The Isle of Man TT organiser has confirmed the death of Olivier Lavorel, the sidecar passenger who was initially misidentified as Cesar Chanel in an accident the pair were involved in during the opening race of this year’s event in June.
Lavorel was seriously injured in the accident, which claimed the life of his driver Chanel, and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.
It was initially reported that Lavorel was the team member who had lost his life in the crash at Ago’s Leap on the first lap of the race and that Chanel was critically ill, before family members were finally able to identify them.
According to local media on the Isle of Man, coroner of inquests Jayne Hughes confirmed during the subsequent inquest into Chanel’s death that she has gathered “sufficient evidence to ascertain” that they were wearing each other’s identification tags at the time of the crash.
Riders at the Isle of Man TT, as in many other classes, are required to wear either metal military-style dog tags on a chain around their neck or have a patch inside their leathers with the same information. The rules mandate key information such as name, next of kin, blood type and key medical information such as allergies.
It’s believed that for 2023 the organiser will move to amend the rule to require the use of both dog tags and internal patches, in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Chanel and Lavorel were an experienced sidecar pairing, with regular wins and podium finishes in the French championship. They were making their debuts at the TT when the crash happened only seconds into their first racing lap.
Lavorel was airlifted to hospital in Liverpool following the crash, and later transferred to a hospital in France in late June where he continued to be treated.
The Race joins the wider racing fraternity at this time in sending its deepest condolences to the families of Lavorel and Chanel and their team and friends.