Monday, April 24, 2017

Rolf Stommelen Dies Following Vicious Crash At Riverside - April 24, 1983

July 11, 1943 - April 24, 1983
Rolf Stommelen
Born in Siegen, Germany.
Stommelen participated in 63 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one podium, and scored a total of 14 championship points. He also participated in several non-Championship Formula One races.

One of the best endurance sports car racing drivers of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, Stommelen won the 24 Hours of Daytona 4 times; in 1968, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the Targa Florio in 1967 in a Porsche 910.

Stommelen was killed in a vicious crash during an IMSA Camel GT event at Riverside International Raceway on April 24, 1983. He was running a John Fitzpatrick entered Porsche 935 with codriver Derek Bell. Stommelen had just taken over the car from Derek Bell and was running the car in second place when the rear wing broke, due to damage caused by a brush with a guard rail 2 laps earlier. The car became uncontrollable, slammed against a concrete wall, somersaulted and caught fire. Stommelen had no visible injuries after the accident but lost consciousness and was taken to hospital and died of a heart attack on the way there.

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