Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Curse at Le Mans?

The 1981 24 Heures du Mans, which here is noted as the only run of the French classic by a motorsport legend from the Florence area, was marred by two fatalities, one a marshal and one (Jean-Louis Lafosse) in a crash caused by mechanical failure on RN138 (now RD338), the four-mile long Ligne Droite des Hunaudières straight that has since been shortened by the two chicanes installed in 1990, that injured two marshals in that crash.

Maria de Villota (left), Sean Edwards (right)
The sad irony came this week following the deaths of former Marussia F1 driver Maria de Villota and Porsche Supercup (F1 undercard series) points leader Sean Edwards days of each other. (Miss de Vilotta's death has been confirmed to have come from the injuries from the straight-line testing crash in a British airfield last year.) Mr. Edwards was leading the Porsche Supercup with the final race, the Etihad Airways Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, upcoming.

Mr. Lafosse's crash came as he was following a Lola T600 of Juan Fernández (ESP) and the parents of both deceased drivers, Emil de Villota and Guy Edwards, listed as the three drivers.

Oh the sad irony of the stunt double who played his father in Ron Howard's Rush during the scene where the father was one of the drivers that rescued Niki Lauda in that horrific fire in the Nuerburgring in a crucial scene of the movie, based on the 1976 F1 battle between Mr. Lauda and James Hunt, die in the 180-degree corner at Queensland Raceway leading to Dick Johnson Straight in a horrific fiery crash where the Porsche ran over the tyre barriers and into concrete.

How cruel can sport be? For the two co-drivers of the Lola T600 that lead the tragic Rondeau, how cruel that the two drivers would lose their children in racing crashes?

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