Swiss rider killed in crash during IRRC round at Imatra in Finland

A Swiss rider was killed at the IRRC (International Road Racing Championship) meeting at Imatra in Finland on Saturday.

By Kyle White
Monday, 17th June 2019, 6:03 pm
Swiss rider Mathias Gnagi (32) died following a crash at the IRRC round at Imatra in Finland.
Swiss rider Mathias Gnagi (32) died following a crash at the IRRC round at Imatra in Finland.

Mathias Gnagi crashed during the opening Superbike race on the sixth lap, losing control in the damp conditions.

The 32-year-old was rushed to hospital but sadly succumbed to his injuries.

A statement released by the organisers said: ‘On Saturday (15 June 2019) the Swiss Mathias Gnägi died after a racing accident. The incident occurred in the sixth round of the IRRC Superbike race.

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‘Mathias Gnagi lost control of his bike when it rained, fell and got off the track. There were no other drivers involved in the accident’.

Mr Gnagi became the third competitor to lose their life at the event after Britain’s Vernon Cottle died in 1964, whilst Sidecar great Jock Taylor from Scotland was killed at the Finnish Grand Prix in 1982.

In very wet conditions, Taylor and passenger Benga Johansson slid off the road and collided with a telegraph pole. Tragically, he was being helped from the wreckage by the emergency services when a second Sidecar outfit skidded off the road and ploughed into Taylor, resulting in his death.

Racing at Imatra was suspended for some 30 years after a young boy in attendance at the event was killed following an incident in 1986.

Three years ago, racing resumed around the streets of the town, with Imatra hosting the IRRC series.

The schedule went ahead on Sunday, when Davey Todd emerged victorious on the BMW over team-mate Danny Webb.

Todd, who earned a career-best result of sixth in the Senior TT and lapped at over 131mph, now leads the championship by more than 30 points.

The English rider was declared the winner of Saturday’s ill-fated opening Superbike race, when results were declared based on positions on lap six.