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Bizarre incidents during race meetings


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#1 Pullman99

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:08

Originally, I posted this on the thread "Bizarre DNSs", but possibly slightly OT on that thread I thought this might be better here. I am sure that the history of motorsport must be full of these, but to kick off, here are three experienced personally.

British Grand Prix 1979.

I watched this race from Copse grandstand - Clay Regazzoni’s famous first win for my all-time favourite team, Williams. About half-distance, just as Jochen Mass was exiting the pits in the Arrows A1B, a smallish whirlwind or “twister” made its way – taking a perfect racing line and picking up loads of debris from the track – from Woodcote, all the way along the straight, to Copse. Jochen must have noticed it too as before rejoining the circuit he stopped at the pit lane exit to let it by!

Rothmans F5000 meeting Brands Hatch September 1971

As a BRSCC member, I used to marshal as often as possible – mainly because it was the cheapest way to see races – and I was on “yellow” flag just prior to Westfield. Practice for the race was over two sessions (I think) in the morning and it was before the second session that the following “incident” happened. Just as we could hear the cars exiting the pits and heading into Paddock, much to everyone’s astonishment, a humble Morris Minor was seen joining the circuit from behind the post just up from Hawthorn’s! As it motored majestically past us and into Westfield, we could hear the first of the F5000s approaching Hawthorn’s. Whilst the Observer frantically telephoned Race Control, I put out a waved yellow (Hawthorn’s responded too) and we hung out just about every other flag too. I think Alan Rollinson was first through in the Surtees TS8. He must have passed the Morris somewhere approaching Dingle Dell and apparently the humble Minor got as far as Clearways before he could be stopped! :rotfl:

Spring Bank Holiday F2 Crystal Palace May 1971

I was reminded of this by Colin Bennett’s mention at a recent Northern TNF gathering in Cheshire of what he regarded as one of Emerson Fittipaldi best races with Emerson winning this race on a (mostly) three-cylinder Lotus 69. I can still remember the sound now. For practice (on the Saturday) and race day, I was marshalling at South Tower which is before the main start/finish straight. This incident relates to the Saturday. Practice had gone well but I think that it was the second session (again!) that was interrupted by water suddenly appearing on the track (on a sunny and warm London day) and trickling at an increasing rate back down the hill (Maxim’s Rise – named after the site where Sir Hiram had experimented with his steam-powered aeroplane). This meant that as the cars approached us at speed they could be in a bit of bother. I noticed the bubbling water next the track – it was a broken water main believed to be from the original Crystal Palace building (moved to Sydenham Hill from Hyde Park following the Great Exhibition of 1851) that burst just at the wrong moment - and alerted the Observer who then ‘phoned Race Control. Again, flags were hung out hurriedly including the yellow/red slippery surface one of course. First car through was Graham Hill in the Rondel Brabham BT36 and he promptly spun and continued. To our amazement, and before Race Control could stop the session, Graham continued around for a second lap and spun again! Very unfortunately, he got collected by Hannelore Werner in the Eifelland March 712M and received a very nasty bang on the head. I was also marshalling at Brands on the Sunday and Graham was driving a Ford Capri in the “celebrity race”, still suffering I think from the Saturday incident. I always meant to ask him why he had done another lap after having spun the first time but I thought better of it as he was clearly in some discomfort. The incident was reported in the following edition of Autosport and there’s even a picture of me looking at London’s newest river! :)

Hopefully, someone else may recall these incidents. I am sure there are many more such stories out there.


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#2 Cirrus

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:18

In 1976, the leaders of the FF2000 race all spun at the bottom of the Mountain at Cadwell. The Gents toilet had overflowed, and the resulting effluent was flowing across the track.

#3 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:03

In 1976, the leaders of the FF2000 race all spun at the bottom of the Mountain at Cadwell. The Gents toilet had overflowed, and the resulting effluent was flowing across the track.


Friz tells this one best from that race...he said 'I was pissed off!'

All our thoughts are with Geoff at the moment. He is a bit poorly having chemo treatment. Fingers crossed it all goes well, his doctor seems quite happy with progress. I can pass on any messages to him if anyone wants to email them to me ( I'll print them off and post them ) as not sure if he has access to the net.

A great sense of humour has Friz...he'll love this thread when he's back home.


#4 fines

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:16

Ohhhh... sad news! :( Please pass my "Get well soon" wishes!

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:20

Ohhhh... sad news! :( Please pass my "Get well soon" wishes!


Will do Michael.
Back on topic...I have a vague recollection of reading about a race
in 'Autosport' many years ago, think it was in South America or somewhere far off..
a bridge collapsed during the race over the race track. Needless to say it was a red flag.
Not sure if anyone was hurt though.

#6 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:35

Will do Michael.
Back on topic...I have a vague recollection of reading about a race
in 'Autosport' many years ago, think it was in South America or somewhere far off..
a bridge collapsed during the race over the race track. Needless to say it was a red flag.
Not sure if anyone was hurt though.


Was it in Angola at the start of a sports car race. There was a film on Youtube somewhere.

Sorry to hear about Geoff - Get well soon :wave:


#7 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:37

There was the episode at Gimli in Canada when an aircraft crash landed during a race meeting.

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#8 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:58

Don't know if the frogs/snakes of Enna have ever stopped a race, but they have held up practise. Wonder what the grip levels are on squashed frogs?

#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:08

Was it in Angola at the start of a sports car race. There was a film on Youtube somewhere.

http://www.metacafe....llapses_angola/

There was that lunatic Irish 'priest' in a kilt who interrupted the British GP in 2003 - and went on to make a career of proving how mad he was.
http://www.abc.net.a.../30/1187634.htm

Edited by Alan Cox, 10 July 2009 - 11:11.


#10 Tony Matthews

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:16

British Touring Car Championship, Thruxton, '87 or '88, our Tom's Toyota FX was fighting with the other tiddlers when I notice that a small black box, about the size of two Swan Vesta matchboxes taped together, was dangling from the back of a black Rover SD1. Next time the Rover exited the chicane the box was touching the road and leaping up and down on its wire. Next lap, it was three or four feet behind - completely mesmerized, two of us forgot about 'our' race, only waiting for the Rover to re-appear. Eventually the box was about two car's length behind - not gaining, but not being left easily - and we were almost hysterical with laughter, the sort of hysteria brought on by several days really hard work, lack of sleep and a hangover. To our great regret the race finished, but the memory of that black box dancing and jiggling out of the chicane as if on its own still makes me grin. We couldn't make eye-contact for the rest of the day without cracking up.

#11 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:30

http://www.metacafe....llapses_angola/

There was that lunatic Irish 'priest' in a kilt who interrupted the British GP in 2003 - and went on to make a career of proving how mad he was.
http://www.abc.net.a.../30/1187634.htm



Yes the nad priest also got on to the track at Hockenhiem..........................

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:34

Rothmans F5000 meeting Brands Hatch September 1971

As a BRSCC member, I used to marshal as often as possible – mainly because it was the cheapest way to see races – and I was on “yellow” flag just prior to Westfield. Practice for the race was over two sessions (I think) in the morning and it was before the second session that the following “incident” happened. Just as we could hear the cars exiting the pits and heading into Paddock, much to everyone’s astonishment, a humble Morris Minor was seen joining the circuit from behind the post just up from Hawthorn’s! As it motored majestically past us and into Westfield, we could hear the first of the F5000s approaching Hawthorn’s. Whilst the Observer frantically telephoned Race Control, I put out a waved yellow (Hawthorn’s responded too) and we hung out just about every other flag too. I think Alan Rollinson was first through in the Surtees TS8. He must have passed the Morris somewhere approaching Dingle Dell and apparently the humble Minor got as far as Clearways before he could be stopped! :rotfl:

Life imitating art?

As anyone familiar with Peter Ustinov's "Grand Prix of Gibraltar" can tell you, HRH Prince Philip was there in a Morris Minor ....

There was also a bridge collapse at Brno in one of the pre-war races: 1932?

During the first Crystal Palace meeting in 1936 the engineers demolishing the remains of the fire-damaged Palace decided to take some of it down with dynamite - they just neglected to tell anybody first, so there was a bloody great BANG which took everyone by surprise! "'Elf n Safety? Wozzat, guv?"

Swedish Summer GP 1933: multiple crash on first lap involving seven cars and one fatality. One car caught fire and caused a house to burn to the ground.


#13 Pullman99

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:44

Yes the nad priest also got on to the track at Hockenhiem..........................

Hi Steve :wave:

I'm glad I started this now!

Yes, the priest (was he?) . I though David Coulthard was going to collect him big style at Silverstone. Wonder if he's still around terrorising other events (the priest I mean; David's interviews are really not that terrifying).

Re the Crystal Palace "river" incident in 1971, I just noticed that Allen Brown's Old Racing Cars site has a really nice pic of Graham Hill in the Brabham BT36 approaching South Tower!


#14 Gav Astill

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:47

On the subject of collapsing bridges, there was the one over the Aix-Le-Bains track which collapsed during a Formula Junior race in 1960 resulting in the sad fatality of Chris Threlfall

#15 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:47

ooh good - another excuse to post this :clap:

#16 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:56

Pretty certain that was someone else at Hockenheim (year 2000), not the priest. An ex- Mercerdes employee with a grudge.

That priest Neil Horan recently returned to our TV screens - I must add though that I don't watch the drivel that is 'Britain's Got Talent'...but was told about it and sent this 'youtube' link:
(Watch if you dare, amazed the shows producers, media etc did not 'click' who he was)
...here he is being arrested by our own Stephen Green at Silverstone, fine chap and top marshal.


#17 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:57

http://www.metacafe....llapses_angola/

There was that lunatic Irish 'priest' in a kilt who interrupted the British GP in 2003 - and went on to make a career of proving how mad he was.
http://www.abc.net.a.../30/1187634.htm


Alan,

Yes that's the Angola clip I'd seen.

The marshal who caught the Silverstone lunatic goes by the nickname of the "The Priest Catcher" and has posted here in the past as well at 10/10ths.

There was a protester at Hockenheim in about 2000 who ran on to the track as well.


Edit: Andrew beat me to it!

Edited by alansart, 10 July 2009 - 11:59.


#18 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:25

Ian, he was described as a priest, but of what sort of church, who knows!!

He did get on to the track in Hockenhiem (a seperate incident to the disgruntled ex Merc' staff member), the same year as his Silverstone escapade, there was a lot of embarassment he'd managed to do it twice! We had control of the output in Germany, and so it never went out on air, but at Siverstone there was nothing we could do (bit like hiding empty stands during broadcasts!!!)


I did a 24 hour kart race once (well more than once) and there were suddenly loads of karts parking and clouds of smoke everywhere. Turned out that one of the very helpful pit re-fuellers was topping us up with diesel. That was a race that just sort of stopped!

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:48

Yet another spectator addition to the field...

At Oran Park during a major Touring Car race a drunken spectator in a Valiant simply drove onto the track from the far spectator area and did a few laps.

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#20 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 13:01

Wasn't there a tale from a motorcycle racer somewhere, can't remember where/when, racing in hot and dusty climes...getting faster and faster each lap using a 'rock' at the side of the road as his braking point for a sharp bend, until he braked too late and fell off?

The story goes the 'rock' (tortoise) walked past him.

#21 Kevan

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 13:14

Ian, he was described as a priest, but of what sort of church, who knows!!

He did get on to the track in Hockenhiem (a seperate incident to the disgruntled ex Merc' staff member), the same year as his Silverstone escapade, there was a lot of embarassment he'd managed to do it twice! We had control of the output in Germany, and so it never went out on air, but at Siverstone there was nothing we could do (bit like hiding empty stands during broadcasts!!!)


I did a 24 hour kart race once (well more than once) and there were suddenly loads of karts parking and clouds of smoke everywhere. Turned out that one of the very helpful pit re-fuellers was topping us up with diesel. That was a race that just sort of stopped!


Horan is a former Catholic priest- he was defrocked, excommunicated or whatever the procedure is a few years ago.

He was making a bit of a career out of trying to disrupt sporting events- apparently, he's been arrested several times before other events on suspicion that he was about to carry out a similar stunt. One he did manage was getting onto the course of the marathon at the Athens Olympics, and in doing so pushing the race leader, Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd, completely disrupting de Lima's race

#22 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 13:46

How about driving a bulldozer onto the circuit... during a race? Happened at Meadowdale Raceway in 1968:

A Ft. Wayne Regional race was disrupted when a huge Caterpiller tractor towing an earth scraper bucket broke through a chain link fence, mowed down a guardrail and stopped in the middle of the track. Paddock gossip told of the operator's dissatisfaction at not being paid by the track management. Nonetheless, his protest action landed him in jail.


http://miroldpix2.ho...m/68oldpix.html


#23 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 15:35

Reminds me of a episode at Kirkistown when I raced Formula E (FF1600) in the 80's. There was a full days testing on the friday before racing next day. Very low key with only a few officials around. The clubhouse was in the middle of the circuit and the Guinness truck turns up to replenish the bar. The driver promptly drives on to the circuit and goes the wrong way up the straight. We are still hammering around the track and get quite a shock to find a lorry coming at us! Nobody seemed too concerned so we all just got on with it :)

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 21:05

Well... If testing and practice days are included...

Someone testing a motorcycle at Oran Park back about 1964 came over the crest at the Dogleg ('Flip Flop' to motorcyclists) and found a teenager driving a maintenance truck across the circuit. Sadly, it ended right there for that motorcyclist.

#25 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 21:49

Friz tells this one best from that race...he said 'I was pissed off!'

All our thoughts are with Geoff at the moment. He is a bit poorly having chemo treatment. Fingers crossed it all goes well, his doctor seems quite happy with progress. I can pass on any messages to him if anyone wants to email them to me ( I'll print them off and post them ) as not sure if he has access to the net.

A great sense of humour has Friz...he'll love this thread when he's back home.


Andrew

Please wish Geoff my best wishes and a speedy recovery :up:

PAR


#26 NanningF1fan

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:45

Reading about idiots on the track reminds me of the British Grand Prix in 1998. I was observing at Motor Bridge which is the post immediately after the start line when a burly, male streaker, completely naked ran down the track towards us from Copse about ten minutes before the start of the race. Two of my incident team manhandled him off the track and we handed him over to police. I never did hear what happened to him afterwards.

Edited by NanningF1fan, 11 July 2009 - 10:45.


#27 petestenning

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:54

Club meeting at Mallory Park 70 s a Clubman race with the usual front runners of Ray Mallock and Geoff Friswell, all lined up on the grid when a dog is seen runing in the pit lane . Start delayed board goes up . Said dog is shepherded back to the paddock and race starts.

Part way through Jack Murrell was about to be lapped by the Mallock/Friswell leaders, when said dog runs down pit lane again and attempts to cross the track in front of Jack . Jack had little chance to even see the dog before he hit it with his mudguard , needless to say the dog wont be causing any more problems and one bent clubmans car later.

10 secs later and that dog would have ran in front of the leaders and lord only knows what that would have done.



Pete

#28 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:05

Reading about idiots on the track reminds me of the British Grand Prix in 1998. I was observing at Motor Bridge which is the post immediately after the start line when a burly, male streaker, completely naked ran down the track towards us from Copse about ten minutes before the start of the race. Two of my incident team manhandled him off the track and we handed him over to police. I never did hear what happened to him afterwards.


I also remember this long haired guy running the length of the Thruxton paddock completely starkers...early 70s. Lots of cheers and applause...why I don't know!


#29 petestenning

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 13:19

He was nicknamed and entered as 'The Streaker' for a while , i should know his name too , he raced Monoposto .


Tony Broster






Peter

#30 Phil Rainford

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 13:24

[quote name='petestenning' date='Jul 11 2009, 14:19' post='3738197']
He was nicknamed and entered as 'The Streaker' for a while , i should know his name too , he raced Monoposto .


Tony Broster


We were only discussing "The Streaker " at the last Northern TNF gathering :)

PAR

Edited by Phil Rainford, 11 July 2009 - 13:25.


#31 fines

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 17:11

There was also a "dog incident" at the start of a Sprint Car feature at Williams Grove in 1955 - Al Herman was involved, as I recall, and probably Tommy Hinnershitz, but basically the whole field got tangled up, and one or two even flipped, if I'm not mistaken! Potentially very dangerous, but everyone was lucky, and able to take the restart - except for the dog, whose licence was withheld...

#32 f1steveuk

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 19:05

Montreal always had it's fair share of red or yellow flags for groundhogs or woodchucks, or whatever they were called, but hardly ever after the end of free practise!

#33 JdB

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 19:55

ooh good - another excuse to post this :clap:


Thanks for this, it´s brilliant !! We should turn this into a sport !! :p

gr.Jeroen

#34 alansart

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 21:11

Montreal always had it's fair share of red or yellow flags for groundhogs or woodchucks, or whatever they were called, but hardly ever after the end of free practise!


I don't think Anthony Davidson would agree with that.


#35 RA Historian

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 22:15

Back in the early 1980s the SCCA Formula Super Vee series went to Mexico City a couple times, usually accompanying the Trans Am. My friend Dick Eisenmann was then the chief steward of the series. Crowd control was then in the hands of the Mexican army. During practice a dog got loose on the circuit and was running around the main straight. Dick called for a red flag and told a Mexican army officer who was in the control tower that they had to get the dog off the circuit. The officer barked (no pun intended) an order in Spanish to a subordinate, after which Dick watched in amazement as an army infrantryman unslung his rifle from his shoulder, took aim, and.......problem eliminated.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 11 July 2009 - 22:15.


#36 RStock

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 22:44

Thanks for this, it´s brilliant !! We should turn this into a sport !! :p

gr.Jeroen


This one is pretty good too .

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


#37 Direct Drive

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 05:06

Gordon Smiley punching out Gary Bettenhausen after his younger brother Tony took GS out of the lead of the 1981 Indy 500 with a chop across the bows in turn 3.
The punch cost Smiley his job at Patrick Racing, never one to support their wayward drivers.

#38 drivers71

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 11:13

I wish I'd been around to see Masten Gregory racing..................................
It is reported widely that he used to disembark from his car moments before it hit something - apparently accidents were not unusual during his early days of racing, though jumping from his car must surely rate as 'bizarre'?
Anyone here witness these amazing incidents?
I think one was at Silverstone, but not able to check race and date info at present.

#39 JdB

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 14:10

This one is pretty good too .

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


I suppose that according to the laws of fysics it's possible, but like the man said, you had to see it to believe it ! Wow ... :eek:

gr.Jeroen

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#40 Risil

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 14:36

ooh good - another excuse to post this :clap:


It went back to its friends! :love:

#41 Cirrus

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 14:54

He was nicknamed and entered as 'The Streaker' for a while , i should know his name too , he raced Monoposto .


Tony Broster


We were only discussing "The Streaker " at the last Northern TNF gathering :)

PAR


I thought The Streaker's real name was Carl Jeanes. Tony Broster was a Monoposto racer at the same time, but not The Streaker as far as I recall.

#42 Direct Drive

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 16:02

Can anyone educate me about the alleged "punch up" between Gordon Smiley and the Melchester team sponsor, someone named "Brian Kreisky" which ended Smiley's run in the Melchester Tyrrell 008, and resulted, in the end, in a far superior drive for Surtees in the prototype TS20+, with a season ending win at Silverstone, 1979?

Thanks

#43 Tony Matthews

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 17:22

Can anyone educate me about the alleged "punch up" between Gordon Smiley and the Melchester team sponsor, someone named "Brian Kreisky" which ended Smiley's run in the Melchester Tyrrell 008, and resulted, in the end, in a far superior drive for Surtees in the prototype TS20+, with a season ending win at Silverstone, 1979?

Thanks

All I know is that Brian Kriesky was originaly 'Sunrise Productions' or similar, Sunrise I'm sure, and then the 'Havoc' Videotape series, and died, I seem to remember, in a helicopter accident, possibly in the London area - Heathrow?

#44 alansart

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 17:29

All I know is that Brian Kriesky was originaly 'Sunrise Productions' or similar, Sunrise I'm sure, and then the 'Havoc' Videotape series, and died, I seem to remember, in a helicopter accident, possibly in the London area - Heathrow?


An aircraft in Hampshire.

http://news.bbc.co.u.../uk/1085486.stm


#45 Mallory Dan

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:46

He was nicknamed and entered as 'The Streaker' for a while , i should know his name too , he raced Monoposto .


Tony Broster






Peter


Wasn't The Streaker Carl something, 'Jeans' or similar??


#46 petestenning

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:12

Wasn't The Streaker Carl something, 'Jeans' or similar??


Now you mention that name was he not from the same area as Broster or entered by the same entrant at some point .?
Perhaps this is where i am getting confused .


Peter

#47 Giraffe

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 13:07

Now you mention that name was he not from the same area as Broster or entered by the same entrant at some point .?
Perhaps this is where i am getting confused .


Peter


I remember seeing both of the aforementioned gentlemen racing in 1976; Tony Broster in a FF2000 Dulon entered by"Newbridge" & "The Streaker" in a Lotus 35 in Monoposto entered by himself, and where unlike Broster, he had some half-decent results.

Edited by Giraffe, 13 July 2009 - 13:11.


#48 stevewf1

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 13:46

It was at Indianapolis in the early 80s, I was there for the first-day qualifying when a brief rain shower hit, putting a stop to the action. While everyone was waiting for the track to dry, about 20 people (and one girl) got onto the track in turn 1 and started throwing a frisbee around. The only thing... not a one of them had a stitch of clothing on. One big fat fellow - completely naked - started slowly jogging on down the front straight. Could hear the crowd down there start roaring as he approached.


#49 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 14:13

Brian Kriesky, there's a name I haven't heard for a while! Greenlight Productions on the Isle of Man. He is the cameraman you see in the BBC footage of the Paletti accident in Canada, getting in the way (well actually standing over the nose of the Osella) and then jumping when the fire starts. A lot of the guys who covered F1 when I did, used to work for him and the stories were, er, very interesting!!

Edited by f1steveuk, 13 July 2009 - 14:14.


#50 jcbc3

jcbc3
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  • Joined: November 04

Posted 13 July 2009 - 14:41

Brian Kriesky, there's a name I haven't heard for a while! Greenlight Productions on the Isle of Man. He is the cameraman you see in the BBC footage of the Paletti accident in Canada, getting in the way (well actually standing over the nose of the Osella) and then jumping when the fire starts. A lot of the guys who covered F1 when I did, used to work for him and the stories were, er, very interesting!!



Now there's a tease.........