Al Holbert, the dominant driver in International Motor Sports Assn. history, died Friday night when the twin-engine plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff from Don Scott Field in Columbus, Ohio.
Holbert, 41, of Doylestown, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses said the airplane struggled to gain proper altitude, and Holbert apparently was attempting to return to the airport when he crashed.
The plane crashed into a field and caught fire. Holbert suffered burns, but the cause of death was not immediately determined.
Holbert won the IMSA title in 1976, ’77, ’83, ’85 and ’86. He had 49 career IMSA wins and 3 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He won the 24 hours of Daytona 4 times.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by officials of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.