Rally Co-Driver Gareth Roberts Dies Tragically In Guardrail Crash
Posted on , by Nick Preston
Gareth Roberts, a 24-year-old Welsh rally co-driver who had a promising career ahead of him, died tragically at the weekend during the Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia rally after the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 driven by Craig Breen crashed into a guardrail.
This accident brings back memories of former F1 driver Robert Kubica’s crash at the Ronde di Andora rally in early 2011. While Kubica thankfully walked away with his life, he did have to undergoe extensive rehabilitation, and has not yet made a return to F1 racing.
Roberts initially began his rally partnership with Breen back in 2009, and just last year the duo won the inaugural FIA WRC Academy Cup. The Targa Florio race where Roberts lost his life is part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).
Roberts will be sorely missed, not just by his family, team, and driver, but by the series he raced in.
IRC Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas said:
It’s a very sad accident that reminds us that motorsport is dangerous: accidents can affect both driver and co-driver in rallying. As the President of the Automobile Club Palermo, Antonio Marasco, said after the accident, the Targa Florio is an event where many great champions have left us in the past, and sadly this has happened again.
The death of a 24-year-old young man at the start of a fantastic career is always a tragedy. From the start of this year, together with Craig Breen, Gareth has put in some excellent performances and the crew really got themselves noticed.
There’s no doubt in my mind that these performances would have got even better. At this terrible time, I’m thinking very much of Gareth’s family, to whom all of us at Eurosport Events pass on our sincere condolences.
The tragic results of Roberts’ crash are just a reminder of the dangers of rallying, and motorsport in general. Even with the wonders of modern FIA-approved crash structures and safety equipment, the fragility of the human body still plays a huge role in overall safety. It’s these risks from motorsport such as Rally, which makes it one of the great human endeavors. The tragedy of any life lost in racing, however, is still very heart-wrenching.
Our thoughts go out to Roberts’ family and friends, RIP.