Young motorcycle racer Peter Lenz dies in race crash aged 13

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lenz racing at Firebird International Raceway in 2009

Peter Lenz, a 13-year-old motorcycle racer, has died after being involved in a crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While on his warm-up lap, Lenz fell off his bike, and was then struck by fellow racer Xavier Zayat. He was immediately attended to by the on-track medical staff and transported to a local hospital where he later died. Zayat was unhurt in the accident.

Lenz was due to participate at the US Grand Prix Racers Union event ahead of the world championship races. Racing from the age of 7, Lenz won nine national championships.

A comment was posted on Lenz's Facebook fan page by his father. It said "Peter passed away early this morning when he was apparently struck by another rider. He passed doing what he loved and had his go fast face on as he pulled onto the track," the posting said. "The world lost one of its brightest lights today. God Bless Peter and the other rider involved. 45 is on another road we can only hope to reach. Miss you kiddo."

It is expected that Lenz's death will re-spark the debate over age restrictions when it comes to professional racing. The Speedway officials declined to comment on the subject.

Lenz is the first person to die at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Tony Renna was killed in an IndyCar test in 2003.