4 Shocking Events in Motorsport History

The history of motorsport barely goes back a century, and it is packed with the most thrilling events that will keep motoring aficionados talking for many more years to come. Here are a few notable events to look back at.

Portugal Rally – 1986

In 1986, the Portugal Rally suffered a horrific crash that resulted in the occupants of Group B cars’ death. Ironically, the drivers were aware of the setup and of the dangers. This event still holds a record in Portugal for having the most spectators standing close to the tarmac.

Joaquim Santos drove a Ford RS200 and lost traction and control of the vehicle. The car rolled into a crowd, instantly killing three people, and leaving scores of spectators injured.

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Those days, some people were even crazy enough to step on the tarmac to get a more exhilarating feel of the race. The organisers of the race did not really care much about the safety of the spectators and the drivers in those days.

San Marino Grand Prix – 1994

Ayrton Senna is one of the most prestigious Formula 1 drivers in motorsports history. His life came to an abrupt end during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. Just before the event, Roland Ratzenberger lost his life while trying to qualify for the competitions.

Rubens Barrichello marginally escaped death when he went for a practice run for the same event. Barrichello’s car flew into the air and hit the tire barrier. Regardless of all these unfortunate incidents, the organisers still went on as planned with the scheduled event.

Mille Miglia – 1957

Participating in the prestigious event, Mille Miglia, Alfonso Portago and his co-driver Edmund Nelson, Portago lost control of their car and hit a ditch. The vehicle launched into the air, coming down on spectators, killing 9 people.

This incident gave Ferrari a poor reputation for many years to come, as the Le Mans incident in 1955 was still in everyone’s mind. The motorsport industry as a whole received a lot of negative attention from the public.

Paris, Madrid – 1903

The start of car racing made no provision for safety protocols, no matter the event. In 1903, more than 50 motorbikes and 210 cars participated in an endurance race between Madrid and Paris. During the event, 8 spectators lost their lives. Cars just seemingly drove into spectators during the race.

People love motorsport for its thrill and excitement. However, people can lose track of safety by indulging in reckless driving, which is dangerous and makes everyone involved prone to accidents.

While these motorsports accidents occurred on the racetrack, people driving on public roads should not adopt the same principles as those used in motorsport. Access articles here to learn more about the thrilling history of motorsport.

News Reporter