The racing world is saddened by the loss of Peter Lenz, who perished Sunday in an accident during the U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union Support race. The USGPRU race occured during the Red Bull Indy Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
The 13-year-old Vancouver, Wash., native crashed during the sighting lap before the morning race; Lenz fell and was run over by another young motorcycle racer, Xavier Zayat, 12. Zayat also fell, but was unharmed.
Medical officials at the track attempted chest compressions, and later Lenz was taken to the Methodist Hospital in Indy, where he was prounced dead after suffering traumatic injuries.
A statement from Lenz’s family read: “Peter Lenz passed away this morning from injuries sustained from a racing accident. On behalf of the Lenz family, we would like to thank Peter’s friends and supporters for all their help throughout the years. We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, but know that Peter is racing even faster in the sky. Our thoughts and prayers are now with the other racer and his family, who were also involved in this tragedy.”
The USGPRU also does not plan to hold a formal investigation into the accident, and did not say if hot track conditions caused grip issues, as many of the MotoGP racers discussed during the race weekend.
One MotoGP racer, Ducati Team racer Casey Stoner, openly discussed his issues with the track, mostly the “too bumpy” conditions. Stoner crashed out of the race on Turn 11, and says that “70 percent” of the track needs to be repaved before the 2011 Indy GP.
Stewart Aitken-Cade, a spokesman for the sanctioning body, told the AP that the union will discuss ways to make the sport safer, and safety measures will be reviewed.
Before the Lenz accident, the USGPRU, which supports 12 to 18-year-old racers, has never had a fatality in its nine-year existence.
Officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed that Lenz was the youngest racer to perish at the track, which is currently hosting races in its 101st year. This was the first death on the IMS Road Course, officials said. The last driver to have a fatal accident at Indy was Indy Racing League driver Tony Renna in 2003.
The staff at UltimateMotorcycling.com expresses their condolences to the Lenz family.
Lenz’s family says all thoughts and messages can be directed to Peter’s Facebook page.