Stark Reminders

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It has been a bleak month for motorsport. While the British Grand Prix occupied most of the headlines in the middle of July, the small print made for harrowing reading.

In Canada, popular American Jeff Krosnoff died after a violent accident towards the end of the Toronto lndycar race; a marshal also perished in the incident. In Austria, two race officials were injured, one critically, when a Formula Opel car ran out of control, In France, an appalling accident at the Alencon-Essay Inter-Nations Cup rallycross left five spectators dead, and over 20 injured.

Every so often, we are reminded that the notice on the back of admission tickets means what it says: motor racing is dangerous.

As this is written, there has been no hysterical reaction from the national media. However, just because these incidents occurred in events which are relatively low-profile in the UK does not mean we should ignore their possible implications.

As far as safety is concerned, huge strides forward have been made in recent years, particularly in the wake of the Ratzenberger and Senna tragedies at Imola in 1994.

That none of the victims in this latest series of incidents should be a global star of Ayrton Senna’s magnitude does not lessen the imperative need for thorough investigation.

All forms of motorsport can be made safer, but it will never be possible to legislate against every eventuality. Just occasionally, it takes the worst lo happen before the sport is shaken from its complacency. This is not, however, a time for hysteria, but rather for calm reflection. The authorities can not alter what has happened; they can, however, be seen to take steps to ensure that there is less chance of it recurring. SA

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