May 1.... its not just May Day. To auto racing fans May 1 will bring memories.... dark memories at race track in Imola.... the day a king perished in a wreck that is forever known Black Weekend at Imola. On May 1, 1994 3-time Formula 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna died from massive head injuries when he went off and crashed going into Tamburillo corner. An era ended on that day as new era of Formula 1 started the next day.
Ayrton Senna was more than one of the greats in a race car. He became God-like with mastery drives on road/street courses whether the track is dry or rain slicked. His impressive control of a car made a car "dance" through the straights and corner. He made race cars that were built like a dog turned into competitive rides. It was like watching artist creating masterpiece on canvas as he did on the track. His fearless intense balls to the wall drives created rivalries with Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. He, along with the two, help ushered in exciting era of Formula 1 in the late 80s to early 90s which help skyrocket the popularity of Formula 1 throughout the world ushering in new fans and big money. His finest drives came in streets of Monaco as he won 6 times. Could have won 7 in 1984 if the race didn't stop for rain and he was pressing hard on Alain Prost when he was driving for Toleman. Speaking of the rain fans notice his mastery on the rain slick tracks. His drive in Donnington track in 1993 is widely consider one of top 3 drives in Formula 1 history as he won nearly lapping entire field on the wet track. His legendary achievements on the track earned him 41 wins and 3 Formula 1 championships. Whether fans loved or hated him they respected him. The fans knew he was just not the best but one of kind talented driver.
I knew where I was when he had fatal crash. I was still in bed sleeping. When I woke I caught NASCAR race on ESPN. An update announced he was killed. I refused to believe it. It was minutes later the announcers mentioned his death on the air. I was in crushed state of shocked. Legends aren't suppose die. They have this God-like aura around them. As a race fan, innocence died for me and I was introduced cruel side of reality in racing. Ever since the day safety improvements made on cars and tracks. There hasn't been a death in Formula 1 racing since.
I never felt the same way Senna died til.... the day Dale Earnhardt died.
Rest in Peace Ayrton Senna