Police investigate Mosport tragedy

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

BOWMANVILLE -- Durham Regional Police are still probing an accident at Mosport International Raceway that killed a 60-year-old amateur sports car racer on Sunday.

The man, who eye witnesses identified as Dino Crescentini, of Rochester Hills, Mich., was driving a 1977 Wolf Dallara Can Am -- a car once driven by Canada's legendary Gilles Villeneuve -- at Mosport's 29th International Vintage Racing Festival.

It marks the second death in as many weeks in vintage auto racing, the first being Ove Andersson, the founder of Toyota's Formula One program, who was killed in South Africa last week when his vintage rally car struck a transport.

Crescentini's death is the first at Mosport's world-class four-kilometre road course since 2002, when 46-year-old Julio Haig was killed during a British Empire Motor Club race.

One witness to Sunday's accident, who did not want to be identified, said the front wing of the Wolf Dallara broke loose on the exit of Turn 6 causing the car to lose front-end downforce.

Subsequently the car became airborne and barrel rolled, end over end, down the track before crashing into a concrete barrier.

"From our viewpoint, you could see parts of the car in the air, as it was apparently barrel rolling towards the corner," the witness told GarageBlog.com. "The car settled just out of view, in a cloud of dust and smoke. Sad to see a great guy, a great car, a great event, and great day end like this."

Police said Crescentini was not in contact with any other car at the time of the accident, which took place at about 10:30 a.m. during heat races.

Mosport president and general manger Myles Brandt issued a statement yesterday expressing the track's condolences to the driver's family.

"Sunday's racing accident during the Vintage Racing Festival has saddened all of us associated with Mosport and this event," he said. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the driver's family and friends during this difficult time."

Besides being a hobby racer, Crescentini competed in the 1994 Olympic Winter Games with his brother Marcello Crescentini in bobsledding.

Like the characters in the movie Cool Runnings -- where actor John Candy's character coached a team from Jamaica in the same event -- the Crescentinis fulfilled their Olympic dream as representatives of their tiny ancestral European nation of San Marino.


Videos

Photos