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Tragic death of Lionel Regal during a hillclimb event in Switzerland

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

Frenchman Lionel Regal, one of the world’ most successful and most spectacular hillclimb racers was killed sadly this past weekend during the Saint Ursanne Les Rangiers event in Switzerland.

Regal, a five-time French hillclimb champion, was driving his mighty Reynard powered by a 600-bhp V-8 engine when he slid off the road in a section that had become slippery because of rain. The Reynard hit a tree, killing Regal instantly.

Hillclimb is probably the least known category of motorsport. The objective is to drive up a mountain road closed to public traffic, such as the famous Pikes Peak in the USA. The runs of competitor are timed.

Most competitors drive rally cars while others, such as Regal find their rush of adrenaline behind the wheel of a nimble put very powerful single seater.

The video shows Regal in action in his Formula 3000 car. Keep in mind that he is driving on a normal road that is usually open to circulation where there are virtually no guardrails, no walls nor tire barriers like found on road courses and ovals.

The likeable and highly talented 35-year old drive will be sorely missed.