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Sidecar racer dies after incident on Saturday at Isle of Man TT

The 2022 Isle of Man TT has been marred by a second death this week after Sidecar racer and newcomer Cesar Chanal was killed in an accident on Saturday.

Olivier Lavorel

Racing at the Isle of Man TT got underway on Saturday afternoon with the opening six-lap Superbike race, which went off without major incident and was won by FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman.

A three-lap Sidecar race was due to follow the Superbike contest, but was red-flagged just moments after it got underway due to a serious incident at Ago’s Leap one mile into the course.

It is thought one outfit crashed and a following Sidecar was caught unsighted as it began its lap and hit the stricken machine, causing a major fire incident.

As a result, the race was stopped and subsequently cancelled for the evening as the incident was attended to by emergency responders.

Initially TT organisers announced French Sidecar passenger Olivier Lavorel was killed in the incident.

But in an update after the crash, TT organisers later announced it was Chanal who was killed and not Lavorel, in a case of mistaken identity after the initial identification procedure. 

Lavorel remains in a critical condition in hospital in Liverpool having been treated at the roadside.

The full statement read: “On Saturday 4th June during the opening lap of the first Sidecar Race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races, an accident at Ago’s Leap involving outfit number 21 of Cesar Chanal and Olivier Lavorel resulted in the death of one of the competitors.

“The race was stopped with the deployment of full-course red flags, and medical personnel, a Travelling Marshal, and the emergency services were immediately dispatched to the scene.

“One of the competitors sustained injuries that would not support life and was sadly declared dead at the scene. The second competitor was unconscious with severe injuries.

“The injured competitor was treated at the roadside before being transferred to Noble’s Hospital, and then airlifted to a specialist hospital in Liverpool to receive treatment.

“An initial identification procedure was conducted using established procedures and would appear to have resulted in a mistaken identification.

“We now believe it was Cesar Chanal who died at the scene of the accident on Saturday 4th June. Olivier remains in a critical condition and continues to receive treatment.

“Both competitors’ families have been informed.

“A thorough review of the processes relating to the identification of competitors will take place in due course.

“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of both Olivier and César at this truly devastating time.

“We ask that people do not speculate on social media.”

The first TT since the COVID-19 pandemic has been marred by two other deaths over the past two weeks, with solo racers Mark Purslow and Davy Morgan losing their lives in accidents in practice and in Monday’s Supersport race.

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