Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fallen racers

I find that anytime I'm involved in high-speed activities on my bike or in a car, I always take a moment to acknowledge the risks. I think it's an important thing to do for someone like me who doesn't go racing for a living. I was at a trackday on Monday, so just went through this process and it got me thinking about those racers who have suffered fatal crashes (the fact I was watching motorcycle road racing from 2005 last night may also have something to do with my train of thought).

We spend so much time watching and talking about racing I think it's important to recognize every now and then that this is a dangerous business. Here's some of the folks that we've lost in the last fifteen years(why fifteen? - because I had to choose something or else this would be a really long and even more depressing blog entry):

Andy Caldecott - Desert racing - 1964-2006
Paul Dana - Indycar - 1975-2006
Fabrizio Meoni - Desert racing - 1957-2005
Richard Britten - Motorcycle road racing - 1970-2005
Michael Park - Rallying - 1966-2005
Richard Sainct - Desert Racing - 1970-2004
Daijiro Katoh - MotoGP - 1976-2003
Tony Renna - Indycar - 1976-2003
David Jefferies - Motorcycle road racing - 1972-2003
Mark Lovell - Rallying - 1960-2003
Roger Freeman - Rallying - 1951-2003
Possum Bourne - Rallying - 1956-2003
Dale Earnhardt - NASCAR - 1951-2001
Adam Petty - NASCAR - 1980-2000
Kenny Irwin - NASCAR - 1967-2000
Joey Dunlop - Motorcycle road racing - 1952-2000
Gonzalo Rodriguez - Indycar - 1972-1999
Greg Moore - Indycar - 1975-1999
Jeff Krosnoff - Indycar - 1964-1996
Ayrton Senna - Formula 1 - 1960-1994
Roland Ratzenberger - Formula 1 - 1960-1994
Neil Bonnett - NASCAR - 1946-1994
Paul Warwick - Formula 3000 - 1969-1991

There's a much bigger list at, an interesting (and very comprehensive) site that attempts to honour those who have passed whilst engaging in motorsport. Two very interesting things jump out when looking at the huge database of nearly 4000 names. Firstly, of the 985 motorcycle deaths, over 200 were at the Isle of Man. Secondly, there's a shockingly large number of spectators listed (22% of the total), most of whom were killed whilst spectating rallies. Something to bear in mind if I go to see Colin McRae run in the rallying event at the X-Games in August...

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