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.
We love reading, writing, talking, reviewing, driving… basically doing anything we can with cars. We spend a lot of time on the net going through articles and we want to pass on that knowledge by way of #MorningCoffee. This is where we take the past 48-hours of auto related news and put it all in one place for you to read while you enjoy your morning cup of coffee. Have an awesome day!
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.
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.
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.
It’s a Saturday morning (or afternoon for some) and you’re just getting into the groove of things. Unfortunately, morning cartoons just don’t do it for you so here’s some of our favorite videos from YouTube that should keep you entertained as you recover from your hangover, late night with friends, or while frying up some bacon!
During a race in Europe (most likely the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series) a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 driven by Giorgio Bartocci spins on the back straight at a high rate of speed and crashes into the track wall. Upon impact the Gallardo explodes and sends the wrecked race car into the middle of the track. In the mean time other racers try and avoid Bartocci’s wrecked car while track marshals and fire fighters try to rescue the driver. The flames reach upwards of 30-feet and thanks to one brave man the door is opened freeing Bartocci. Thankfully Bartocci survived this crash leaving only with some broken bones and second-degree burns, but still alive and ready to race another day.
Everybody loves a Bugatti, but few give credit to the EB110 Super Sport. Before the Veyron, this beast made its mark and there is no better way to celebrate a car’s performance achievement than by launching it and making some nice 11′s.
If you’re a Ferrari fan, the F50 is a trophy car with its 4.7-liter, 60-valves, V12 engine that pumps out 515 horsepower and can catapult from 0 – 60 mph in just 3.7-seconds! Sure it might not be comparable to the Enzo or new LaFerrari, but it holds its own. Check out this beautiful Italian V12 beast do a burn out, donuts, and drive like as if it were stolen!
With the announcement of Lamborghini’s Veneno limited edition hypercar to rival that of the Ferrari LaFerrari, this V12 aerodynamic bull is the very best of German-Italian engineering. Only three specimens will be built (one red, white, and green – the tricolore of Italy) and performance figures are that of 0 – 60 mph in 2.8-seconds! Check out the video taken at the Geneva Motor Show of the Veneno and hear it in all its glory!
Tragedy in motorsports sadly does occur although not often and even more rarely involving spectators. Unfortunately this past Saturday a terrible crash occurred at the Daytona International Speedway during the last lap of the Nationwide Series race that lead to an estimated 32 people injured – other than the drivers themselves. The multi-car accident shot debris all over the race track including breaking through the metal chain-link fence protecting spectators. This video taken by Tyler Andersen was uploaded to YouTube later that day and upon the request from NASCAR, it was taken down citing a typical public relations situation of respecting those injured. Truth be told, NASCAR seems to have wanted to cover up the incident in way of showing that safety measures for spectators need to be addressed especially considering that a wheel / tire can be scene in the footage landing on a seat – that is no small time debris. It is no doubt that cars in motorsports (let alone road-worthy) are getting faster as the years go on. Despite the recent technology developments in safety systems, it seems that spectators were left out in the thought process – hopefully this tragedy sparks not only controversy, but changes in the right direction.
Should NASCAR, other racing series and fellow race tracks re-evaluate their spectator safety measures? What are your thoughts on this incident?