Controversy Erupts Over Death of Race Driver


An argument erupted in Toronto Tuesday over the death of a West German race car driver, with the West German team accusing Canadian authorities of shoddy rescue work and the Canadians countering that the West German team manager had been fined for hampering the rescue work.

Manfred Winkelhock died Monday from massive head injuries after slamming his Kremer Porsche 962C into a concrete barrier on the 85th lap of Sunday’s World Endurance Championship at the Mosport track east of Toronto.

He was trapped unconscious in his car for 40 minutes before he could be freed and flown to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.


Canadian race authorities strongly denied reports appearing in West Germany quoting Winkelhock’s team as saying rescuers had no tools to free the driver from his mangled vehicle.

The reports also said that, once freed, Winkelhock was put in a makeshift ambulance and fell off his stretcher several times while being rushed to hospital.

Harvey Hudes, president and general manager of the Mosport track, said the allegations were completely false and that team manager Manfred Kramer had been fined $10,000 by international racing stewards for hampering the rescue work.

He also said Canadian authorities intend to seek a one month suspension of Kramer’s racing license from the sport’s international sanctioning body in Paris.