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Bizarre incidents during race meetings


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#51 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:31

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



More like protecting myself!

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#52 jcbc3

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:34

More like protecting myself!


If that was the purpose, total silence would have been the better strategy. No, I think you are burning with desire to tell us.....

#53 NanningF1fan

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:39

Reading these stories about animals on circuits reminds me of a Jaguar Car Club meeting at Mallory Park. My dates are a bit hazy but late 80s I think. A Jaguar Mark 2 crashed heavily into the tyres at Devils Elbow in an unusual place, just past the flag point on the inside. The driver was perfectly OK and the next thing we knew a family of kittens ran out of the tyres and across the circuit. They were unhurt but homeless.

Edited by NanningF1fan, 15 July 2009 - 03:04.


#54 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:25

What about the deer that Stephan Johansson hit at the Osterriechring? There is a gruesome but fascinating photo of the deer in the instant of impact, turning into a burger. Who was it that hit a hare at Silverstone, and a thigh-bone pierced a tyre, the air pressure blew out the marrow, and the tyre deflated? David Purley? I don't mean his massive shunt at Beckets.

#55 D-Type

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:35

We've had a thread regarding animal incidents before. The 'Harry the hare' incident you describe sounds like Jean Behra in 1958.

#56 f1steveuk

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:37

I recall when McNish hit a hare at Silverstone, the area around the Toyota garage smelt like a barbeque, then again, it wasn't me clearing out the sidepods!

#57 alansart

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:52

I recall when McNish hit a hare at Silverstone, the area around the Toyota garage smelt like a barbeque, then again, it wasn't me clearing out the sidepods!


The Hares at Silverstone were often a problem. I seem to remember Gunnar Nillson hitting one when he did F3.

Australia has bigger problems. This one escaped - they often don't!




#58 bigears

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:57

Who was it that hit a hare at Silverstone, and a thigh-bone pierced a tyre, the air pressure blew out the marrow, and the tyre deflated?


Jackie Stewart? Or was I getting mixed up with having a similar incident at Monza?


#59 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:14

The Hares at Silverstone were often a problem. I seem to remember Gunnar Nillson hitting one when he did F3.

Australia has bigger problems. This one escaped - they often don't!

Steven Richards hit a Roo at Bathurst a few years back.
And streakers In the 70s a Rowley Pk speedway competitor did a streak on a solo bike during a power blackout.

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#60 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:20

I recall when McNish hit a hare at Silverstone, the area around the Toyota garage smelt like a barbeque, then again, it wasn't me clearing out the sidepods!

The hare is game, and as such is pretty powerfull meat, I used to love jugged hare, but preparing them, jointing them and saving the blood for the 'gravey' demands nerve, but when I see them now, especially a close-up of those huge brown eyes, I think - nah, I'll have a cheese sandwich.

#61 stevewf1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 13:06

Jackie Stewart? Or was I getting mixed up with having a similar incident at Monza?


I remember reading that Stewart hit a dog in the 1970 Mexican GP. The one where the fans crowded the track.



#62 John Brundage

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 13:13

This past weekend at Mont Tremblant, a deer ran onto the track and was hit by a Lola Mk1. The deer went airborne and did some damage to the Elva that was following. Both drivers were OK, but the front fender of the Lola was damaged and the rear clip destroyed. The Elva had the windscreen broken and some minor damage to the body.

#63 D-Type

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 15:41

This past weekend at Mont Tremblant, a deer ran onto the track and was hit by a Lola Mk1. The deer went airborne and did some damage to the Elva that was following. Both drivers were OK, but the front fender of the Lola was damaged and the rear clip destroyed. The Elva had the windscreen broken and some minor damage to the body.


And the deer?


#64 D-Type

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 15:43

I remember reading that Stewart hit a dog in the 1970 Mexican GP. The one where the fans crowded the track.

Jackie Stewart did hit a hare at Monza one year and got away unscathed though I doubt that the hare did.


#65 John Brundage

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 16:56

And the deer?


Deceased.
The track staff moved it to the woods.


#66 slucas

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 17:08

Does finding black bears at the gates of Calabogie (SW of Ottawa) count or is it a near track encounter. It does make you think when you're out on the track.
Someone from Westwood has a pici of a dear leaping right over a car at that saddly cosed track.

#67 stevewf1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 18:00

Does finding black bears at the gates of Calabogie (SW of Ottawa) count or is it a near track encounter. It does make you think when you're out on the track.
Someone from Westwood has a pici of a dear leaping right over a car at that saddly cosed track.


Finding black bears anywhere near people should count. I don't know if they "suddenly appear" as deer tend to do, but I certainly wouldn't chance it...



#68 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 18:37

Deceased.
The track staff moved it to the woods.


BBQ?

#69 fines

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 18:38

More like sausage, probably...

#70 Giraffe

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 18:46

BBQ?


PDQ! :rotfl:


#71 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 18:46

Now?

#72 24hourman

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 19:15

I was marshalling at the Layhams farm grass track circuit just outside croydon UK in the mid nineties I looked to my left and watched a piece of paper swirl up in the air in a small vortex I turned to my left and the portacabin which held the timekeepers etc was lifted into the air over the fencing one official fell out of the window and the whole thing ended on the track in the middle of a banger race. No one was seriousy hurt. When I returned home nobody believed me. But an article in the local newspaper did confirm that the area had been hit by a small tornado.

#73 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 19:46

A type of bird invaded the track at Pocono:

Neil Bonnett hit a deer at the track one time.

#74 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 23:08

I was marshalling at the Layhams farm grass track circuit just outside croydon UK in the mid nineties I looked to my left and watched a piece of paper swirl up in the air in a small vortex I turned to my left and the portacabin which held the timekeepers etc was lifted into the air over the fencing one official fell out of the window and the whole thing ended on the track in the middle of a banger race. No one was seriousy hurt. When I returned home nobody believed me. But an article in the local newspaper did confirm that the area had been hit by a small tornado.

:lol: I witnessed a small tornado in Hitchin about thirty years ago - no-body believed me untill the local paper reported that an industrial unit had lost its roof. What is it about tornados? Are people jealous because they didn't see it?

#75 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:16

There was some NASCAR race where the cement started coming apart right in the groove. One chunk of racing surface, at least as big as your fist, had some dislodged and damaged Jeff Gordon's car quite severely.

#76 Frank S

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:35

Thinking of major events only, I'll mention the naked lady who was running between turns Six and Seven while the field was on its pace lap and nearing start-finish at the 1969 Riverside CanAm. No shortage of volunteers for the posse who caught and confined her.


At Holtville, Imperial County, the Naval Air Field El Centro supplied fire-fighting equipment and personnel for some of SCCA San Diego Region's racing events. NAF El Centro was the "Winter home" of the Blue Angels. I was operating steward when the FFord race began; simultaneously, the Angels made a startling and unannounced low-level, high-speed pass over the "raceway". I hate to tell of the time elapsed between the Mayday flipped FF at turn two and when we rolled the emergency equipment. Apparently all hands' heads were up and the FF disappeared into the sagebrush without being immediately noticed. Driver was OK, car only a little less so. Bad reviews for turn staff.


SCCA National at Willow Springs, early 1970s if I recall correctly, during practice a big ol' Cobra lost a knock-off and wheel at the top of the course, heading from T-4 toward T-5. The wheel came bounding down the infield, past S/F and across T-9 in the general direction of Edwards AFB. On inquiry, it was offered there was a taper mismatch between Cobra hubs and wheels. The driver safety-wired all four knock-offs. To no useful effect, apparently: during the race the same wheel parted company with the car, and did the same travelling act. There was semi-serious talk about banning Cobras.


Playas de Tijuana road races, Bullring by the Sea neighborhood, 1968 or so. George Graves of Colorado, who was serious about SCCA National Points that year, trailered his Seven America to Tijuana. While he was on the track, enabling the beating-to-collapse of his car, and while his girlfriend was walking the family ocelot, someone stole the tools out of his van.


One hot summer day at Willow Springs, an Emergency worker streaked the entire track - on the back of the wrecker.

#77 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:50

A few years ago at the Mallala round of the Austrralian Touring Car Championship they were using tyres to stop the drivers cutting corners. Chris Smerdons Commodore clipped one and it picked itself up and rolled across the infield for a couple of hundred yards to the start line area and nailed Dick Johnsons Sierra right in the drivers door.
Needless to say that practice was discontinued though a few months later at the Twilight meeting Chris was racing in a combined field of Sports Sedans etc. It was not very light and when you came out of the northern hairpin you were looking at the light on the start finish straight. He was having a little trouble on the sweeper and throwing rocks at my closely following car. After the race we were talking and I said that they need tyres on the sweeper to keep you on the track. He did see the funny side!!

#78 RDV

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:32

Frank S-...while his girlfriend was walking the family ocelot

..as one does....

#79 stevewf1

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:44

Don't know it this counts, but I was at practice at Indianapolis one day in the early 90s. I was in one of the suites on the outside of the track on the front straight right before the pit entrance. There were a couple of cars out running when I noticed this paper napkin floating down towards the track. The napkin settled on the track to the left of the racing line right at that point. "This is going to be interesting", I thought. One of the cars came out of turn 4 and blasted down the straight at speed. The car passed about 4 or 5 feet from this napkin. The napkin didn't move at all. A few seconds later I saw the napkin scoot a few feet down the track. I guess I expected it to "disappear" or something, but it didn't.

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#80 Derek Pitt

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:47

..as one does....


Isn't an Ocelot a wild cat about the size of a large moggy?

I would have thought walking such a chap would have been as dodgy as asking an Australian to look beyond meaningless and boring touring car racing.

#81 f1steveuk

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 13:21

Surprised no one has mentioned Berger being retired by a flying camera from his team mates car! As I know the bloke who fitted the camera, that is all I am saying......

#82 alansart

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 13:54

3 incidents I can remember involving man hole or drainage covers:

Montoya in China

The same thing happen in an Aussie V8 Supercar race, this time the drain cover came through the bottom of the car.

The worst one was in Montreal for the World Sports cars in 1990. A loose manhole cover burst the fuel tank on Jesus Pareja's Porsche causing a multiple accident. About 5 mins into this Japanese clip http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#83 idrive

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 15:25

Not quite on track, but close enough. About 10 years ago gate keepers at the Aldo Scribante track in Port Elizabeth, South Africa were relieved of their takings by armed robbers.

In 2007, someone stole a car frpm the infield car park during a lull in racing at East London and couldn't get out so drove onto the track ..... he came past the pits and someone threw a crowbar which went through the windscreen and was wedged in the C-pillar. He crashed shortly after that and ran off into the bushes near the sea waving a gun!

At the same track in the 90s a very inebriated fisherman in a beach buggy drove out the bushes along the beach straight onto the track during practice for the big V8 Supercars (more like Trans Am).

Edited by idrive, 16 July 2009 - 15:28.


#84 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 15:32

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!!!)



How did this never get reported by any spectators or drivers? Was it not during the race?

#85 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:15

Funny I thought the Hockenheim incident went on air too. Maybe I only saw a picture of it I guess. From what I remember it was in the forest section right ?

#86 Giraffe

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:22

During a saloon car race at the Aintree Club circuit circa 1969/70, John Scott-Davies was hammering down the Railway Straight in his V8 powered Ford Cortina Mk1 towards my marshal's post when there a terrific bang, and something flew off the car and about 100 feet into the air. John coasted to a halt and I ran upto him and opened the door, to find that the flywheel had detached itself from the V8 and just missing John's leg had exited the car vertically punching a hole through the bottom of the windscreen! It seemed to hang in mid-air for an age before landing on the track in two halves!

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2009-01-24

The same car pictured on the same straight from the same marshals post in happier times!

Edited by Giraffe, 16 July 2009 - 17:26.


#87 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:23

Funny I thought the Hockenheim incident went on air too. Maybe I only saw a picture of it I guess. From what I remember it was in the forest section right ?


That would be the Mercedes employee in 2000. If Steve's years are right, 2003 would have been on the short(current) course.

#88 Geoff E

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:25

From what I remember it was in the forest section right ?


Right. http://sport.scotsma...eims.2235269.jp

I remember seeing it too.


#89 Pullman99

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:55

[quote name='Giraffe' date='Jul 16 2009, 18:22' post='3748758']
During a saloon car race at the Aintree Club circuit circa 1969/70, John Scott-Davies was hammering down the Railway Straight in his V8 powered Ford Cortina Mk1 towards my marshal's post when there a terrific bang, and something flew off the car and about 100 feet into the air. John coasted to a halt and I ran upto him and opened the door, to find that the flywheel had detached itself from the V8 and just missing John's leg had exited the car vertically punching a hole through the bottom of the windscreen! It seemed to hang in mid-air for an age before landing on the track in two halves! /quote]


Well, it was a FLY wheel! :rotfl:

#90 f1steveuk

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:06

That would be the Mercedes employee in 2000. If Steve's years are right, 2003 would have been on the short(current) course.



That sounds right, sprinted (ish) out of the back of the old paddock and was rugby tackled very very quickly, I have a recollection it was Sunday morning warm up for some reason.

#91 Hieronymus

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:14

Not quite on track, but close enough. About 10 years ago gate keepers at the Aldo Scribante track in Port Elizabeth, South Africa were relieved of their takings by armed robbers.

In 2007, someone stole a car frpm the infield car park during a lull in racing at East London and couldn't get out so drove onto the


Some two years ago the Zwartkops circuit was also visted by robbers when the David Piper Circus was in town. I recall they got away with cash and one or two people were shot in the process. I would not be surprised if there will be a major robbery at one of next year's soccer World Cup matches.

#92 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:24

That would be the Mercedes employee in 2000. If Steve's years are right, 2003 would have been on the short(current) course.


Ah yes I might be mixing the two incidents. I wasn't watching F1 anymore by 2003 anyway I think.


#93 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:51

That sounds right, sprinted (ish) out of the back of the old paddock and was rugby tackled very very quickly, I have a recollection it was Sunday morning warm up for some reason.


No surprise it didn't get much attentio then. Wasn't there someone at Spain a few years ago, 2003 or 2004ish just before race start? I think he was in the pitlane or something and only got about one leg over the wall.

#94 Geoff E

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 19:14

I have a recollection it was Sunday morning warm up for some reason.


It was during the race (see my earlier link) http://sport.scotsma...eims.2235269.jp

"The same man was dragged away by a steward from the starting grid just 15 seconds before the formation lap. Police later said the man had cut through a fence about 500 metres away from the track.

"I am disappointed that the person who was responsible for the safety car coming out couldn’t have been taken away before the race when he was already close to the track,"said Mercedes director Norbert Haug."


#95 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 19:15

We're talking about different incidents in different years with different people.

At any rate that article is questionable since the Hockenheim 2000 invader wasn't a streaker. Quite the opposite in fact as he was wearing a cape with a message on it, or carrying a sign or something.

#96 Simon Arron

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 20:57

I'll keep the following as brief as possible, because I could probably conjure enough to fill the best part of a book if I included all the arcane details...

Enna-Pergusa, early 1990s
FIA F3000 practice delayed because the circuit had forgotten to book a medical helicopter. A couple of years later a session had to be delayed again because the medical helicopter had disappeared to attend a road accident near Palermo.

Enna-Pergusa, 1988
Rescue truck tows Michel Trollé's undamaged Lola T88/50 from a gravel trap at the end of a qualifying session. Lola digs in and flips - with Trollé still on board - but the trucker carries on for several seconds before realising.

Pau, 1987
Tornado strikes just as French F3 race is about to start. Several trees fall in F3000 paddock, leading to a couple of broken bones and one or two squashed road cars, but there are no serious injuries at the racetrack. People elsewhere in the region weren't so fortunate.

Suzuka, 2005
Saturday cancelled because of an approaching typhoon, which actually blew off course in the end. When we returned to our hotel on Friday evening, the front door was surrounded by sand bags. There was a minor earth tremor at Suzuka in 2000, which I missed, and another at Fuji in 2007, but not until about 2am on Monday morning.

Indianapolis, 2005
I will never forget looking out of the media centre window and seeing stormtroopers arrive about five laps into the race, when punters started throwing bottles etc at the six cars on the track.

Mugello, 1991
Photographer Steven Tee and I hadn't been to the circuit for a year or five, so on Friday afternoon we ventured out onto the track in our Avis Fiat Uno to evaluate the best locations. There were one or two marshals standing around, but nobody stopped us (and the F3000 cars weren't due out until the following morning). It was only as we approached the final corner that we heard the shrill bark of F3 engines: they were going out just as we headed in.

Birmingham, 1990 (I think)
Very drunk spectator wanders across the track by the mini-roundabout that constituted the second corner. Plod was soon on the scene, not least because the local police station was immediately adjacent to that bit of the track.

Hockenheim, 1991
Allan McNish is an early F3000 casualty with broken DAMS Lola. Attempts to walk back to paddock, but becomes hopelessly lost in the woods and eventually returns quite some time after the race has finished.

Nürburgring, 1985
Second F3000 qualifying session takes place amid a snow flurry (and floppy Lola T950 works quite well for just about the only time in its short career). Heavy overnight snowstorm leads to cancellation of meeting - and denies Franz Klammer his scheduled race debut. He was due to drive an Alfa Romeo GTV6 in one of the support events.

Birmingham, 1986
Meeting starts late because locals loosen the barriers by nicking a few bolts. Ends early because of Hurricane Charley.

Curaçao, 1985
Splendid post-race punch-up between Sanremo team-mates Aldo Bertuzzi and Fulvio Ballabio, who banged wheels while disputing 17th place or somesuch.

Malaysia, 2004
Toyota sends a message to Olivier Panis ("Engine braking, engine braking"), because it wants him to select a different engine map. He interprets this as "engine breaking" and peels into the pits. Once he realises his faux pas, he has a sizeable strop and gets a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane he wasn't supposed to enter.

Spa, 1985
Grand prix cancelled because track is breaking up... although it is adjudged perfectly OK for F3000 cars.

Enna-Pergusa, 1996
I'm sure I've forgotten a few Pau/Enna excerpts, but I'll stop here. There was - quite literally - a plague of baby frogs at Enna in '96. I'd never seen rain in Sicily before, but every shower prompted a mass exodus from the lake and zillions of tiny amphibians got squashed. It was impossible not to tread on them in the pit lane because they were absolutely everywhere. Tyres were coated in squelched, two-dimensional frogs and drivers were confused because the red-and-white kerbs provided one of the few useful clues at Enna. As soon as you saw the paint at the first left-hander, for instance, you were supposed to count, "One hundred, two hundred, three hundred..." before braking and turning, but the kerbs were sometimes invisible because they were covered with marauding frogs.



#97 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 21:55

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.


Wasn't one of such incidents in the 1959 Portugal GP ? Involving Jack Brabham ? Seem to recall Brabham talking about it in one of the great interviews featured in the MFQ films. Brabham lying on the road / electric wires / Masten Gregory were involved I think, but I'm not too sure who did what :stoned:


#98 hay!

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 22:37

....................
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:

................


Oh lord yes I remember that!

I can even recall who was driving the Minor :rotfl:

Good memory, happy days :)



#99 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 23:17

Originally posted by Frank Verplanken
Wasn't one of such incidents in the 1959 Portugal GP ? Involving Jack Brabham ? Seem to recall Brabham talking about it in one of the great interviews featured in the MFQ films. Brabham lying on the road / electric wires / Masten Gregory were involved I think, but I'm not too sure who did what


I think Masten drove very close to Jack because he was avoiding those wires or the pole or somthing...

Anyway, Jack remembers that as the day Masten tried to kill him... and the warning about the handling of the Mickey Thompson Indy car as the day Masten saved his life.

No crash for Masten either of those days.

Simon... is that incident at Indy in 2005 the one Buford highlighted?

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#100 stevewf1

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 23:20

I'm sure I remember reading that Mark Donahue got his Porsche stolen at the Nurburgring a couple of weeks before his fatal accident.