In sad news, especially at this time of the year, track marshal Robert Hoffstetter, was killed at a track day yesterday when a rider on a Yamaha R1 suffered from a stuck and open throttle approaching turn 9 at Palm Beach International Raceway. The track map below seems indicate that turn 9 is actually part of the back straight where a temporary chicane can be placed and is therefore one of the fastest sections of the track.
According to local newspaper the Palm Beach Post, the motorcyclist said that during the race, his bike’s throttle got stuck in the open position, preventing him from being able to stop as he approached a turn in the track. He tried to apply the brakes but couldn’t stop so he jumped off the motorcycle into a grass area. The motorcycle continued down the track and struck Hoffstetter.
Here’s the full statement from Palm Beach International Raceway:
On Sunday, December 28, 2014, during the Florida Track Days event at Palm Beach International Raceway’s (PBIR) Road Course, a rider experienced a mechanical failure on his Yamaha R1 motorcycle: the throttle became stuck in the open position. The rider dismounted from the motorcycle before approaching Turn 9. The motorcycle continued down the track, impacting the tire wall at Turn 9 where Robert “Goofy” Hoffstetter was positioned as a corner marshal. Medics AMR staff stabilized Hoffstetter at the site, and he was then transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach by a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Trauma Hawk. Hoffstetter passed away due to the injuries sustained during the accident.
Hoffstetter had been working in motorsports for more than 30 years as a corner marshal at various racing events held at PBIR and at other tracks in Florida. On the day of the accident, he was under the employment of Florida Track Days, the host of monthly events at PBIR with track sessions and instructional courses for motorcyclists. He will be deeply missed by racers, friends, fellow corner marshals, PBIR staff, and the Florida motorsports community. PBIR and his friends are organizing a memorial to pay tribute to Hoffstetter, his loyalty to and passion for motorsports, and his many years of dedicated service.