Death in motorsport was always a given, almost since the construction of the first racecar. Attilio Caffaratti died at the Coppa Florio in 1900. Eliot Zborowski was next in April 1903, and Marcel Renault - co-founder of the eponymous automaker - died a month later during a race from Paris to Madrid. At one point in those early years, one out of seven motorsport drivers were killed each year. All sports have had their share of accidents, injuries and deaths, but motorsport was a league leader for the better part of the 20th century.
The new documentary “Rapid Response,” based on the book by Dr. Stephen Olvey, digs into the history of these accidents and the safety features both in cars and on racetracks that followed.
Dr. Olvey was in medical school when he answered an ad to work as a medical professional at a race. He was appalled at the state of the rapid response teams, which mostly consisted of a hearse and an oxygen tank. When a driver needed a hospital stay, the medical teams used the local news helicopters to get them there. He eventually became medical director for the CART series, serving for 25 years (1978-2003).
“Rapid Response” will premiere at a charity event May 24 at the Indiana State Museum’s IMAX Theater and hit theaters in earnest later this year. Dr. Olvey is also producing a new hardcover of the original book with both a new forward by Dario Franchitti and an added chapter.
A Mile A Way Productions - responsible for “Yellow, Yellow, Yellow,” a film about James Hinchcliffe’s 2015 Indy 500 practice crash - made the doc.
Go to RapidResponseMovie.com for more information.