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Lars-Erik Torph crash

Photo of Alessandro Fiorio's car after the fatal crash that claimed driver Lars-Erik Torph at the 1989 Monte Carlo Rally.

The list of fatal World Rally Championship accidents consists of drivers and co-drivers who have died while competing in the World Rally Championship rallies. The list also includes fatal accidents in the International Championship for Manufacturers, the predecessor to the WRC, which was contested from 1970 to 1972. Well-known fatalities involving officials, spectators and team members are also involved.

The fatal accidents of the Group B era resulted in its demise. Only hours after Henri Toivonen's crash at the 1986 Tour de Corse which resulted in the death of him and his co-driver, FISA president announced that Group B cars were banned for the 1987 season. However, driver deaths peaked in 1989, when five competitors died in the first three rallies of the season. Markko Märtin's co-driver Michael Park's death at the 2005 Wales Rally GB was the first fatality in the WRC in over eleven years.

Drivers and co-driversEdit

WRCEdit

Name Role Date of accident Event Car During
Seppo Jämsä Co-driver 2 August 1974 1974 1000 Lakes Rally Morris Mini 850 Rally
Don Daly Co-driver 27 November 1976 1976 RAC Rally Saab 99 EMS Rally
Tomas Fuchs Driver 14 August 1982 1982 Rallye do Brasil Fiat 147 Rally
Reijo Nygren Co-driver 26 August 1983 1983 1000 Lakes Rally Ford Escort RS Rally
Attilio Bettega Driver 2 May 1985 1985 Tour de Corse Lancia Rally 037 Rally
Henri Toivonen Driver 2 May 1986 1986 Tour de Corse Lancia Delta S4 Rally
Sergio Cresto Co-driver 2 May 1986 1986 Tour de Corse Lancia Delta S4 Rally
Jean-Michel Argenti Co-driver 7 May 1987 1987 Tour de Corse Peugeot 205 GTI Rally
Jean-Marc Dubois Driver 11 October 1988 1988 Rallye Sanremo Citroën AX Sport Rally
Robert Moynier Co-driver 11 October 1988 1988 Rallye Sanremo Citroën AX Sport Rally
George Mignot Driver 2 January 1989 1989 Swedish Rally Volkswagen Golf Reconnaissance
Bernard de Lathuy Co-driver 2 Janury 1989 1989 Swedish Rally Volkswagen Golf Reconnaissance
Lars-Erik Torph Driver 23 January 1989 1989 Monte Carlo Rally Lancia Delta Integrale Rally
Bertil-Rune Rehnfeldt Co-driver 23 January 1989 1989 Monte Carlo Rally Lancia Delta Integrale Rally
Augusto Mendes Driver 1 March 1989 1989 Rallye de Portugal Opel Kadett GSI Rally
Francis Malaussene Co-driver 22 January 1990 1990 Monte Carlo Rally Renault 5 GT Turbo Rally
Rodger Freeth Co-driver 18 September 1993 1993 Rally Australia Subaru Legacy RS Rally
Michael Park Co-driver 18 September 2005 2005 Wales Rally GB Peugeot 307 WRC Rally
Jörg Bastuck Co-driver 24 March 2006 2006 Rally Catalunya Citroën C2 S1600 Rally

IMCEdit

Name Role Date of accident Event Car During
Eiichi Morinishi Driver February 1970 1970 East African Safari Rally Datsun 1600 SSS Reconnaissance
David Ndahura Driver 28 March 1970 1970 East African Safari Rally Peugeot 404 Rally
Cyrus Kamundia Driver March 1971 1971 East African Safari Rally Datsun Reconnaissance
Christian Serradori Driver 25 June 1971 1971 Coupe des Alpes Lancia Fulvia Rally
Yves Serradori Co-driver 25 June 1971 1971 Coupe des Alpes Lancia Fulvia Rally

Other fatalitiesEdit

Team membersEdit

At the 1975 Safari Rally, a service car with four mechanics inside crashed into a parked truck near Mombasa, Kenya. Carlino Dacista, Bian Fernandez and Willie Uis died instantly. The driver David Joshi sustained serious injuries. At the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally, two mechanics, Bernard Balmer and Georges Reinier, were killed when their van collided with a truck near Gap, Hautes-Alpes. On the second day of the 1987 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire, Toyota Team Europe's Cessna 340 crashed and exploded, killing all four inside; manager and former co-driver Henry Liddon, his assistant Nigel Harris, the pilot and the navigator. Team manager Ove Andersson withdrew Toyota from the event. Prior to the accident, Björn Waldegård and Fred Gallagher had been running second in their Toyota Supra Turbo. At the 1996 Safari Rally, competed in bad weather and rain, three British mechanics drowned while attempting to cross a river in their Land Rover.

OfficialsEdit

At the end of the fourth stage of the 1981 1000 Lakes Rally, Audi Sport driver Franz Wittmann and his co-driver Kurt Nestinger did not notice the flying finish which marks the end of each speed. They carried on at race speed in their Audi Quattro and crashed into a group of people standing in front of a van. Raul Falin, chairman of AKK, Finland's sporting authority for motorsport and the country's representative in the FIA, was quickly taken to a hospital but died from his injuries soon after. Boris Rung, co-founder and chairman of the European Rallycross Association and member of FIA's Off-Road Commision, survived the accident along with Green FIA observer Costas Glossotis.

SpectatorsEdit

At the 1978 Safari Rally, five by-passers and four spectators were killed in unrelated accidents, both involving non-competitive drivers crashing into competitors.

On the first stage of the 1986 Rally Portugal, Joaquim Santos lost control of his Ford RS200 while trying to avoid spectators on the road, crashing into a "human wall" of spectators, killing three and injuring over thirty. Following the accident, all of the factory teams - Audi, Austin Rover, Ford, Lancia, Peugeot and Volkswagen - withdrew from the event.

At the 1995 Rally of the Thousand Lakes, one spectator was killed when Bruno Thiry ran over her. According to some reports the spectator was unable to hear the car coming due to the sound of the crowd.

At the 1996 Rally of the Thousland Lakes, one spectator was killed and 36 injured when Kristen Rikhard lost control of his Mitsubishi Lancer due to high speed and a wrong driving line. Rikhard hit the crowd at 40 km/h.

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