Longtime racer dies in accident at BIR

BRAINERD, Minn. - Authorities say a 70-year-old New Jersey man was killed after crashing his sports car during a race at the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR).

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office says the man was participating in a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) race Sunday at BIR.

BIR officials identified the victim as Mel Shaw who was a Trans Am Series driver.

“The staff and racing community at Brainerd International Raceway are deeply sorry for the loss of a passionate and longtime racer, Mel Shaw,” BIR owners Jed and Kristi Copham said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mel’s family, his racing team and the entire Trans Am Series and SCCA organizations.

Officials say Shaw's vehicle left the track and struck an outside crash barrier during a SCCA GT-2 race. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

BIR officials say it appears Shaw may have had health issues before he crashed saying in a statement:

"Other drivers reported that he was driving erratically after Turn 2, and when he drove off the track, he didn’t let up on the throttle, didn’t hit the brakes and didn’t try to turn."

The incident is being investigated by the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.  

© 2017 Associated Press


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