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Pugilism in the pits & on the track...


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#1 Flat Black 84

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 18:25

Frequently, when I speak with old-timers of motorsport (and sometimes when I read about them), the subject of fist-fights in the pits arises. In the vast majority of instances, the stories are humorous, even though they revolve around physical violence.

In any event, the stories are invariably entertaining so I thought I'd start a thread for TNFers to recount their experiences of pugilism in the pits.

Extra points if you were a participant; grand prix if you were the instigator.

:smoking:

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 18:32

Does a punch-up with the Rozzers count? (Free translation available if required)

DCN

#3 Tony Matthews

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 18:46

Does a punch-up with the Rozzers count? (Free translation available if required)

DCN


You surprise me Doug, I have never thought of you as the type who would assault a rozzer - please, tell us more...


#4 kayemod

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 19:18

You surprise me Doug, I have never thought of you as the type who would assault a rozzer - please, tell us more...


Don't be misled by the mild-mannered persona, I'm still holding Doug's coat, while he 'thumps' a Chapman-denier


#5 Flat Black 84

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 19:22

Rounding on a Rozzer not only counts, it might just take the fig.

#6 john winfield

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 19:22

You surprise me Doug, I have never thought of you as the type who would assault a rozzer - please, tell us more...

I can't recall any footage of Doug brawling with the fuzz - maybe he was enquiring whether Colin Chapman's punch-up qualified. Was it with the Dutch police at Zandvoort? Did Jim Clark get assaulted there too?

OT, not in the pits I know, but I do like Eliseo Salazar's dignified behaviour while Nelson Piquet tries to kick him into the Hockenheim woods.

#7 2F-001

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:22

Ah, now then - punch-ups out on the track... that must be a juicy seam of reminiscence too...

And there was the driver who was reported to have stood by the track at Thruxton on the slowing down-lap and thrown stones at the car/driver he adjudged to have put him off the road.

#8 Twin Window

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:24

...but I do like Eliseo Salazar's dignified behaviour while Nelson Piquet tries to kick him into the Hockenheim woods.

Indeed; especially as it was more Piquet's fault than Eliseo's... :up:

#9 ghinzani

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:34

Ah, now then - punch-ups out on the track... that must be a juicy seam of reminiscence too...

And there was the driver who was reported to have stood by the track at Thruxton on the slowing down-lap and thrown stones at the car/driver he adjudged to have put him off the road.


That was Minassian on Michael Bentwood, deserved though, Bentwood was lamentable.

Bob Higgins always seemed to be having fights at Combe when he was in FF, but thats club racing for you, always lots of spats.

I saw one of karting greats Reg Ganges son Martin throw a punch at a fellow competitor at a race once, said competitor ducked and he instead connected with the elderly clerk of the course. Still makes me laugh now for its slapstick nature, although the MSA rightly took a dim view and handed down a hefty ban.

#10 ghinzani

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:35

OT, not in the pits I know, but I do like Eliseo Salazar's dignified behaviour while Nelson Piquet tries to kick him into the Hockenheim woods.


Ive never been kicked in the "Hockenheim Woods" but it sounds painfull....


#11 RA Historian

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:36

If there is such a thing as a championship involved in this topic, it would likely go to AJ Foyt, who has had numerous punch ups over the years. Other drivers, officials, even journalist Robin Miller. Most recent one that I recall was Foyt slapping Arie Luyendyk around in victory circle at an IRL race in the late nineties. Seems Luyendyk objected to Foyt having his driver and car there for a race that Arie really won. AJ decided to debate the issue with his fists rather than take it up with the scorers.

Guess that all adds to his personna and why a lot of fans over here seem to like him.

Tom

#12 john winfield

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:59

If there is such a thing as a championship involved in this topic, it would likely go to AJ Foyt, who has had numerous punch ups over the years. Other drivers, officials, even journalist Robin Miller. Most recent one that I recall was Foyt slapping Arie Luyendyk around in victory circle at an IRL race in the late nineties. Seems Luyendyk objected to Foyt having his driver and car there for a race that Arie really won. AJ decided to debate the issue with his fists rather than take it up with the scorers.

Guess that all adds to his personna and why a lot of fans over here seem to like him.

Tom


James Hunt might make a plucky British challenger for AJ. F3 fisticuffs, thumping the occasional Grand Prix marshall etc. - tall and rangy but maybe lacking AJ's power.

#13 Flat Black 84

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:13

If there is such a thing as a championship involved in this topic, it would likely go to AJ Foyt, who has had numerous punch ups over the years. Other drivers, officials, even journalist Robin Miller. Most recent one that I recall was Foyt slapping Arie Luyendyk around in victory circle at an IRL race in the late nineties. Seems Luyendyk objected to Foyt having his driver and car there for a race that Arie really won. AJ decided to debate the issue with his fists rather than take it up with the scorers.

Guess that all adds to his personna and why a lot of fans over here seem to like him.

Tom


I'm a great admirer of Foyt, but that was sorry behavior on his part. As I recall, A.J. socked Arie from behind. I'd like to think that he apologized later on and now regrets his actions.

#14 Mondiale 41

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:24

Mallory Park, 1991 British Formula Renault Championship.

Haywood Racing's Dave Coyne and Manor Motorsport's Paulo Carcasci clashed exiting the Hairpin while disputing the lead. Both cars out on the spot, Carcasci alighted first and he walked back along the narrow path at the rear of Devils Elbow, Coyne followed him along said path and promptly whacked Carcasci in the back of the head with the flat of his hand from behind, knocking the Brazilian's specs off and down into the tyre wall. All of this happened less than 10ft away from me.

Result?

A visit to the stewards room and Mr Coyne left the circuit worse off than when he arrived................ :)

PS - I have had to change my user name since the site makeover as it just repeatedly kept throwing out my attempts to log in as Mondiale M85S....

#15 ensign14

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:30

I take it NASCAR should be excluded from this thread as being too easy? ;)

#16 scheivlak

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:35

Indeed; especially as it was more Piquet's fault than Eliseo's... :up:

Open to debate - but let's not fight about that :D

And then, there was of course the mighty 1970 Spanish GP brawl with the Guardia Civil....

#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:38

Not in the pits, but the James Hunt/David Morgan Crystal Palace handbags at dawn was a celebrated spat which has, I seem to recall, been celebrated here before? One of the combatants was let down badly by his mum writing to 'Autosport' in his defence the following week... Luigi Fagioli went for another driver (Caracciola????) in the pits at the Mellaha, Tripoli, wielding a wheel hammer, and I have lost count of the number of NASCAR FRACAS between drivers - several of which can be studied afresh on YouTube. I have always been quite amused by the fisticuffs incidents, few of which have ever matched up to Saturday afternoon Rugby standards, but I have always taken a very dim view of the Fagioli or NASCAR type attacks in which such weapons as hammers or jack handles have been used with evident intent to cause lasting injury. Those people are just ****.

DCN

#18 john winfield

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:39

Open to debate - but let's not fight about that :D

And then, there was of course the mighty 1970 Spanish GP brawl with the Guardia Civil....


At Jarama? In 1970? What happened there then Scheivlak? So that's why there were only five finishers.

#19 Flat Black 84

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 21:49

Not in the pits, but the James Hunt/David Morgan Crystal Palace handbags at dawn was a celebrated spat which has, I seem to recall, been celebrated here before? One of the combatants was let down badly by his mum writing to 'Autosport' in his defence the following week... Luigi Fagioli went for another driver (Caracciola????) in the pits at the Mellaha, Tripoli, wielding a wheel hammer, and I have lost count of the number of NASCAR FRACAS between drivers - several of which can be studied afresh on YouTube. I have always been quite amused by the fisticuffs incidents, few of which have ever matched up to Saturday afternoon Rugby standards, but I have always taken a very dim view of the Fagioli or NASCAR type attacks in which such weapons as hammers or jack handles have been used with evident intent to cause lasting injury. Those people are just ****.

DCN



One could argue that Youtube and ESPN drive--so to speak--this sort of exhibitionism. The way I see it, if you really feel the need to swat somebody, do it in the pits and away from the TV cameras rather than chucking your driving gloves at them as they blaze by at 100 MPH. Dashed silly.

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#20 Jim Thurman

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 22:16

Careful now, FB. There are people here that think oval racing is nothing but fights and smash and bash, that the fans are knuckle dragging cretins watching only for crashes (and fights) and that the drivers may be - depending on their view - either slightly less or more cretinous.

That being written, I have witnessed several interesting and bizarre bouts and read of many more. The latter category including road racing as well.

Interesting timing as researching Walt Faulkner a bit more, I ran across him swinging at a driver in qualifying line at Gilmore Stadium and connecting with helmet instead of head - breaking his hand. And references to he and Allen Heath having some bouts, perhaps including the above, which Heath reportedly always won until the time Faulkner's owner held Heath.

One of them took place in a Bob's Big Boy parking lot after races at nearby Gilmore.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 21 May 2009 - 22:21.


#21 scheivlak

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 22:26

At Jarama? In 1970? What happened there then Scheivlak? So that's why there were only five finishers.

The trouble started with the fact that the organisers only wanted sixteen people starting ;)
Ten drivers were pre-selected, so for the other drivers qualifying for the remaining six places was probably more important than the race itself.
And when the officials decided that one of the pre-selected drivers - a certain mr. Hill- was too late at the starting grid and others tried to join the starting grid as a reserve, it resulted in total chaos and extraordinary scenes of Guardia Civil policemen charging through the pit area hitting at mechanics, drivers, journalists alike to defend The Powers That Be..... IIRC. Others may know more details than me!

Read Don's nice contribution (post #8) in http://forums.autosp...w...&hl=Spanish

Edited by scheivlak, 21 May 2009 - 23:13.


#22 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 22:55

Wasn't there one in F3000, or similar, when Bertrand Gachot was chased into a garage by a jack handle wielding [I think he was called] Marco Greco.

Alo Lawler once thumped a Formula Ford driver in an Oulton Park gravel trap on a test day.
It hurt Alo's knuckles more than the FF novice's head, as he still had his helmet on. :)



#23 Tony Matthews

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 23:28

One could argue that Youtube and ESPN drive--so to speak--this sort of exhibitionism. The way I see it, if you really feel the need to swat somebody, do it in the pits and away from the TV cameras rather than chucking your driving gloves at them as they blaze by at 100 MPH. Dashed silly.


Yeah, those gloves are expensive!


#24 COUGAR508

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 23:33

The trouble started with the fact that the organisers only wanted sixteen people starting ;)
Ten drivers were pre-selected, so for the other drivers qualifying for the remaining six places was probably more important than the race itself.
And when the officials decided that one of the pre-selected drivers - a certain mr. Hill- was too late at the starting grid and others tried to join the starting grid as a reserve, it resulted in total chaos and extraordinary scenes of Guardia Civil policemen charging through the pit area hitting at mechanics, drivers, journalists alike to defend The Powers That Be..... IIRC. Others may know more details than me!

Read Don's nice contribution (post #8) in http://forums.autosp...w...&hl=Spanish


I had not heard about that incident before. Thanks for the details.

#25 Prototype

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 23:43

I have a vague recollection that Alan Grice and Frank Gardner (who was very handy with his fists as a former boxer) had an altercation at Winton sometime in the mid-to-late 1980's. There was some bad blood between Grice and Gardner, but why? Does anyone know any more?


#26 RA Historian

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 00:02

The 1987 season ending Pro Sports 2000 race at Memphis Motorsports Park saw a last turn, last lap coming together between two cars disputing first. Both spun out and a third sped past to take the win and the championship. I will not identify one of the drivers involved in order to spare him and his family some embarassment. John Fergus, one of the two involved, was getting ready for the podium when the wife of the other driver came screaming (literally) into victory circle, blindsided Fergus, and then jumped on top of him, fists flying. Fergus, ever the gentleman, laid there and took a few punches before others pulled the irate wife off him. I have seen other quick fights, but only remember this one as involving a female.
Tom

#27 red stick

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 00:30

Frequently, when I speak with old-timers of motorsport (and sometimes when I read about them), the subject of fist-fights in the pits arises. In the vast majority of instances, the stories are humorous, even though they revolve around physical violence.


This is such a transparent attempt to get Buford to tell more stories I'm not surprised he's ignored you.  ;)

#28 Rob G

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 00:50

JC France and Chris Bingham had a wild two-man donnybrook at Mexico City a few years ago after the two collided during a Grand-Am Rolex Series race. Bingham tried to pass France in the Peraltada, and they both ended up wrecked against the wall. After about a minute, both emerged from their cars, whereupon they punched each other repeatedly before wrestling on the ground. All of this happened on the racing surface itself, but neither driver was stupid enough to remove his helmet .

#29 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 01:13

The sparring match at Spa in 1987 - "Our Nige" grabbing Senna by the throat in the Lotus pit after a bit of an on-track entanglement I recall.

I remember that the word was already around the crowd as we had our post race beer, chips and mayo, and at subsequent GPs some enterprising T shirt sellers were doing a roaring trade with the incident depicted on the front cartoon-style.

And didn't DC and Schuey square up to each other at the same venue some years later? More eyeballing than GBH though I think that time.

Could it happen in today's arena? The Spaniard vs the Lewisville Lip maybe??

Rob :wave:

Edited by Kingsleyrob, 22 May 2009 - 01:14.


#30 SEdward

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:16

Didn't Jean Behra take a swing at his team manager at Ferrari - Tavoni perhaps?

Edward

#31 Buford

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:49

This is such a transparent attempt to get Buford to tell more stories I'm not surprised he's ignored you.;)


Well other than the full fledged riot my mother started http://forums.autosp...howtopic=109232 post 31 and lots of fights in 1950s stock cars, in the 1960s and beyond I don't recall seeing or being in any. I remember one year at the Road America June Sprints in the 1970s, I didn't see it but, some driver sucker punched another and was thrown out of SCCA for life.

Edited by Buford, 22 May 2009 - 05:35.


#32 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:09

That's pretty much how it is in sub-F1 categories in 2009. If you hit someone you're out. Usually for about a month, however many races that includes. So if you're a Formula Ford driver that can be a decent haul of points.

On the flipside I wonder if some of these teenagers who have no racecraft or racing etiquete wouldn't be improved by being roughed up a bit after a particularly egregious incident. Though these days you're more likely to get into a rumble with the parents. Which leads us to this beauty post-race from an IRL race in 2007.

LETS GET IT ON!


#33 aaron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:27


I reckon Tony Longhurst's effort of punching the helmeted head of team mate Paul Morris through the window of his BMW super tourer takes the cake. All the action captured beautifully on national television after Morris stuffed up completely.

Parnelli Jones might be implicated once or twice in his esteemed career and I am told the U.S. sprintcar guys settled many an on course dispute in the pits. AJ Foyt was built like a bull and if his vocal attacks weren't enough he would sort things out more physically. He is reputed to have stuffed Bill Simpson into a garbage can on one occasion.

Kevin Bartlett was on his way down pit lane to sort things out with some Bathurst rookie who had carved him up when he realised the guy was a pro boxer and did an about turn much to the mirth of all concerned. Who was that?

Of course there is Danica Patrick's superb effort of waiting until the cameras were called into action long after the actual pit lane incident and then striding down pit lane after Ryan Briscoe I think. How many points could he have racked up by punching out a female midget? She since learnt simply to run people over. I like her a LOT! Good for the sport.

Aaron.

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:01

One instance that never occurred, but it was desired (on one side of the argument) was that at Lakeside involving Peter Hopwood and Bap Romano...

They'd had some kind of tangle during a heat of an important race and Romano stormed up to Peter to vent his spleen. Peter just laughed him off, hoping that Romano would hit him and then he could have him excluded from the meeting for an 'act prejudicial to motor sport'.

But Romano wouldn't hit him. Peter kept badgering, Romano spat on him. "That's right, that's what you Wogs do, you spit!" Peter exclaimed in his final attempt to get him riled enough to lash out with a fist.

As I've recorded elsewhere on this forum, some years later Bap wanted his son coached in HQ Holden racing and turned to Peter, having absolute respect for him and his abilities.

Bob Jane once or twice lashed out physically to the detriment of Allan Moffat, of course...

And the target of KB's ire at Bathurst was a speedway guy. It would be stretching things to say it happened just as you've recorded, Aaron, but it was along those lines.

#35 D-Type

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:37

Memories are short (as DSJ once said)

Nobody has mentioned Senna vs Irvine (in Japan, was it?).

Parnelli Jones punching Eddie Sachs at Indianapolis in 1963 when the latter blamed him for oil on the track.

Or are these too well known to merit a mention?

I know Jim Clark "had words" with Brian Naylor after an incident at Oulton Park (?) but I don't think it progressed to fisticuffs.

#36 Hieronymus

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:51

Of course there is Danica Patrick's superb effort of waiting until the cameras were called into action long after the actual pit lane incident and then striding down pit lane after Ryan Briscoe I think. How many points could he have racked up by punching out a female midget? She since learnt simply to run people over. I like her a LOT! Good for the sport.

Aaron.


The same midget getting involved in a cat-fight with Milka Duno:






#37 alansart

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:43

I'm reminded of an episode in the Oulton Park Paddock. We were replacing a damaged engine mount on our Formula Ford and a friend (who shall remain nameless) was helping us hold the engine in place with a piece of rope. Said friend's family had been involved in a F3 deal that went wrong and which they lost out on financially. A team owner who had been involved in this deal happened to stroll by and stopped for a chat. Big mistake as he was grabbed by the throat (losing his medallion) and was asked, not a polite way, where their money was.

This all went on as we continued to change the mount and the engine never moved. Who says men can't multi-task :)

#38 RA Historian

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:54

Didn't Jean Behra take a swing at his team manager at Ferrari - Tavoni perhaps?

Edward

As I recall it, Behra had a very big row with the Ferrari team manager --I also think it may have been Tavoni-- at Reims in 1959. A contemporary report I recall said that Behra did punch him. Behra was immediately dismissed from the team. Sadly, he would be gone in a month.

Tom


#39 Paul Parker

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 13:01

I remember that Doug (post 17).

Said mum described the assailant as 'the beastly boy Hunt' if I recall correctly.

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#40 brabhamBT19

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 13:14

Wasn't Mansell trying to strangle Senna at Spa in 1987?

#41 Thundersport

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 13:14

Euroboss Hockenheim 2007 Henk de Boer leaps out of his Coloni and launches a punch or 3 at Tony Hansford in parc ferme before being restrained. No explanation was ever given for this incident but the Dutchman subsequently apologised.

#42 seldo

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 14:19

Bob Jane once or twice lashed out physically to the detriment of Allan Moffat, of course...

I well remember Jane having a good go at Moffat after a coming together at the Causeway at Warwick Farm. Moff just sat resolutely in his car with helmet on as Jane pounded away at him through the window.
Also at W/F there was Gary Cooke who waited a full lap on the sidelines (horse-track) for the culprit to come around again and then launched out at him in an attempt at redress...
Of course the Tony Longhurst/Paul Morris incident at Winton is well documented when both team members were taken out whilst 1st/2nd by Morris's futile passing attempt. Jockey sized Longhurst then gave his fists a good workout on the twice-his-size Morris' helmet ...

Edited by seldo, 22 May 2009 - 14:21.


#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 15:55

That's right... Gary Cooke and his super-slow lap to await some miscreant who'd done him a mischief!

That happened right at our flag point, we could see him looking back for the hapless individual and there were some bent Mini panels getting more bent shortly afterwards!

Not at a race meeting exactly, but another historic punch, mentioned previously in these threads... Doug Whiteford getting short with a servo owner in Bathurst who wouldn't sell him fuel... so he decked him. Doug subsequently lost virtually everything he had over that incident.

#44 Flat Black 84

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 16:49

Interesting timing as researching Walt Faulkner a bit more, I ran across him swinging at a driver in qualifying line at Gilmore Stadium and connecting with helmet instead of head - breaking his hand. And references to he and Allen Heath having some bouts, perhaps including the above, which Heath reportedly always won until the time Faulkner's owner held Heath.


Surprised that half-pint Faulkner would be much of a scrapper, Jim. Must have had a bit of the banty rooster to him.

I've heard that the Unsers' old track outside of Albuquerque used to be a real snakepit with pit brawls occurring on a regular basis. Having spent a little time in Albu, I don't find this hard to believe!


#45 Phil Rainford

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 18:02

[quote name='Mondiale 41' date='May 21 2009, 22:24' post='3652224']
Mallory Park, 1991 British Formula Renault Championship.

Haywood Racing's Dave Coyne and Manor Motorsport's Paulo Carcasci clashed exiting the Hairpin while disputing the lead. Both cars out on the spot, Carcasci alighted first and he walked back along the narrow path at the rear of Devils Elbow, Coyne followed him along said path and promptly whacked Carcasci in the back of the head with the flat of his hand from behind, knocking the Brazilian's specs off and down into the tyre wall. All of this happened less than 10ft away from me.

Result?

A visit to the stewards room and Mr Coyne left the circuit worse off than when he arrived................ :)

Mind you not excusing Dave Coyne, but taking into account his physique if he had really meant to hit Carcasci then the Brazilian would not have got back up for a week

PAR

#46 alansart

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 18:13

Paul Tracy has been involved in a few.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related


#47 Phil Rainford

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 18:24

Paul Tracy has been involved in a few.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related


Don't know why but always saw Paul Tracy and Dave Coyne as peas from the same pod :confused:

Not seen this before......

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

PAR

Edited by Phil Rainford, 22 May 2009 - 18:56.


#48 lil'chris

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 22:19

Seem to remember that either Ken or Phil Silverstone ( UK F3 drivers ) got a life ban for thumping someone and here's an example of the Mansell pitbull gene kicking in again

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/60223



#49 RStock

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 22:42

Seem to remember that either Ken or Phil Silverstone ( UK F3 drivers ) got a life ban for thumping someone and here's an example of the Mansell pitbull gene kicking in again

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/60223



That nut didn't fall far from the tree .

I still don't know what the heck is going on here .



Gotta love Nige though . Probably my favorite driver in my time of watching F1 .

#50 alansart

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 07:19

Seem to remember that either Ken or Phil Silverstone ( UK F3 drivers ) got a life ban for thumping someone


They ran a tyre business at one time. One had to be very careful when making a complaint :eek: