RIP: Clay Regazzoni 1939-2006

We're saddened to report the untimely passing of former F1 driver Gianclaudio "Clay" Regazzoni. Clay was killed yesterday when he collided with a truck in the northern Italian city of Parma, where he was reportedly driving at high speed and failed to stop in time as he met an unexpected traffic jam.

Born in the Italian sector of Switzerland only days after the end of World War II, Clay Regazzoni rose through the ranks all the way to Formula One, where he raced alongside such greats as Niki Lauda and Jacky Ickx at such teams as Ferrari and Williams. Clay's record includes five grand prix victories, and he was known as a particularly reckless driver.

In 1980 Regazzoni was paralyzed from the waist down when the brakes on his Ensign F1 car failed during the grand prix at Long Beach, resulting in a terrible crash that sent his car flying into a concrete barrier at the end of the straightaway. In subsequent years, Clay fought an often uphill battle for certification to compete in racing cars modified with hand controls, and found success racing in off-road rallies as well as in endurance sportscar racing.

Clay was only 67 upon his death. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


Share This Photo X