The McLaren F1 truly is the Holy Grail of all things automotive. When released in 1992 it was far ahead of its time, with only 106 (including variations) ever produced, the rarity of them is unlike any other supercar. Unfortunately, just this week one was wrecked in Italy ending upside down in a ditch smashed into a tree with the aftermath caught on video. Reports state that a four-car McLaren F1 caravan – which included notable actor and F1 owner Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson – were headed to a car meet of sorts in Italy when the crash occurred between Saline di Voletrra and Pomarance. The reason for the crash is unknown although speed could have been a factor and thankfully no one was seriously injured. The white crashed F1 appears to be completely destroyed and possibly un-salvageable. As if the rare F1 wasn’t rare enough, another has bitten the dust.
It’s a tragic day for Ferrari fans and any car enthusiasts as another ultra-rare F40 has met its death in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. Just after 2:00pm EST at the intersection of Rowntree Dairy Road and Auto Park Circle (only 100 meters from the AMF office), this iconic supercar and a Dodge Dart collided. According to our contacts at the nearby auto mall, the Dodge Dart ran a red light and nailed the priceless Ferrari which was piloted by technician from Ferrari of Ontario returning from a post-service test drive in the neighborhood.
For those unaware of what this 40th anniversary edition is all about, here’s a simple history lesson. Between 1987 and 1992, the Maranello automaker released the F40 to the world with an estimated 1,315 ever built and a price tag of approximately $400,000 USD – equivalent to $843,616 USD today. As the story goes, this was the last model to come out of the Maranello, Italy factory approved by the godfather himself Enzo Ferrari. At such time, the F40 was the most powerful and expensive creation offered and to no surprise it quickly became the Holy Grail for petrol junkies. It was a purpose-built race car for the road with a 2.9-liter V8 with twin turbochargers strapped on producing 478 horsepower @ 7000 rpm good for 0-62 mph in just 3.8-seconds! Currently there are ten known Ferrari F40s in Canada with one of the most pristine in the collection of Remo Ferri, another well known one is owned by a Woodbridge-based businessman – sadly, this could make it nine in existence.
By the looks of it, the Ferrari F40 might be salvageable considering that the folks at Gas Monkey Garage completely overhauled a similarly damaged one just months ago. The Gas Monkey black F40 after all the repairs and tweaks was still able to fetch $742,500 at Barret-Jackson. As for the Dodge Dart – does it really matter? Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but ironically it could be said that the Dart hit the bulls-eye. Two things are for certain, the owner of the Dodge will probably never have vehicle insurance again after the substantial payout and that another legendary car has potentially met its demise in the most tragic of ways. It truly is a sad day.
As the remaining of hours of this year’s Rolex 24-Hours at Daytona come to a close, it won’t happen without reflecting on a severe crash which occurred yesterday. The #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 piloted by Matteo Malucelli was hit with much force by the #99 Gainsco Corvette DP driven by Memo Gidley on the 94th lap of the iconic endurance race. According to the SPEED Channel announcers, Malucelli reported a “loss of drive” in the Ferrari and was pulling off to the side of the track. Unfortunately, Gidley was a few seconds behind and got caught up in traffic behind another Ferrari when he went to pass and what is presumed to be an unsighted incident which caused the severe crash. Thankfully it is reported that both drivers are recovering well after being transported to the Halifax Health Medical Center. As of the latest update, Gidley has had surgery on his left arm and leg.
Many spectators are upset that track marshals did not pull the yellow flag to caution other drivers in the field, but as you can tell by the video footage – the incident happened in a matter of seconds. Shortly after the incident, the race was red-flagged as rescue workers began emergency protocol with both drivers and vehicles. It is interesting to note that this was the fist red flag at the Rolex 24-Hours at Daytona since 2004 when severe rainy conditions halted the race due to safety concerns. Only 90-minutes after the crash did the race resume and the green flag dropped.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to both drivers for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, this is racing and at times these incidents (as unfavorable as they may be) happen. Thanks to safety technology advances in motorsports, lives continue to be saved.
Video: Robert Dera and FOX Sports
The human pursuit of perfection never seizes to amaze me especially when it comes to motorsports. There’s nothing quite like reaching a goal, surpassing it, and setting a benchmark for others to attain. Just over a week ago at the El Mirage dry lakes meet located in the Mojave Desert of California, race teams and land speed motorsport fanatics gathered to witness records get shattered and history be made. Unfortunately, there are times in racing when things don’t go as planned as Brian Gillespie and the Hasport Hondata team experienced. Making yet another top speed run after already achieving a 200.900 mph sprint (according to the Southern California Timing Association) their bullet-like Insight met its fate. Although reports state that weather conditions were ideal with no gusts of wind, Gillespie’s Honda Insight lost control at over 180 mph making for one violent crash. According to the team, Gillespie only suffered small injuries from the incident and all thanks to the proper safety equipment that did the job and kept him alive! We wish Gillespie and the entire team a speedy recovery – our thoughts are with you all.
Watch the video below and brace yourself for the grueling crash.
Video: John Wylie
Call it human nature, but watching crashes or #FAIL videos are too good to pass up. With the onset of channels like LiveLeak, YouTube, and VIMEO, it has become a daily routine to see people mess up – be it in cars, on motorcycles, or just by themselves. Here’s an awesome compilation of motorcycle crashes that will make you cringe followed by outbursts of laughter and then cringe again. Everything from novice riders going up a mountain on their motocross bikes and having it roll back on them to stunters failing at wheelie demos on the streets, it has everything one could ever want.
See the video below!
Video: WINS / FAILS / VINES
It seems that the legendary Nürburgring race track in Germany has claimed yet another vehicle during a testing run. The vehicle this time is not of German decent, but rather of an Italian one – the Ferrari 458 Challenge – a stripped down race car available for their ‘gentleman racing series’.
Better known as “The Green Hell”, the track boasts endless miles of corners, fast straights, and has become the benchmark proving grounds for car makers around the world. Believe it or not, a crash at the ‘ring isn’t rare as one tends to happen on a daily basis, however, not as catastrophic as this one. Any pro driver who has been bold enough to tackle it will openly admit that it takes more than just skill to drive on the high speed asphalt ribbon as most times egos get bruised during the process. In the case of this 570 horsepower Ferrari race car, everything gets bruised top to bottom including both driver and passenger. Coming over one of the high speed crests, the Ferrari goes a bit wide and catches a patch of slick grass sending it across the track into the guard rail at roughly 220 km /h (137 mph) as per the in-car telemetry. Unfortunately, the video cuts out during impact and leaves one wondering the severity of the crash. According to the YouTube uploader, both driver and passenger came out without injuries – but who knows what the truth is. Regardless, it is never a dull moment watching a high revving Italian V8 fire off each cylinder and unleash its beauty.
Tragedy stuck this past weekend at the 81st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Danish racing driver Allan Simonsen suffered a fatal crash while piloting the #95 Aston Martin around the legendary race course. The 34 year old driver was a veteran at the track having participated seven times prior, but unfortunately the experience did little as his car hit a safety barrier during the fourth lap of the endurance race at the Tertre Rouge bend. It is still uncertain as to what happened to the Aston Martin as it fish-tailed coming out of the corner. Speculation has it that a damp track caused traction loss with little recovery although initially it was thought that possible contact with another vehicle could have been the cause.
Jean Todt, the FIA president, and Pierre Fillon, president of Le Mans organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, paid tribute to Simonsen stating, “Allan was an extremely talented and experienced sports car driver who had raced in every corner of the world and was highly respected by his peers and his team,” they said in a joint statement. “For many in endurance racing, Allan was above all a good friend who displayed his passion for racing on and off the track. His loss will be felt by the FIA, the ACO and the greater motorsport family.”
During the day, many drivers voiced their condolences via social media such as Twitter including IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, “Very sad to know about the fatal accident of Allan Simonsen on Le Mans today. Praying for him and (his) family” and Tony Kanaan, “Such a tragic news on the passing of @AllanSimonsen. Sad day in motorsports again. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Aston Martin Racing continued on with the race and ended in 3rd place in the GTE Pro class. Aston Martin CEO Dr. Bez stated, “The tragedy in the opening hours of the race overshadowed the great performance of the Aston Martin Racing team. I am proud of everybody for demonstrating great speed, professionalism and competitiveness right up to the end of 24th hour. This achievement is a truly fitting tribute to Allan Simonsen.”
Our deepest condolences from AMF to the Simonsen family and Aston Martin Racing team for your loss.
See the in-car video from a Corvette following Simonsen’s Aston Martin showing just what happened.
Words: Giancarlo Pawelec