We all saw the report from Murilee just under an hour ago, and now we're hearing from numerous sources that the 24 Hours of LeMons race has taken a tragic turn. Our sources tell us the driver of the Volvo 242 Turbo in Gulf Oil colors (pictured above before the race, and below from the Thunderhill LeMons race last year) has died. We're waiting on more as we hear it from team V8olvo as well as others at the Altamont 24 Hours of LeMons. If this news ends up being true, our prayers, thoughts and well-wishes go out to the family, friends and teammates. All we do know for sure is that racing has been halted for the day and will supposedly resume again tomorrow. Although if it is true, that may just be wishful thinking. Updated below the jump — and with new photos below thanks to Mark Pitts.
MOST RECENT UPDATE: 01:27 PM EST - 05/11/2008
UPDATE: If you remember, the 242 Turbo was actually the inspiration for the choice of the V8olvo.
UPDATE #2: The V8olvo happened to be right behind the 242 Turbo when it crashed. We're told it went into the wall at speed which made our team think perhaps something happened before the crash to the driver.
UPDATE #3: We have confirmation from a source with close ties to the team that there was indeed a fatality. We are withholding the name and other identifying characteristics until we're given the OK from the family and team.
UPDATE #4: The folks over at Bryan's Message Board have been chronicling the adventures of "Team Porcubimmer" — as such, a few of the forum fan-boys (and girls) were in the stands at Altamont. Here's one of their recaps of what happened:
he shot forward and sped up right before the turn, and went head on into the wall. didn't break, didn't turn...i didn't see anyone bump him. best guess is that he passed out and his foot just acted like a lead weight... but that's just based on the fact that he blasted forward so suddenly and made a beeline for the wall...took them forever to get a fucking tarp up. i was up in the stands with my dad, and he was really upset that it took them so long to do that.
Yes, of course it's speculation — but the rest of the account helps provide more verification for what we've been told was seen out at the track.
UPDATE #5: We've just received the following e-mail from a team member of the victim of the crash with his name, age and a little bit more detail on what may have happened:
The CHP reported that the car was in working order. No mechanical failure seems to have appeared...the impact was estimated at 50 to 60 MPH...Cort Summerfield was 46 years old (02/01/1961)