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Rescue attempts by drivers


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#1 Andrew Hope

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 00:52

I'm curious to know if we could create a thread for the 'true' heroes of the sport, drivers who have abandoned their race in an attempt to rescue or save a fellow driver. I only know of the obvious ones -

- David Purley trying to save Roger Williamson at Zandvoort, 1973.

- Mike Hailwood saving Clay Regazzoni at Kyalami, 1973.

- James Winslow saving Moreno Soeprapto, F3 at Sentul.

- Shinichi Yamaji saving Tetsuya Ota at the Fuji round of the JGTC championship in 1998.

- Arturo Merzario, Harald Ertl, Brett Lunger and Guy Edwards saving Niki Lauda at the Nurburgring, 1976.

- Tiny Lund saving Marvin Panch 10 days before the 1963 Daytona 500.


I also vaguely recall reading about Arturo Merzario pulling Ignazio Giunti from his car after the Beltoise incident. Naturally, all of these are available for viewing on Youtube if you haven't seen one of them before. I just wanted to start this thread to discuss similar actions of bravery and the like. It doesn't have to be a driver's bravery, it could be a spectator or marshall or team official, it could be during a race or practice or anything.

Just a thread for us to discuss and maybe learn something new. Undoubtedly I expect there's a hundred more instances and stories throughout the years, stories of bravery of a different kind, so if you have any stories to tell don't be shy.

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 01:27

John Harvey pulled up after Bob Jane's Mustang rolled multiple times along the fence at Catalina Park...

It was a horrifying top-speed crash as an axle came out right at the end of the main straight, Harvey was right behind Bob and stopped and rushed to his aid. They became lifelong friends afterwards and John drove for Bob for about five or six years.

A few years later, I wonder if Bob thought he was repaying the favour? John crashed in practice at Bathurst and was in a very serious condition. Bob laid on everything he could to help him both recover and recuperate, nothing was spared.

#3 byrkus

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:22

IIRC, when Dick Seaman had his fatal accident, one or two of lokal policeman literally jumped into flames and pulled him out.

Edit... Sorry, didn't read the topic good enough... :blush:

Edited by byrkus, 19 October 2009 - 06:24.


#4 alansart

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:35

James Hunt was one of the drivers who pulled Ronnie Peterson from his burning car.

#5 Andrew Hope

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:50

IIRC, when Dick Seaman had his fatal accident, one or two of lokal policeman literally jumped into flames and pulled him out.

Edit... Sorry, didn't read the topic good enough... :blush:


It's all good, any racing-related rescue stories are fair game.

#6 SEdward

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:21

Didn't Ayrton Senna help to get Eric Comas out of his car after an accident at Spa?

Edward

#7 stevewf1

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 10:10

Graham Hill and Bob Bondurant getting Jackie Stewart out of his BRM at Spa 1966 while it was leaking fuel. I remember reading they had to get some tools from a spectator's car to remove the steering wheel.


#8 sonar

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 11:05

James Hunt was one of the drivers who pulled Ronnie Peterson from his burning car.



With a little help from Patrick Depailler, who kicked away Ronnies steering-wheel so James could pull Ronnie out of the car.


#9 HistoricMustang

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:28

Lets not forget the one most remembered here in the States.

Ned Jarrett pulling Glenn "Fireball" Roberts from his burning purple Ford from Hell at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1964.

Ned's hands still show the scares.

Henry

#10 David Shaw

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:57

A few years later, I wonder if Bob thought he was repaying the favour? John crashed in practice at Bathurst and was in a very serious condition. Bob laid on everything he could to help him both recover and recuperate, nothing was spared.


Yes but by then John was driving for Bob in his newly acquired BT23E Brabham and wasn't the accident caused by a rear upright breaking? A bit more of a moral obligation mixed in as well I would think.

Hadn't Harvey also wanted a racing harness but the team didn't have time to fit it?




#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:01

That's all true...

Harvey had wanted a harness and they'd acquired one, but they felt it was best to fit it in the workshop where they could do it properly. Same thing the following year... there was talk of fitting some kind of aerofoil or spoilers to the 400, but they'd rather do it when they had a chance to test the effects.

#12 Andrew Hope

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:13

Ahh, I should have remembered, Senna's heroism with Eric Comas at Spa. I almost cried the first time I saw it, although with the sad song staple of the Youtube video being Bittersweet Symphony, the waterworks would have been no surprise.

Thanks for all your contributions so far.

#13 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 22:48

From the 1991 Autosport Awards article, regarding the Sportsman Award.

It resulted from an incident at a Fuji JS-PC race back in July when Takao Wada's Nissan suffered a puncture at 200mph, and rolled spectacularly at the end of the main straight. The crash was replayed to the Grosvenor audience with one of the most spectacular pieces of in-car video yet seen. The view from Wada's windscreen changed from Turn 1 to blue sky in a matter of seconds... At first, Wada was trapped in the upturned, burning wreckage. Herbert was the only driver to stop. He'd only run once since his '88 injuries - crossing the track at Spa! - but instinctively he ran across the gravel trap, and reached the car just as the shell-shocked driver clambered free. The race was not stopped, there was no pace car, and by the time Johnny resumed, his Mazda had lost two laps on the road. It was an effort of true sportsmanship. 'Hopefully somebody else would do the same thing,' said a modest Johnny. The point was, no one did...


Edited by MrAerodynamicist, 19 October 2009 - 22:49.


#14 sonar

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 22:50

In the case of the Ronnie Peterson accident, nobody ever seems to mention Patrick Depailler's involvement.
Everybody always mentions James Hunt as being Ronnie's rescuer, which is rather strange as he could have never gotten Ronnie out of the car if Patrick hadn't helped him by kicking away the steering-wheel.
Not even de official Ronnie Peterson Website mentions Patrick's involvement in the rescue.
But it can be seen very clearly in this youtube video:
On the Ronnie Peterson Website it says that James was the one who kicked away the wheel and he never contradicted that.
James was even awarded a medal for his heroic action.
Patrick (as far as I know) never was.



#15 scheivlak

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 23:15

Earlier thread: http://forums.autosp...w...3&hl=heroes