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Mar 19, 2018

More On That Roadracing World Action Fund Donation In Memory Of Avrum Gudelsky

FIRST PERSON/OPINION:

By Colin Fraser

I was reading the Roadracing World website and the item on the Donations for the Action Fund near $ 2,000,000 U.S.

I noticed a paragraph concerning an anonymous donation in memory of Avrum Gudelsky.

I wanted to provide a few details regarding his death at Mosport, now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, almost 40 years ago.

The incident occurred on a cold Saturday morning, September 16, 1978, in practice for the final FIM Formula 750 World Championship round of the season, one week after the American round at Laguna Seca.

Factory Yamaha Motor Canada TZ750 (0W31) rider Steve Baker crashed in the downhill, double-apex, blind-approach turn two and hit the strawbale-protected wall not far from the track surface, bouncing back onto the track surface.

Reigning F750 World Champion Baker was seriously injured, with a broken right ankle and hand, when he was struck by Florida’s Conrad Urbanowski. Urbanowski did not fall.

Next on the scene was Richard Schlachter on his privateer Yamaha, and he managed to miss the mess.

Then Gudelsky and Belgian Didier De Radigues arrived together and crashed into the debris. 31-year-old Gudelsky from Virginia died at the track, and De Radigues went to hospital with a dislocated left hip.

As you can imagine, this really cast a shadow over the final big road race of the season in North America, and I remember Kenny Roberts and Skip Aksland getting angry regarding the incident. The overview at the time was that many of the top racers opted to race carefully for the rest of the event.

The next day, privateer Mike Baldwin scored a break-through double victory in the two F750 legs, ahead of Kenny Roberts, Yvon Duhamel and new F750 World Champ Johnny Cecotto. ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” covered the event, the only time the very top racers of the era came to Mosport.