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Terrific sports car racer killed by car on his bike(5 posts)

Terrific sports car racer killed by car on his bikebigdave
Mar 17, 2001 6:41 AM
Man, this is infuriating. I am probably going to get flamed for this, but I don't care... there are some older folks who should not be driving. Undoubtedly, the driver didn't even see Wollek, or couldn't judge the distance to him. Here's the meat of the AP report:

"SEBRING, Fla. – Sports car ace Bob Wollek, a winner of the world's premier endurance races at Dayton and Le Mans, died Friday after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle near Sebring International Raceway.

The 58-year-old Frenchman was to compete Saturday in the 12 Hours of Sebring sports car endurance race, an event he won in 1985. On Wednesday, Wolleck, Michael Peterson and Johnny Mowlem had qualified their Porsche 911 GT3 RS to start 19th in Saturday's race.

Wollek was riding west on Highway 98 when he was struck from behind by a van driven by 82-year-old John Rashley of Okeechobee, Fla., at approximately 4:30 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol reported. Wollek was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring, where he was pronounced dead.

The police report said Wollek had been riding close to the edge of the pavement marking and the van, traveling in the same direction behind other traffic, hit the back of the bicycle.

Born in Strasbourg, France, "Brilliant Bob" had won just about all the major endurance events in the world sports-car racing -- and all in Porsches. Having raced for more than 25 years, Wollek's titles included two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, four overall wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and a class win and an overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring."

Sad stuff. Makes me realize how easy it is to get mowed down by some buffoon. Scary.

--Dave
Re: I agree to a point.....BonkyKong
Mar 17, 2001 8:19 AM
...i think that everyone should be tested/retested periodically to ensure that all of the factors important to the safe operation of an automobile are still up to par. Unfortunately for many elderly people, I really think this would remove many of them from the roads.

This is not a meant to insult elderly people, we all will grow old one day, at least we hope so. But, everyone does not have a right to drive, its a priveledge.
re: Terrific sports car racer killed by car on his bikePatrick Simmons
Mar 18, 2001 12:36 PM
According to the UK Sunday Telegraph, he was caught by the draught from a passing caravan, and effectively "sucked" into the flow of traffic.

I've been there, when a big van passed me and pulled me sideways towards it: frightening. It doesn't necessarily excuse the man who actually hit him, after all he maybe should have expected such an event - how many cars get buffeted by passing trucks?

That's why the UK Highway Code has a rule saying leave at least 3 feet (and ideally the width of your vehicle) between your vehicle and a cyclist. Just a pity that although it's been upheld in court the police seem to be a bit too busy with other things to actually chase up complaints about people trying to run you over...
Godspeed, Bob!Ricky J
Mar 18, 2001 3:16 PM
A very sad piece of news that was- the man was extremely fit & I recall hearing that he'd velo across France for the LeMans 24 Hours race. Saw him a few times over the years at Laguna Seca, a tough as nails competitor who gave no quarter to the young lions...gonna miss you Bob.
Should happen, but it won'tmike mcmahon
Mar 18, 2001 3:33 PM
I've had numerous bad experiences with older drivers, both on the bike and in the car. IMO, all drivers over a certain age should be tested periodically. However, this will never happen because of the political clout enjoyed by senior citizens. The AARP is one of the most powerful lobbies in the country and few politicians, if any, are going to risk their careers to take a stance that would almost certainly outrage the AARP. In recent years, California has passed new laws that place significant restrictions on novice drivers. Why did these pass, almost without opposition? Because 16-year-olds can't vote and, for the most part, have no money.

I think the laws involving novice drivers are a good thing. However, I think that more restrictions (or at least checks) should be placed on older drivers if studies support my suspicion that many older drivers present a substantial danger to other using public highways. I hope I don't sound like a heartless jerk. I don't relish the thought of forcing older people to give up one of the few things that provides them mobility. However, I'd rather have an older person use the bus than receive a call from the e.r. telling me that one of my kids was run over in a crosswalk by a senior driver who had no business driving.