Fuji, October 1987 Tom Walther's accident
Posted 25 December 2020 - 16:02
Posted 26 December 2020 - 22:14
This was in Friday practice for the Fuji Super Sprint '87, an international non-championship meeting featuring most of the top GP riders. Tom was competing in the TT-F1 class made up of 750cc production superbikes like he raced in Canada, and according to Motoracing-Japan (https://www.motoraci...r/r1987_ps.html) there was a full grid of 40 starters, so I expect more than that number were on track in practice. An account in Canadian paper The Province says one rider's engine blew on a flat-out right-hander just over a crest and five more fell on the dropped oil, the last of whom was Tom. Seems like it all happened too fast for the flags to be shown, although one account (http://motorsportmem...hp?db=ms&n=4186) says fog was a factor. Footage of Friday practice in the TV broadcast (https://youtu.be/w5ccwpUbzVo) shows good conditions but the TT-F1 practice may have been early in the morning. Conditions on Saturday and Sunday were appalling - the TT-F1 race was stopped early and the 500cc and 250cc were cancelled. The broadcast ends with a statement about Friday's crash:
昭和62年10月23日スーパースプリント'87 公式練習中転倒し亡くなられた トム•ウォルタ一(カナダ) 小永修生 両選手のごめい福を心からお祈りします
Roughly translated, it says:
October 23, 1987 Super Sprint '87
Fell and were killed during official practice:
Tom Walther (Canada)
May both riders rest in peace.
Shusei may also be translated as Syuusei and Onaga as Konaga. I found two references to him racing in 1985, one of which lists him as 27 years old (http://panzer01v.php...uzuka4hf3a.html) so he would have been 29 or 30 at the time of his death. The January 1988 issue of Riding Sport magazine has a short article which I am transcribing at the moment and will post later.
Edited by ChiliFan, 26 December 2020 - 22:15.
Posted 26 December 2020 - 23:56
From Riding Sport n.60 (January 1988):
10月23日~25日にかけて富士スピードウェイで行なわれたスーパースプリントで,カナダかちエントリーしてきたトム•ウォルター選手と小永修正選手が死亡するという事故が起こった. 場所は富士スピードウェイトの通称Bコーナーと呼ばれる高速コーナーだった. 10月23日のTT-F1公式練習中,このコーナーにさしかかった池田直選手のマシンがトラブルを起こし,コース上にオイルを吹きながらコースアウト,転倒した.すぐにオイルフラツグが振られたが,後続の小水選手トムウォルター選手,長谷川敏久選手,松見正文選手,浅野豪夫選手が相次いでオイルに乗って転倒した.トム•ウォルター選手はほとんど即死の状態だった.また,全身を強く打って病院にかつぎこまれた小永選手だったが,その後息をひきとった. 池田選手は顔面打挨,長谷川選手は右手関節打撲,松見選手は左足骨折の.
Again very loosely translated:
Edited by ChiliFan, 27 December 2020 - 15:52.