel Benning

Dutch competitors Rob de Vos and Marcel Benning lost their lives in an accident which occurred during the 2013 Rallye Deutschland historic support exhibition.

It happened around 12h00 on Saturday, 24 August 2013, along the eleventh special stage “Arena Panzerplatte 1”, in Landkreis Birkenfeld, Rheinland-Pfalz, 60 kilometers east of Trier, south-western Germany. The special stage, located on a disused military base that was designed for tank warfare training, consisted of many hills and tight bends. The teams that took part in the non-competitive vintage car demonstration programme, followed the stages of the Rallye Deutschland in the same course of the World Rally Championship event.

While passing over the famous “Sprungkuppe Gina” jump, near the village of Baumholder, the 1980 Triumph TR7 of Rob de Vos and his co-driver Marcel Benning, reg. plate 81-YB-90, went out of control after hitting a rock. The car that sported the race number C23 on its doors, left the track on the left side, slid into a group of trees and overturned. Despite the best efforts of the emergency crews who were on the scene immediately, both the occupants of the car succumbed to their injuries. It was necessary to cut off the roof of the car to extract them.

Both the deceased men were from Limburg region, Netherlands. A Schinveld native, Robert Josephus Maria de Vos, mostly known as “Rob” de Vos, 43, was survived by his partner Monique Goudemont. His co-driver Marcel Benning was born in Brunssum in 1965, and was survived by his wife Petra (née Hellenbrand) and his daughter Laura.

The first reports indicated that even a spectator was involved in the accident, with fatal consequences; this proved to be incorrect. The rally organizer cancelled the second passage of Arena Panzerplatte, scheduled in the evening of that same day, and the rally cars were re-routed back to the park of attendance at Trier. The competition resumed on Sunday, according to its original itinerary.

Gennaro Laudato

Gennaro Laudato never recovered from his huge crash which happened on 17 August 2008, during the Svolte di Popoli hillclimb, and died of cardiac arrest five years later, on Wednesday, 04 September 2013. He was 59.

The event, held in the village of Popoli, province of Pescara, Italy, was a round of the 2008 TIVM – Trofeo Italiano Velocità Montagna (Italian Hillclimb Trophy). On the approach to the second U-turn of the 7.5-kilometer course, less than one kilometer after the start, the red painted Seat Ibiza TDI #35 of Gennaro Laudato, then aged 54, went out of control, hitting a small wall on the left side. The vehicle then bounced back on track, crashing backwards into the barrier at the outside of the bend, being badly damaged. It is believed that the car experienced brake problems before crashing.
br> The driver was found unconscious by rescuers and was taken to Popoli hospital. Several hours later he was transferred by helicopter to the Neurochirurgia unit of the Avezzano hospital. Gennaro Laudato suffered cranial traumatism and internal injuries. He remained in a coma for several weeks and returned home after numerous months of rehabilitation.

Hailing from Cava dei Tirreni, province of Salerno, Italy, Gennaro Laudato was a very popular racer among spectators and fellow racers alike, and his death was a huge blow to the Italian hillclimbing community.

Bill Reimer

Bill Reimer’s car left the racing surface after a crash at Emo Speedway. Rescuers found him unresponsive in his car and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. He was a resident of Vermillion Bay, ON, Canada where he lived with his wife Teena and three children. He owning a trucking firm.

Reimer was predeceased by his parents, Klass and Frieda Reimer; a daughter, Kendra; and two brothers. Burial was in Waldhof Cemetery near Dryden, ON.

Steve Jewell

The “Seaman Memorial Trophies Race Meeting”, organized by the VSCC-Vintage Sports Car Club, was marred by the death of competitor Steve Jewell who succumbed to the injuries sustained in his earlier practice accident. It happened on Sunday, 29 September 2013 morning, on the 2-mile Snetterton “200” circuit. The meeting was the final circuit racing event of the 2013 VSCC calendar.

Racing enthusiast Steve Jewell was driving a 1924 Bugatti T35B #66 in a qualifying session for the 5th of the 12 events of the day, the 10-lap Race for pre-1941 Standard & Modified racing cars. He touched wheels with the ERA R4D #14 driven by Mac Hulbert, and sustained severe head injuries when his car left the track and impacted with the crash barriers.

The driver was thrown out of his car and lost his helmet in the accident. Steve Jewell was treated by the circuit’s medical services team, that reached him in a matter of seconds, and then transferred by ambulance to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries shortly after admission.

A father of three, Steve Jewell, 62-year-old businessman from Uckinghall, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was an experienced competitor in many disciplines and a prominent figure within the historic motorsport community. A long-time member of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, he was chairman of the “Print for Design” company in Cheltenham.

Jan Jinderle, Jr.

The Rally P?íbram, final round of the 2013 Czech Rally Championship, was prematurely ended as a consequence of a fatal accident which occurred during the second special stage of the event.

The tragedy happened shortly after 10h00 on Saturday, 05 October 2013, when the Škoda Fabia S2000 #37 of the Czech team Ji?í Máša-Jan Jinderle, Jr. went out of control in the village of Luh, near B?l?ice, in the South Bohemian Region of Czech Republic. The car left the road at estimate speed of 125 km/h (77 mi/h) and crashed into a tree.

The driver Ji?í Máša escaped unscathed, his 22-year-old co-driver Jan Jinderle, Jr. was seriously injured. His condition was severe enough for a rescue helicopter to be called to quickly evacuate him to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries before the arrival of the emergence crews.

After the accident the 9.24-kilometer special stage Milín – Bohostice was immediately stopped and the remainder of the rally’s stages were canceled. No championship points were assigned, and Václav Pech–Petr Uhel who were leading the standings before the start of the Rally P?íbram, became the 2013 Czech Rally Champions, beating their best opponent team, the Škoda factory drivers Jan Kopecký-Pavel Dresler recently crowned European Rally Champions.

Carl Lagae

Belgian rally driver Car Lagae, 36, was killed during the 33rd edition of the Rally T.B.R. organized by Team Bassin Roeselare, in Roeselare, Belgium. He was competing in the historic class of the event, which was part of the Vlaamse AutoSportfederatie (VAS) – Historic Rally-Rallysprint Regional Championship.

The accident happened at about 13h40 on Sunday, 13 October 2013, rain fell steadily during the day. Carl Lagae was leading the rally, at the wheel of his Ford Escort Mk2 #219, which he prepared by himself. Suddenly he lost control of his car on the slippery road, during the fifth special stage of the rally, near the small town of Moorslede, in the Flemish province of West Flanders, Belgium. The car left the road and hit a tree. Crushed by the car’s roof, Lagae died almost immediately. His wife Bianca Boddaert, who acted as his co-driver, was taken to Ypres hospital with non life-threatening injuries as a result of the accident.

This was reported to be the first fatality in the rally, since its first edition held in 1976. After the accident the special stage was immediately stopped and the remainder of the rally stages were canceled.

Tsutomu Seki

On Sunday, 27 October 2013 the Tsukuba Circuit in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kant?, Japan, hosted the “JCCA Classic Car Festival – Endurance Tsukuba Meeting”. It was a vintage car event organized by the Japan Classic Car Association (JCCA). The meeting was overshadowed by the death of one of the competitors.

The accident occurred during the 15-lap TS Cup class race, which was reserved to Nissan Sunny B310 and Toyota Starlet KP61 cars, two popular models in touring car races of yesteryear. 17 drivers took part in the race. On the second lap, the light blue 1.3-litre Nissan Sunny B310 #11 driven by the amateur driver Tsutomu Seki, 62, went out of control and crashed into the barrier on the final corner of the 2.045-kilometer course.

According to eyewitnesses reports, it did not seem a huge accident, due to the slow speed of the vehicle. When the emergency crews reached the car, they found the driver with not remarkable trauma and unconscious. Tsutomu Seki was rushed to Tsukuba hospital where he passed away shortly after admission. The cause of the accident are still uncertain.

Tsutomu Seki was a self employed, not a professional racing driver. He had been taking part in competitions at Tsukuba Circuit for decades, since the track was established in 1970. He lived in Furukawa City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

After the accident the race was red flagged at the end of third lap. Later the first three laps were canceled and the remaining competitors took place in the grid according to their qualifying positions, and the race was carried on for 12 laps – originally it was a 15-lap race.

Franco Chambeyront

The experienced Sicilian rally co-driver Franco Chambeyront suffered sudden illness during the 9th edition of the Ronde dei Peloritani, held on Sunday, 27 October 2013 in the village of Spatafora, province of Messina, Italy. He was co-driving to Andrea Currenti in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, and the pair was leading the rally before the start of the third stage, having won the first two stages.

After receiving emergency treatment by the medical staff of the rally, Franco Chambeyront was rushed by ambulance to the Ospedale Papardo in Messina, where he passed away five days later, on Friday, 01 November 2013, without regaining consciousness.

Winners of the rally, organized by Scuderia Messina Racing Team, were Giuseppe La Torre-Bruno Briguglio in another Peugeot 207 Super 2000. The event was the 12th round of the Challenge Italia Ronde Asfalto 2013 (Italian Tarmac Ronde Challenge), a regional tarmac rally series sanctioned by CSAI-Commissione Sportiva Automobilistica Italiana.

Franco Chambeyront was survived by his wife Giovanna and their two sons. He had his debut in the late 1970s, and during his long and illustrious career in regional rallies, he raced alongside many different drivers. His last success occurred on 11 August 2013, when he won the Rally del Tirreno, another Challenge Italia Ronde Asfalto 2013 event, co-driving to Salvatore Armaleo in a Renault Clio Super 1600.

So just remember, no matter how advanced safety has become in racing, death will always remain an unfortunate reality.

(All the information is courtesy of

About Author

My name is Tucker Carmen White. I'm from Knoxville, TN. I'm here because I have a deep love of NASCAR and I'm currently studying to become a sports journalist. While NASCAR is my primary focus, I've recently gotten into Formula 1. Being from Knoxville, I'm naturally a diehard fan of the Tennessee Volunteers.

1 Comment

  1. seamusshanley on

    Surprised you havent mentioned Dale Earnhardt, died on the final lap of the Daytona 500 race in 2001. Ayrton Senna’s death has left a permanent shadow on F1 since that day, the Imola circuit also claimed the life of Roland Ratzenbegrer on that weekend in 1994

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