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Swiss road racer killed in motorbike accident in Imatra

17 Jun 2019, 01:32 ( 1 Month ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
DF File Photo.

A Swiss participant had died in a road racing event on Saturday on motorbikes in Imatra, local media reported on Sunday.

The event organizer confirmed Mathias Gnagi, 32, had died. He had lost control of his motorbike and hit a light pole.

The Imatra race takes place on the streets of the town. The organizer said the conditions were rainy "but not so bad that the race should have been interrupted".

Tapio Nevala, the chairman of the Finnish Motor Racing Association, told national broadcaster, Yle that road racing competitions are arranged also under rainy conditions.

The Imatra road race was infamous for its death toll earlier and was suspended for some three decades as a result.

Matias Gnagi was the third driver killed in the Imatra races. The previous victims were British Vernon Cottle in 1964 and Jock Taylor from Scotland in 1982.

In 1986 a young boy was killed in the audience. The event caused the cessation of the tradition until the race returned three years ago, as a part of the IRRC class competition on the streets of the town of Imatra.

Nevala told Yle that he didn't believe the accident on Saturday would impact arranging the Imatra event in the future. Nevala said the route is "much safer than years ago". 

The race resumed on Sunday. The light pole was removed. Memorial stones for earlier victims with their names are along the route.