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Bizarre incidents during race meetings


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#201 king_crud

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 16:14

Moffat hadn't actually left at that stage...

He shared an XD in that very race with John Fitzpatrick. Uhh? 3 laps? Well, he might as well have left!


true, but i think by 1980 he'd certainly lost the Ford aura. Had he declared his intentions to race the RX7 by that point?

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#202 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 19:43

I think he was just a lost soul?

Was that the year he ran a pretty ordinary engine and Chris Economaki interviewed him about it?

#203 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 20:55

I think he was just a lost soul?

Was that the year he ran a pretty ordinary engine and Chris Economaki interviewed him about it?

My memories it was an XC engine with the mandatory 2V heads. Everything else was from the XC. But budget and enthusiasm was probably missing. I think that car ever only did that meeting?

#204 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 21:20

He ran a black XC in '79...

Wasn't it a yellow XD in '80?

#205 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 21:26

He ran a black XC in '79...

Wasn't it a yellow XD in '80?

Yes, paint by Ford I reckon. Federation In surance as sponsors

#206 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 22:33

And reverting to my earlier question...

In 1970 at the Surfers Paradise Tasman Cup meeting, Frank Matich dictated about his grid position. He had fastest lap, but he clearly didn't like being on pole, which was a poor line for the upcoming corner and dirty track to boot.

Though it's not reported widely, but the photos show it clearly, he simply pulled up much closer to the centre of the road than he was supposed to and took the start there.

In 1971 he was even more conspicuous, and it was quite a scene. Pulling up from his warm-up lap he parked right in the centre of the 3-car wide grid, in Frank Gardner's position. As this scene developed, Graham McRae on the outside of the front row was constantly urging the officials to get the race under way, but there was a lot happening.

Matich was adamant that winning pole meant he could choose where he started. And that he simply didn't want that dirty bit of bitumen that was off-line for the first corner, he wanted to be in the middle of the road. Gardner was perplexed, but not nearly as perplexed as he became when the scrutineers came across to see what all the fuss was about.

On practice day they had obliged him to remove some oversize spoilers from the front of the T192, this incident meant that they saw he'd put them back on for the race!

So with Gardner embarrassed about being forced to revert to the smaller wings and Matich folding his arms and saying, "I'm staying here!" and the TV people saying, "We've got to run to a schedule!" the race went ahead with Matich in the middle of the front row and the smaller wings of the Lola taking off from the dusty pole position.

#207 HeskethBoy

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:33

And reverting to my earlier question...

In 1970 at the Surfers Paradise Tasman Cup meeting, Frank Matich dictated about his grid position. He had fastest lap, but he clearly didn't like being on pole, which was a poor line for the upcoming corner and dirty track to boot.


Ah yes! the much debated subject of "where should pole position be at Surfers Paradise?"
The fast line was down LHS of the track, but as the first corner tunred right, pole position was placed on RHS of the road.
Many, many debates and arguments over the years.

#208 Catalina Park

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:39

Ah yes! the much debated subject of "where should pole position be at Surfers Paradise?"
The fast line was down LHS of the track, but as the first corner tunred right, pole position was placed on RHS of the road.
Many, many debates and arguments over the years.

At Amaroo I reckoned that the second row of the grid was the best place to be. The front row was uphill and the second row was almost level. Whenever I started on the second row I always led the field over the hill!
Somehow I don't think they would let pole sitter line up one row back from where he is supposed to be.

If Frank Matich wanted the middle spot he should have qualified second.


#209 Graham Clayton

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:33

Mike Bliss's NASCAR Nationwide Series car was damaged at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the 14th of July 2011 when the lift-gate on the transporter collapsed when the car was being unloaded:

http://www.scenedail...rage_at_NH.html

#210 alansart

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:10

While loading his truck before heading off to Kirkistown the late Roger Eccleston broke his foot when the tailgate dropped on it. He ended up with his foot in plaster but the promise of a works Crossle drive was too much to miss for Roger, so he made an ally plate in the shape of his footprint, cut off the plaster cast, taped the plate too his foot and then carried on as if nothing had happened :)

#211 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 13:03

Originally posted by Catalina Park
At Amaroo I reckoned that the second row of the grid was the best place to be.....


Max Stewart always reckoned fourth on the grid at Warwick Farm was better than pole.

.....If Frank Matich wanted the middle spot he should have qualified second.


Then he wouldn't be able to assert his superiority.

And what if, say, Gardner did the same thing?

#212 king_crud

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 13:40

Matich sounds like a right prick. I'm presuming he wasn't well liked by fellow drivers?

#213 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 13:47

So you weren't there?

I think you're getting the right impressions. At one stage he was known among his adversaries as 'Frank Who'...

#214 king_crud

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 13:58

I was born around the time of the stories you tell. My dad was a touring car follower, I'll have to mention these stories to him, there's a good chance he would have been at the Warwick Farm races

#215 David Lawson

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 14:06

I watched a Formula Ford run wide exiting Druids at Brands Hatch in a race in either 1970 or 1971, the circuit still had the narrow grass verges and grassed banks in those days.

The car ran along the bank completing a spiral "victory" roll landing back on its wheels and rejoined the track, he finished the race without any damage and probably only adding a few seconds to his lap time on the lap of the incident.

David



#216 Graham Clayton

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 00:50

The 2011 IndyCar race at New Hampshire Speedway saw a bizarre incident involving Will Power. The race came to a premature conclusion after 216 of the scheduled 225 laps when, despite furious protests from drivers and team owners, race control decided to restart the race following a caution period due to the circuit being too wet to resume racing. After Power crashed, he jumped out of his car and sprinted for Race Control, livid over the prospect of a poor decision threatening to cost him many championship points:


Edited by Graham Clayton, 26 February 2012 - 00:50.


#217 Rob G

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:39

The finish of today's NASCAR Nationwide Series race was an eye-opener. The driver running 11th going into the final corner won the race because the ten cars in front of him were swept up in a huge crash exiting said corner. I wonder if that's some sort of record.

#218 Rob G

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:22

Here's another one from Daytona this year. During the 500, Juan Montoya made a long pit stop during caution. When scrambling quickly to catch up to the back of the pack, something broke, sending him spinning out of control. He slammed into the back of a jet dryer truck that was blowing the surface clean. There was a huge explosion upon impact. Montoya spun into the infield with both ends of the car on fire, and countless gallons of jet fuel flowed onto the track and ignited. Mercifully, neither driver was seriously injured. They remain under a red flag as I type this as they try to determine how much damage has been done to the track.

#219 Welby

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:05

Thought about this thread as soon as the fire was out.

Beat me too it :)


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#220 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 14:45

It was entertaining, that's for sure.

This is the live-broadcast as they came back from commercial under full course caution. We knew Montoya wasn't involved in the accident that brought out the pace car but there he is...



#221 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 00:18

While working with Wally Willmott in the late 1960 at Geoghegans Lotus Division he told the story of a race he attended somewhere in South America, I believe it was a Formula Atlantic meeting as he was looking after one of the Compeditors for the race, this incident happened during a support race.

During the First lap of the race there was a comming together of two cars under brakes for a corner nearly half way around the circuit, the Ambulance was dispatched from the pits lane motering in the same direction as the race cars to finally arrive at the crash scene, parking in the middle of the track they then placed the injured drivers on stretches then into rear of the Ambulance, while all this is happening the race is still going on at full speed.

Because the only exit from the track was near the start line & it was quicker to turn around & go back this is what they did but in doing so in their hurry to take the drivers to Hospital the back door of the Ambulance few open during their fast turn depositing the two drivers back on the track, so they did another u turn to pick them up put them back in the Ambulance secured the door did another U turn & took them to the Hospital with no other problems & all this while the race continued.

To hear Wally tell the story with much colourfull words is nothing but fantastic.

And who can forget David McKay taking out the flaggies Toilet while exiting the Causway at Warick Farm in the Cooper Climax, another magic moment in Australian Racing History.

#222 Frank S

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:06

There's an ambulance story about one of the Tijuana Playas Road Races: start of the program was delayed as the two ambulances hired for the event ran into each other on the way to the track. In Tijuana witnesses and participants to road accidents can be held in jail while fault is determined. It took a special kind of influence to resolve that situation in time for some racing to take place. The event was in aid of the Baja California orphan's fund, a favorite charity of the state's first lady. Ya think?

Same or another event, the truck bringing straw bales from Mexicali broke down, and another supplier had to be found. Just as well: when the first truck arrived and tried to deliver, what he had brought were alfalfa hay bales, not really appropriate for lining a race track.

At the rainy event a Formula B Lotus failed to make the hairpin turn at the end of the S/F straight, slid into the curb and vaulted over the border fence (three strands of barbed wire, in those days). Plenty of volunteer hands helped lift and drag the car back, leaving Border Patrol trackers a strange set of impressions in the mud to inerpret.



#223 HiRich

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 14:46

FAtlantic reminds me of a Canadian street race. I only saw the report with photo, but it noted that after a late rain shower, Rob Wilson managed to unlap himself by passing the leader on track. Difficulty: Rob's car by then had only three wheels on it.

Rob's quite proud of that one.

#224 HeskethBoy

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:53

I'm certain that one (or more) TNFers can polish this up with correct / more details.
A F2 or F3 race in late 1970's / early 1980's - featuring all the heroes of their day. The names Keegan and Birrell etc come to mind - but it was a long time ago.
The timing line was deep in the braking zone for a corner - but as most of the hot-shots had spare cars they quickly came to the conclusion that to go flat-out and crash would give them an ultimate fast lap time - and a good grid spot.
They could then race the spare team car.
A simple idea that caught on very well - so much so that, within moments there were about six cars parked on top of each other in the run-off area at the turn - causing the CofC no amount of distress and anxiety!

I seem to recall that the very next session - the timing line had been moved back up the straight to prevent any recurrence.

Who can fill in the deatils?

A similar thing happened at Grafton Hillclimb in Northern NSW about a dozen years ago - when some visiting competitors realised that to run off the track at the finish line (and thus knock over the timing reflector) would give them a quicker time than staying on the track!
Once again, the CofC failed to appreciate the innate cleverness of the competitors.

#225 cheapracer

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:57

The incident that probably kept Dick in the sport as long as he has been. A struggling privateer who is taken out of the lead at Bathurst by the bizare incident. The support made him far more viable in the sport. Being a decent operator obviously helped.


Oh theres more to the story;

Dick had a Shell service station in Daisy Hill a stone's throw from my workshop in Springwood. The weekends and weeks before Bathurst Dick had the cheapest petrol in the area by far and plenty of people were lined up (as cheap-ass Australians do) over the week. Dick took all the takings to do that race and I mean all the gross takings .....

Those tears on TV were probably genuine knowing he was stuffed as there was no way he was going to be able to pay Shell :lol:

The drug that is motor racing ..


#226 cheapracer

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:00

The timing line was deep in the braking zone for a corner -

Who can fill in the deatails?


Senna at Magny Cours for one and got pole doing it and also caused for the line to be moved.


#227 HeskethBoy

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:20

Magny Cours and Senna - !

This is starting to sound familiar - so it was early 80's then?

Edited by HeskethBoy, 02 March 2012 - 05:21.


#228 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:37

A similar thing happened at Grafton Hillclimb in Northern NSW about a dozen years ago - when some visiting competitors realised that to run off the track at the finish line (and thus knock over the timing reflector) would give them a quicker time than staying on the track!
Once again, the CofC failed to appreciate the innate cleverness of the competitors.

Haven't been to Mountainview in a solid 20 years, but that corner at the finish line had, to my memory, been one that so many competitors treated gently, with the track commentators egging-on the drivers that to their mind, left a bit on the table...


#229 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:42

I knocked the timing post down at the top of Collingrove hill many years ago. But it was not the fastest way though!! :rotfl:

#230 king_crud

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:09

Magny Cours and Senna - !

This is starting to sound familiar - so it was early 80's then?


Senna did it in F1 in the 90s yeah?


#231 HiRich

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 14:34

Senna at Magny Cours for one and got pole doing it and also caused for the line to be moved.

When the timing beam at Spa was still on the run down to Eau Rouge, several drivers realised that a standing start from deep in the run-off at La Source gave a better start to the qualifying lap than the normal line. Cue a string of unfortunate 'spins'. Timing was sonnmoved to the start line. I can't remember years, but my memory suggests Mika Hakkinen as a culprit (and possibly discoverer).

#232 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 14:54

Keke Rosberg certainly did this in 1983 when the Belgian GP first used the 'new' Spa - it's mentioned in Nigel Roebuck's race report in Autosport. Whether he was the first ever, I don't know.

#233 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 15:47

For as long as I can remember the timing lights at Road America were immediately after the exit of Turn 14 -- at the bottom of the hill, some distance from start/finish. It was fairly common practice on the last lap of qualifying to run through the turn as fast as possible with no consideration for exit speed. Despite the sloppy exit (often well into the grass) there was still ample time to get over to the right to enter pit lane as was required. I'm not certain how much time we gained through this device but I would suspect it may have amounted to as much as half a second.

#234 LittleChris

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 17:02

Keke Rosberg certainly did this in 1983 when the Belgian GP first used the 'new' Spa - it's mentioned in Nigel Roebuck's race report in Autosport. Whether he was the first ever, I don't know.


Never thought of Keke as being into the history of the sport but perhaps he'd read about Moss and co using the layout of the junction at Thillois 25 years or so previously :up:


#235 David McKinney

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 17:38

...or was at least remembering when he'd done a similar thing himself at Wigram (NZ) in 1978 :)

#236 midgrid

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 23:54

Senna did it in F1 in the 90s yeah?


Senna did it in 1991.


#237 Graham Clayton

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:01

Alansart,
Your mention of the drain coming up through the bottom of the V8 Supercar reminds me of a bizarre and very painful accident that occurred in the World Rally Championship to Marcus Grundholm's co-driver Timo Rautiainen. From what I remember, their Peugeot had a hard landing after a jump, which led to a rock or other object punching a hole through the floorpan, and then going straight up through Rautiainen's seat, causing him a very painful injury.


A similar incident happened to Joakim Bonner during practice for the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, when the driveshaft of his Maserati 250F exploded directly under his seat. The blow was so unexpected that it nearly lifted him out of the car, but luckily he kept hold of the steering wheel and landed back in his seat. Despite his painful injuries, Boonier said that he was incredibly lucky. As the driveshaft had broken near the back of the car, it was not long enough to have dug into the road, which would have caused a bigger accident.




#238 Impellam

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 17:27

Unortunately can't remember the driver, but in the mid 90's a colleague of mine was liasing with the Health and Safety Exec with regards to the dangers inherent in the pit lane. To this end, Benetton kindly agreed to do a series of simulated pit stops at the end of a day's testing at Silverstone, with a man brandishing a clipboard observing on behalf of the HSE, having been briefed on how professionally orchestrated the whole process would be. In comes the car, misses it's marker point and runs over a mechanic on the front right, who is subsequently trapped underneath the car. Fortunately he's bruised but un-hurt, but as the HSE is observing the whole rigmarole of putting the car on axle stands and removing said mechanic with a back-board by the medical crew ensues, all the while the driver, having established that no serious injuries have occurred and knowing the purpose of the pit-stop demo, is hysterically laughing in the cockpit while the poor sod is being expertly removed. The HSE weren't impressed, apparently.

#239 Redneb

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 18:15

Final race of the 2010 New Zealand 600 Supersport motorcycle series - there was nothing in it as James Smith and Craig Shirriffs were engaged in a no holds barred battle for third spot - whoever crossed first took the series title. With the finish line well past the braking point for turn one at Hampton Downs circuit both decided to cross the line, then crash, which they both did.

Shirriffs took third and celebrated his win after removing from his leathers all the detritus from the gravel trap.

Edited by Redneb, 07 March 2012 - 18:15.


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#240 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 13:41

Originally posted by cheapracer
.....Those tears on TV were probably genuine knowing he was stuffed as there was no way he was going to be able to pay Shell


I always understood that the fuel wasn't delivered until the money was guaranteed to be there...

Edited by Ray Bell, 13 March 2012 - 08:17.


#241 Ian G

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:36

I always understood that the fuel wasn't delivered until the money was guaranteed to be there...


Yeah Ray,worked for BP Head Office at Milsons Point ,Sydney,in the mid 1970's,and they were very tough on payment for deliveries.They took cheques but once one had been marked "present again" or dishonoured it was cash only from then on.One poor fellow had his wife clear out with his money and he had to wait every second night or so for the delivery with cash,sometimes until 2-3am in the Morning, until he had a nervous breakdown and lost the site.These days of course its all direct debit,you sign for the delivery and its out of your account that night. Never knew DJ had the Daisy Hill Shell.

Edited by Ian G, 11 March 2012 - 04:37.


#242 Graham Clayton

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:59

After competing in a race during the 1993 Macau Grand Prix meeting, Wan Chai Triad boss Andely Chan was shot dead with his mechanic in a gang-related hit.

#243 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:19

Originally posted by Ian G
Yeah Ray, worked for BP Head Office at Milsons Point.....


And I guess you knew Barry?

#244 Ian G

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:04

And I guess you knew Barry?


No,i don't think so Ray,i was there 1975/76 in Marketing.



#245 Graham Gauld

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:37

After competing in a race during the 1993 Macau Grand Prix meeting, Wan Chai Triad boss Andely Chan was shot dead with his mechanic in a gang-related hit.


Andeley Chan was an up and coming Triad who overstretched himself and made waves. I was at Macau for the race and remember what happened very well. Chan with I think a Russian girl friend and his mechanic came out of a night club and got into their 4x4. Two motorcyclists rode up and shot them all at close range through the windscreen and sped off.
As most of the Marshals and officials at Macau came from Hong Kong and many were expat brits one, was a member of the Hong Kong anti Triad squad and when I spoke to him the morning after - the day of the race - he told me he had already been on to the office and told them to take Andeley Chan off the list. They knew that Chan was in line to be eliminated but did not know where or when it would happen. Macau was ideal because there is a race on the programme specifically for production saloon cars which normally contained some of the chauffeurs for Triad bosses who then bet heavily on the results of the race. Chan was a keen fan himself and raced in the event finishing, I think, third and he had been out celebrating after his win on the Saturday. It later emerged that the hit team were recruited just across the border in mainland China and that the pair on the motorcycle had come across that afternoon and dashed straight back over the border immediately after the hit. Indeed as my informant told me they were probably back in China before the local police arrived at the scene.
I miss the excitement of Hong Kong and Macau !

#246 Graham Clayton

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:26

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

Posted Image


Alansart,

Here is a full report of the incident, which occurred on the 23rd of July, 1983:

http://www.damninter...e-gimli-glider/

#247 Graham Clayton

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:23

Not strictly bizarre, but more unusual.

All 21 retirements in the 43 car field that started the 2009 Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA race at the Daytona International Speedway on February 7, 2009 were due to crashes, and not any mechanical problems.

http://www.racing-re...lick_Mist_200/A

#248 Graham Clayton

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:57

1935 Indy 500 winner Kelly Petillo was arrested immediately after winning the feature race at the Corunna, Michigan speedway on the 6th of July, 1948.
He was charged with a knife attack on his former personal secretary in an Indianapolis hotel. He eventually served time in jail for the attack.

#249 dave34m

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:14

Final race of the 2010 New Zealand 600 Supersport motorcycle series - there was nothing in it as James Smith and Craig Shirriffs were engaged in a no holds barred battle for third spot - whoever crossed first took the series title. With the finish line well past the braking point for turn one at Hampton Downs circuit both decided to cross the line, then crash, which they both did.

Shirriffs took third and celebrated his win after removing from his leathers all the detritus from the gravel trap.

Wow is it really, I was there in 2010 for The Bruce McLaren event but hadn't noticed that.
I remember a motox track I raced at in the 70s being like that, a sharp right hander just after the finish line and a huge drop off if you didnt take it. Very dangerous.
Has there been any talk about moving the finish line back down the straight a bit?

#250 BRG

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 13:03

Wow is it really, I was there in 2010 for The Bruce McLaren event but hadn't noticed that.
I remember a motox track I raced at in the 70s being like that, a sharp right hander just after the finish line and a huge drop off if you didnt take it. Very dangerous.
Has there been any talk about moving the finish line back down the straight a bit?

I recall a special stage on a rally we did on Thorney Island (Hampshire, UK) where there was a bend after the flying finish. On our second run, my driver had noticed there was smooth grass straight on so took the flying finish flat out and ran off onto the grass. There was some consternation amongst the marshals and officials but it was quite legal, as long as we made it back the stop control.

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!

We had a similar incident at a sprint meeting at (pre-Revival restoration) Goodwood. There was a turbo charged Morgan which shed its flywheel as it passed the pits. The thing bounced off the track, soared over the heads of spectators and lodged above the windscreen of a campervan. Really scary stuff!

This was the same Morgan that had a blind gentleman as mechanic. He was led up to me (I was Clerk of the Course) to complain that another car had hit the chicane and that we had rebuilt it so that it was tighter, disadvantaging his driver. How do you argue that with a blind man???

Edited by BRG, 28 January 2013 - 13:04.