TOP 10 most dangerous race tracks in the world
The motorsport is dangerous and not safe at all, we know that for more than hundred years since first races were organized and first fatal accidents happened. On the other hand, we must admit that it is very exciting. It is not something anyone can do, which is why men and women who are racers have special skills and courage.
However, sometimes and somewhere the racing was more dangerous in comparison to some other places.
TOP 10 list
1. Nürburgring Nordschleife – Green hell
Nürburgring Nordschleife or the Green Hell is the legendary race track that earned its nickname because of difficulty to drive at the 20.8-km circuit (current layout) with more than 150 turns. The number of turns, the various surfaces and unpredictable weather conditions made this track even tougher. Unfortunately, many drivers didn’t survive their Nürburgring adventure.
The official number of deaths are 78, including 69 drivers during official competitions, but unofficial number is much bigger because during the year Nordschleife is opened for the various private and factory test, track days and other events, so all fatalities are not recorded.
2. Circuit de la Sarthe – 24 hours of Le Mans
24 hours of Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe is probably the most famous race in the world, but also the place of the biggest disasters in the world’s motorsport history. On June 11, 1955, eighty-three spectators and driver Pierre Levegh were killed in a crash, plus 120 more injured spectators. The catastrophe happened after a controversial clash between Levegh’s Mercedes and Lance Macklin’s Austin-Healey.
Besides 1955 disaster, Le Mans was the place of many more fatal accidents. Drivers’ exhaustion, high speeds and a crowd of the cars on the track were the reasons for most of the times. The last fatal crash happened in 2013 when Danish driver Allan Simonsen was killed in his Aston Martin at the exit of the Tertre Rouge. Prior to that, 20 more drivers lost their lives on the Circuit de la Sarthe, more than half on the infamous Mulsanne Straight.
3. Autodromo Nazionale Monza – one of three oldest permanent race tracks in the world
The Monza Circuit, one of three oldest permanent race tracks in the world, opened in 1922, is also one of the most dangerous. The circuit, which is on the calendar of the Formula One Championship since its inaugural season in 1950, took lives of many F1 greats among others.
The two-time F1 champion Alberto Ascari was killed at Monza in 1955, Wolfgang von Trips and 14 spectators died in 1961, Jochen Rindt was killed in 1970, Ronnie Peterson died in a hospital after he crashed at Monza. In total, the lost lives of 52 drivers and 35 spectators are written on the walls of Monza, which is the biggest number of all current F1 tracks.
4. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – One of the most dangerous Formula One race track
Home to Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is considered by many as one of the most challenging race tracks in history. One of the most famous parts of the circuit is the notorious Eau Rouge corner which combines a hairpin bend, steep uphill section, sweeping left-right-left turns and a blind summit. Since it opened the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has claimed the lives of 23 drivers.
5. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
73 names of fallen individuals (including 42 drivers) are written in the bricks of the Brickyard, which is the common name of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first fatalities were recorded in the very first race on August 19, 1909, when Wilfred Bourque and his mechanic were killed. Two days later, two spectators and one mechanic were killed.
In the next couple of years and decades, some famous drivers lost their lives at Indianapolis, for instance, Bill Vukovich (1955), Jerry Unser (1959), Tony Bettenhausen (1961) or Mike Spence (1968), during the Indianapolis 500 races or some other events. The last victim was a motorcycle rider Peter Lenz during the warm-up for the race in August 2010.
6. Daytona International Speedway – The Black Sunday
When writing about motorsport accidents, the Daytona International Speedway‘s history was marked by the Black Sunday, the day when the seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt was killed. It happened on February 18, 2001, while Earnhardt was leading in the Daytona 500 race.
According to various sources, Earnhardt is one between 23-28 drivers who lost their lives at Daytona International Speedway. In total, 40 people were killed there, including one powerboat racer, because the powerboat track is the part of the speedway.
7. Isle of Man TT
The Isle of Man TT course is almost 38 miles long and is littered with potentially lethal features. Riders must negotiate over 200 bends, numerous rises and falls, rocks, telephone polls, buildings, and stone walls – all whilst travelling at an average speed of 130 mph and reaching top speeds of over 200 mph. Since racing began on the course in 1907 over 200 people have been killed there and in 1976 The TT lost its world championship status after being deemed ‘too dangerous’.
8. Mille Miglia – Italy
The Mille Miglia was a famous sports car race on the open public roads through the central and northern Italy between 1927 and 1957. The last five editions of the race were on the calendar of the World Sportscar Championship.
The races on the open roads were common in that time, but the negativity of such type of racing was a big number of victims among drivers and spectators. 56 people were killed during the period of 30 years in 24 races, which made the Mille Miglia the deadliest race among similar races on the public roads. The race was banned after two fatal crashes during the 1957 event. In Guidizzolo village, nine spectators were killed along driver Alfonso de Portago and his navigator.
9. Baja 1000
The SCORE Baja 1000 is an off-road race set in Mexico where various types of vehicles compete on the same track including motorcycles, production cars, dune buggies, trucks and custom racers. Whilst the course has remained relatively unaltered over the years, the real danger here come in the form of improvised booby-traps, obstacles and jumps created by spectators, in an effort to make the race more exciting.
The Dakar Rally hosts racing in a variety of forms, but remains daring for both competitors and spectators. A fan was killed as recently as this January when struck by a competitor and various Internet reports say 49 drivers have been killed in the off-road event over the years. In the past, the danger has extended beyond the racing itself as the 2008 Dakar Rally was canceled because of terrorist concerns, causing the event to be moved to an Argentina/Portugal course for the past two years.