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Zandvoort 1973 - how could it happen? (merged)


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#1 jk

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Posted 02 December 2000 - 17:11

After having watched what happened after Williamsons crash at http://www.thef1files.com/ i just can't understand why someone didn't help poor Purley.
How could so many people stand beside a burning car without doing something? What were they waiting for?

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#2 fines

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Posted 03 December 2000 - 12:29

A fire-fighting truck, perhaps?

#3 Dave Ware

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Posted 03 December 2000 - 18:05

The fire truck was parked perhaps 400 meters away from the accident. The reason given to explain the fact that it wasn't used is because moving it would have required driving against the flow of racing traffic. A rather piss-poor reason in my opinion.

I remember reading at the time that several spectators wanted to assist Purley but the track officials at the scene used dogs to hold them back.

A recent issue of Motor Sport had an article with one journalist's memories of the late David Purley. Mr. Purley had a rather dim view of the Grand Prix drivers who championed the cause of safety yet declined to stop and help Williamson. (My own, extremely humble opinion on this aspect is, that the drivers probably thought that the safety marshalls would start lending assistance at any moment. I think that's what I would think if I were driving by...)

But, to address the question, how could it happen?

To get a handle on that one I think we have to consider the experience of those German soldiers in the Second World War who were guards at the concentration camps. Normal men who were somehow "pushed" to do unspeakable things. There has been psychological research that indicates that most people will obey authority to the point of injuring or perhaps killing someone. People participating in this research will, under the direction of an authority figure, push buttons which they believe send painful and damaging electic shocks to another person. They will cry and plead for the freedom to stop administering the electric shocks, but they will continue to do so when instructed.

So perhaps the fire marshalls were told "under no circumstances drive the fire truck against the flow of race traffic. Wait for the race to be stopped." And perhaps those marshalls obeyed, against their instincts, and waited in agony for the race to be stopped.

Perhaps the marshalls who prevented spectators for helping felt they were doing their job, obeying their instructions, by keeping them behind the fence.

As for the other marshalls in the area, and I assume there were others, I don't know.

Well, this is all wild conjecture, but it is the only thing that, to me, remotely makes sense about this horrible incident.

I wonder if anyone on this forum has ever spoken to a Zandvroot track marshall from that race or that era. Certainly the track marshalls would have been given instructions prior to the event. Was there a strong authority figure in charge? Were the "rules" precise and clearly laid out? There must have been a lot of talk amongst the track marshalls about what happened...someone with some real info might be able to enlighten things.

Dave

#4 Mickey

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Posted 07 December 2000 - 09:49

Good post Dave.

I would like to hear what happened from one of the marshalls there.

#5 Darren Galpin

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Posted 07 December 2000 - 10:09

As a marshal at Castle Combe, let me try and explain how we are told to do things there, as it may shed some light on what happened.

I work on the startline/pits post, which does not have responsibility for fire control or dealing with accidents. Unless explicitly requested by the course marshal for that section of track, and OK'd by the chief startline/pits marshal, I am not allowed to go trackside to extinguish a fire or take part in a rescue - there is a clearly defined boundary over what you are an are not allowed to do. So, even if a car crashed directly in front of me, I must wait for the course marshal/incident marshal to arrive and deal with the accident.

As for driving against the flow of traffic, that is explicitly prohibited. For this to happen, the race must a) be stopped, and b) the Clerk of the Course must grant permission. If this does not happen, then the rescue or fire vehicle must drive around the full track in the correct direction, and white waved flags will be displayed.

As to what happened on the fateful day in question, I cannot say. I expect that someone doesn't sleep soundly at night anymore.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 December 2000 - 11:22

It all sounds so cumbersome and time-consuming, but I'm sure in an emergency it could (key word... 'could'!) be reduced to a few simple words and things could happen as they ought.
The worst example of delay I think I ever saw was when Niel Allen upended (upended? Sailed through the air rotating, landed rotating, came to rest demolished) the McLaren M4a at Lakeside.
The ambulance at the pits had the responsibility of covering that part of the circuit, while the ambulance in the paddock was nearer but barred by a fence etc. The paddock ambulance driver saw it happen and was clearly keen to get there and help, while the other bloke waited a while, then strolled over to his vehicle and slowly cruised to the accident.
Niel only had a broken finger, but it could have been much worse.


#7 Yves

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Posted 07 December 2000 - 12:43

Dave,

We read the same source, regarding psychology.

Just one point more : During a tragic accident, the more "spectators" they are, the less "rescue" the victims have chance to get :
With a very few persons in place, they quickly organize to make sometimes the impossible but if a small crowd is there, sometimes nobody try anything :(
There are also lot of psychologist theories to explain this common behavior.

Y.


#8 FlagMan

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 13:29

I think you have to be aware of a few facts before condeming the marshals at the scene of the incident.

I believe that at that time, at most of the European circuits such as Zandvoort, the role of the circuit marshals was to clear up the debris from any accidents and to keep the spectators away. The role of fighting fires was specifically allocated to the local professional fire service personnel. In fact I recall hearing somewhere that if a 'non-professional' used a fire extinguisher on a certain circuit, the local fire service would be highly likely to withdraw their services on the spot...

I think you also have to consider the type of fire fighting equipment available at the time.

Many of the hand held fire extinguishers of that era where not capable of extinguishing much more than the odd discarded cigarette butt.

Almost no marshals at that time wore anything other than thier ordinary clothing - there were no 'Proban' overalls as commonly worn today - get too close to a fire and man-made fibres just melt, leaving the marshal as yet another casualty that has to be dealt with.

I wonder how may of you have ever tried to extinguish a fuel fire - I can assure you it isn't called fire-fighting for nothing - no amount of training can really prepare you for the real thing - especially if you have had to run 50-100 metres along a rough banking carrying a 40 kg fire extinguisher to get to the incident.

This incident caused a lot of changes - as a direct result, many leading drivers in the UK donated their old overalls to the marshals - though this tended to cause a few other problems as it became difficult to see if the driver was out of the car. - which is why we all eventually started wearing orange overalls.

#9 Darren Galpin

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 13:52

FlagMan - I at least have put out fuel fires, having attended the BMRMC fire training at RAF Farnborough. As the final test of the day, they doused an old car with 100 litres of aviation fuel, and set it alight. It took sixteen fire extinguishers and a highly co-ordinated effort to put it out, using a combination of foam and dry powder extinguishers.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 14:10

As you well know, FlagMan, I have been in the position of having an extinguisher by my side as I wielded the odd bit of rag on a stick. Fortunately I was never called upon to use one, but we did have the odd practice day and demonstration of how to do it...
In fact, it would have been more likely for me to have been called upon to dive into the lake and help a driver out of a drowning car.
But I digress... The thought of lines of demarcation being drawn when life is at risk is abhorrent to me. No way would I stand across the other side of a road with an extinguisher at my side when a life might be helped in any small way by my bringing it to bear for whatever period it would last.
That threats to pull out might be made is equally abhorrent.
What happened that day was horrible. And we really don't know if anything that could have been done would have made any difference.
That lessons were learned is the only redeeming feature of the incident.

#11 FlagMan

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 14:18

Darren

Precisely my point - and I assume you where using 'Monex' type powder extinguishers - which I believe are up to 10 times more effective at knocking a fire down than the old 'baking-soda' dry powder that was around in 1973 - and modern AFF foam - in 1973 I seem to remember that the foaming agent was based on something like egg-whites.

The Williamson crash - tragic as it was - was probably the catalyst to the great improvements in motor sport safety - especially in fire fighting techniques - that took place in the 70's and 80's - leading to your Farnborough 'experience'.



#12 Darren Galpin

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 14:23

Yes - It was Monex and AFF, and we had to refill the Monex extinguishers ourselves.

#13 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 18:39

I'm sure the impact of the Williamson crash was much heightened by the fact that the whole incident was shown on TV. From what I've seen of the marshalls that day, they appeared to be wearing tweeds! Certainly no fireproof clothing was apparent.

#14 fines

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 20:31

Originally posted by Ray Bell
The thought of lines of demarcation being drawn when life is at risk is abhorrent to me. No way would I stand across the other side of a road with an extinguisher at my side when a life might be helped in any small way by my bringing it to bear for whatever period it would last.

However praisworthy your attitude may be, there's another side to that (remember the Pryce accident?)!

It all comes down to coordinating your actions, and you can easily see that there's some sense in the orders given to the marshals. The only way to have dealt with that accident properly would've been to stop the race, but that was by and large unthinkable those days. In fact, the first time any WC race was ever stopped due to an accident was just a fortnight earlier, when there were so many cars wrecked on the pit straight in Silverstone that the authorities did not have any other chance!

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 December 2000 - 21:42

I do remember the Pryce accident, it haunts me whenever I think of it, and now an image posted on this forum has given it a new edge... but I have crossed the track on occasion, and I'm not alone in that. These things you must do, and take care in doing.
That one was a danger because of the low point in the road where the cars were going so quickly. A different position to most.

#16 fines

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Posted 09 December 2000 - 18:48

Ray, understand me: I'm not saying it is wrong to cross the track under any circumstance, but surely it is better to have enough marshals on either side of the track. These days, you usually don't see any marshals crossing the track and I for one am grateful for that. It simply shouldn't be necessary!

Similarily, if you think of the German GP this year, I always felt that the marshals behaved very sensibly when this lunatic suddenly appeared. There were suggestions that one of them should've just dragged the man away from the track, but such a 'hero's deed' could've caused real trouble, IMHO!

#17 Jonathan

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Posted 09 December 2000 - 19:25

Originally posted by jk
How could so many people stand beside a burning car without doing something? What were they waiting for?


Actually few (if any) of the other drivers knew that Rodger was still in his car. Both Marches had been running at the back of the pack. Purley parked his car some distance away from the scene. So all the other drivers really saw was David attempting to put the fire out. As they saw the driver up & about, they most likely assumed that he was putting out the fire to his own car. I am certain that had any of the other drivers known the situation, they would have stopped and done what they could.

Neither the safety course workers, nor the spectators were equiped with proper fire retardand clothing. So they really couldn't do much of anything. Waching this video is unpleasant, but if you do look closely some spectator/course worker does carry over a second fire extingusher, and makes a half-hearted attempt to put the fire out. Unfortunately by that time it was obviously way to late.
[p][Edited by Jonathan on 12-09-2000]

#18 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 09 December 2000 - 22:51

Wasn't herbert racing some sportcars a few years ago. Some driver was trapped in the car, so he stopped and ran to it [first time he'd ran since his own f3000 crash], getting there before any mashals?

#19 Lutz G

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 09:14

Zandvoort 1973 remains still a mystery to me. *Why* nobody else except David Purley stopped to help Roger Williamson? Lauda said he wasn't aware that there was someone still trapped inside the burning car. I'm still looking for driver quotes. I got only a column of Chris Amon blaming Zandvoorts GP organisation.

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Can anybody help? What were Jackie Stewart's comments for example?

Lutz

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#20 Buford

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 09:30

I have always wondered why other drivers didn't stop. Had 3 or 4 cars stopped early on, along with Purly, they could have righted the car, or pushed it up enough to get him out before the fire got to the cockpit. Their uniforms would have protected them long enough. The "safety crew" were non-existant and woefully unprepared, those few who did show up.

This was a case that was up to the drivers. Had they made the effort they later did with Peterson and Lauda and other cases, a group rescue, it probably would have been successful.

#21 stavelot

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 10:28

For the drivers it was difficult to realize what happens: is there anybody in the car or not. In the german TV ca. 2-3 years ago Lauda explained his statement. It was obviously the well known Lauda's sarkasm to emphasize that the marshals and not the other drivers have to help the drivers in the case of crash.

The marshals had to STOP the race immediately. I can't understand absolutely that the race has gone again.

Earlier this year Mike Hailwood saved the live of Clay after this crash in Kyalami.

The poor Roger had not the same luck that anybody could help him in similar matter. :cry:

#22 fines

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 11:13

What most people are missing is that most drivers who help rescue another were actually involved in those crashes. There are very few instances of a driver stopping a healthy car to help another driver. Actually, ottomh I can't recall anyone but David Purley, who seemd to have been an eye-witness of the crash. There is very little a driver can do if he's speeding past an accident, in most cases he will not be able to see what has happened, or if there's anyone in danger or not. Several drivers said in the aftermath of the accident that they thought it was Purley who had crashed, or that they mistook Purley for Williamson. I don't think any of them had realised that Williamson was still in the car, not even Hulme who clearly wanted the race to be stopped, but probably because he thought it was dangerous for those still driving.

Sick though it may sound, but Lauda was absolutely right when he said "I get paid for driving, not for stopping". What would people have thought of him if he had stopped and found that nobody was harmed? "Silly", "too chicken to be a race driver" or "Warmduscher" would probably have been the nicer comments...

With all due respect to Buford, but I wonder if you have ever stopped racing when you saw an accident. Just hours ago you posted on another thread that you once finished sixth in a race where eleven cars flipped. And no, I'm not looking for a fight, just trying to put things into perspective...

#23 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 11:38

You have said exactly my thoughts Michael - one could ask why no-one stopped to help Bandini at Monaco in 1967 or, less tragically, Ickx and Oliver in Spain in 1970. There are photos of that fire showing drivers passing through foam on the circuit, yet no-one stopped. They cannot have been certain that the drivers had escaped the inferno.

Another who stopped, in slightly different circumstances, was Guy Edwards in the 1976 German GP. His car was undamaged and he had avoided Lauda and the rest and could have continued. Merzario and the rest of the following field also stopped, but that was really because they couldn't get past. Merzario was actually the one who extracted Lauda from the car.

#24 Buford

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 11:51

I think it is a good point that the drivers saw Purley and thought the driver was out of the car. All the races I was in where there were crashes, there was never a case when there were not people there before I could get out and go there. I did jump out when Robin Miller was right in front of me in a USAC Midget and a guy down low veered right and took him out right in front of me and the two cars cleared my path a fraction of a second before I got there.

Robin flipped into the wall and the roll cage was a piece of crap and crushed down and he received serious head injuries. I slid to a stop and got out and ran up to the car. It was a red flag of course and was a practice session. There were several people already there who had run around the fence from the pit area that was right behind the wall he hit. I helped turn the car over.

However I was never in a race and went past an accident where there was a big fire. In fact I probably had the biggest fire myself at a race I was in. when I flipped my Sprint Car. All the crashes I ever passed were no serious fire situations and I am not a medic. Other people were there or on the way. I could do nothing of value. Had there been a fire situation I would have stopped and attempted a rescue if I could have gotten stopped in the area.

I did attempt a rescue of a Formula Vee driver who hit a cement wall head on at Blackhawk Farms and blew up in a huge fireball as high as the trees, right next to our paddock place where we were standing. But that is a long story, and I was the only one in a fire suit, but nothing could be done because the fire was too big, and he was already dead from the head on impact. Two drivers were killed at a Sprint Car race I was in. One thrown out on the track. I had blood on my uniform. Another story I really don't want to detail.

So to answer your question, yes, I would have stopped any time I thought doing so might have been benificial. But there were not many cases where that was the reality of the situation.

#25 Excell

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 11:58

David Purley's attempts to extricate the poor Williamson out of his car....but to no avail. A very touching clip this one

http://www.seasonf1....3Williamson.asf :(

#26 Buford

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 12:17

That's only part of it. He tried to turn the car over by himself and made a lot of attempts to do various things a lot longer than that clip showed. But I admit, not having seen it for 10 years or more, that the fire was bigger when he first got to the car than I remembered. I was thinking the fire was pretty small when he first got there and got bigger and bigger as he couldn't get any help. Actually the fire was pretty big, and around the cockpit already when he got there. Had other cars stopped or been involved and several drivers gotten there when Purley did, they might have saved him. But even then, it would have been close.

#27 David M. Kane

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 13:30

Up until the Williamson accident drivers were pretty much under orders to drive the car and let the officials and marshals deal with the rest. After this incident, the GPDA took upon themselves to discuss the future.

Yes, Hailwood was involved with Reggo, but Jody was NOT involved with Francois and he still stopped.

It is no accident that there is to this day NO Dutch GP and I suspect that
as long as Bernie and Max run the show, there never will be.

#28 David M. Kane

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 13:32

As an additional comment, I think because of the way the Elio testing accident was handled, there is today no race at Paul Ricard.

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 13:58

Originally posted by David M. Kane
... but Jody was NOT involved with Francois and he still stopped.


Cevert's accident was in practice, not the race - there are other examples of drivers stopping to help during practice sessions, but during a race is much, much rarer.

#30 Redliner

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 14:39

I heard Scheckter was waved on by a marshall since Cevert was so obviously dead. He never really got out of the car. Perhaps I'm wrong in this. Its only a minor detail anyway.

#31 David M. Kane

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 16:48

I was on the scene 30-45 seconds after Cevert's accident and Jody was just
climbing over the armco. He stopped walking as Hulme came up the hill and waved him with very frustrated body language. He then climbed into his car
and returned to the pits slowly as the session had been red flagged.

You're right, I can't tell you what he would have done if it had been the actually race.

As I said in a previous tread, Francois had been driving unusually aggressive all weekend. He definitely had a case of red mist. What we the
racing audience didn't know at the time was that Stewart was going to retire and that he was going to be replaced by Jody. It is my assumption
and my opinion that he was trying to show the new boy who was going to be the boss in the relationship. Jody had been following him for several laps
prior to the accident. In hindsight I cannot tell you how scary it was watching Francois that weekend. He was always very high strung. He was even
walking around the garage with no shirt as if he was showing off how fit he was.

Yes, it was practice.

#32 Frank de Jong

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 19:18

Originally posted by David M. Kane
It is no accident that there is to this day NO Dutch GP and I suspect that
as long as Bernie and Max run the show, there never will be.


David, I find this a bit harsh. The Dutch made a mistake in 1973 by not hiring the ONS (German) rescue staff, which could have reached the car in seconds, not in minutes as the old fire truck did. The next international race (the 4-hours Zandvoort Trophy) the ONS was present, in 1974 the Zandvoort circuit had its own staff and, as a whole, adequate safety - not better and not worse than most other circuits.

I don't think the 1973 accident has anything to do with the end of F1 in the Netherlands. After 73, there were many great Grand Prix over here. The only reason why it stopped was money, for which you pointed to the right persons indeed.

#33 Lutz G

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 10:14

Originally posted by Frank de Jong
David, I find this a bit harsh. The Dutch made a mistake in 1973 by not hiring the ONS (German) rescue staff, which could have reached the car in seconds, not in minutes as the old fire truck did.

Quote from Rallye Racing 1973: "Spectators climbing over the fence to help Purley were forced back using dogs, while only a few hundred meters away a well equipped fire truck with fireman with fireproof overalls was waiting without moving"

IMO there's no need to argue about the safety crews back in Zandvoort 73.

But I want to know if it's true that the other drivers just didn't know what's going on (like Lauda said) .

Originally posted by Vitesse2
You have said exactly my thoughts Michael - one could ask why no-one stopped to help Bandini at Monaco in 1967 or, less tragically, Ickx and Oliver in Spain in 1970. There are photos of that fire showing drivers passing through foam on the circuit, yet no-one stopped. They cannot have been certain that the drivers had escaped the inferno.

IMO Spain 1970 was way different from Zandvoort 73. Back in Jarama you had no driver waving to the others to stop while trying to put out the fire himself. There were fireman arriving at the accident not long after the crash took place.

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Originally posted by fines
There is very little a driver can do if he's speeding past an accident, in most cases he will not be able to see what has happened, or if there's anyone in danger or not. Several drivers said in the aftermath of the accident that they thought it was Purley who had crashed, or that they mistook Purley for Williamson. I don't think any of them had realised that Williamson was still in the car, not even Hulme who clearly wanted the race to be stopped, but probably because he thought it was dangerous for those still driving


That's what Lauda said in his book "Meine Story". He said he couldn't see the second (Purley's) car (because of the smoke or other things) and thought that Purley was trying to put out the fire on *his* car. On the other hand - wasn't Purley giving signs to the other drivers showing desperately that he needs help - in a way that nobody would have done if it had been just a fire?
What also comes to my mind is that Jackie Stewart always said that he was able to see even the faces of photographers at high speed and other small details...

Originally posted by fines
Sick though it may sound, but Lauda was absolutely right when he said "I get paid for driving, not for stopping". What would people have thought of him if he had stopped and found that nobody was harmed? "Silly", "too chicken to be a race driver" or "Warmduscher" would probably have been the nicer comments...


Lauda: "I was in a mood to cry - and they were asking a hundred times the same stupid questions - so at the 101 time a couldn't stand it anymore and I made this rude comment"

Lutz

#34 Drinky

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 10:57

He said he couldn't see the second (Purley's) car (because of the smoke or other things)


The smoke can't have been a factor IMO. If one watches the clip posted above you'll see that Purley parked his car on the opposite side of the track, some distance before the blazing car of Williamson and the smoke did not go in that direction. The other drivers must have seen another car standing there, though they may not have realised it was Purley's.

I was thinking the fire was pretty small when he first got there


There is another little clip which shows the immediate aftermath of the impact itself. Here it's apparent that Williamson's car was already engulfed in flames whilst still sliding across the track to end up where the other clip shows the car.

#35 Frank de Jong

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 12:58

Originally posted by Lutz G

Quote from Rallye Racing 1973: "Spectators climbing over the fence to help Purley were forced back using dogs, while only a few hundred meters away a well equipped fire truck with fireman with fireproof overalls was waiting without moving"


Lutz, IIRC the firemen had to drive against the traffic, which was probably refused by race control, so they had to take the long road. I'm not defending anything which happened in 1973 (I was as shocked as anyone) - just want to make clear that I don't think there's any relation with Zandvoort losing the GP after 1985.

#36 Nikos Spagnol

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 14:45

I once saw a post about that incident at the 8W site. Williamson's body was covered with a blanket after they put the fire out, and after the race it was putted straight to a coffin. Too sad. :cry:

What I can't stand is why wasn't that race red flagged? The spectators could have helped - although it's not recommended - as drivers themselves, that wouldn't mind to stop in a red flagged race. Is there any quotes of the Dutch GP organization over there?

And I don't think this accident, so as de Angeli's, were responsible for the end of F1 GP's on Zandvoort and Paul Ricard. They continued racing there for years. And remember, they still racing on Imola...

#37 effone2k

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 15:18

Originally posted by David M. Kane
As an additional comment, I think because of the way the Elio testing accident was handled, there is today no race at Paul Ricard.


However, they did run the French GP at Paul Ricard quite a few years after Elio's accident. Also, Bernie now owns Paul Ricard so in all likelihood, the French GP will return there.

#38 stevew

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 15:30

Originally posted by Nikos Spagnol
I once saw a post about that incident at the 8W site. Williamson's body was covered with a blanket after they put the fire out, and after the race it was putted straight to a coffin. Too sad. :cry:


Here's a link to the Williamson article: http://8w.forix.com/rogerw.html

I also remember reading that there was a fire truck stationed just up the track but was not released (at least immediately) because it would have had to go against race traffic.

Here's a quote from Mike Lang's Grand Prix! Volume 2 1966 to 1973:
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"Against most drivers' wishes (Hulme was clearly conveying his feelings by gesticulating to the organisers as he passed the pits) the tragic race was allowed to continue even though smoke and extinguisher powder were seriously restricting vision at the scene of the accident for some time."
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#39 Liam

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 15:48

There was a fire truck up the road, but it would have had to go against the race traffic, and there was no way it was going to do that.
As a result of this crash, the idea of a safety car was introducd to GP racing. It was even used later that year at Mosport (read about it in this months Motorsport)
Keeping the spectators away from the track spunds like a very good idea to me.

Imagine the scene a driver would be faced with, in a race, to find a burning car on one side of the track, spectaorts standing on ther other, and a fire truck in the middle of the road.

How often were races red flagged in the past, and how much contact did the marshells have with "race control" I'd be surprised if they had full radio contact with the race director like they have now.

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#40 stevew

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 16:11

SpeedChannel showed "The Quick and the Dead" last week which had some footage of the Williamson accident.

At the end of SpeedChannel's presentation, there was a quick advertising blurb for "Champions Forever, The Formula One Drivers" which showed some of the same scenes as "The Quick and the Dead".

The ad had quotes such as "limited offer", "uncut version, too graphic for television"...

The phone number listed was (USA) 1-866-326-2268.

VHS $19.95 and DVD $24.95. Plus shipping & Handling.

#41 Slyder

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 19:49

Here's a rare pic that I found of the accident.

Posted Image

You can see Purley's car on the right side.

But where exactly did Williamson hit the wall?

#42 bschenker

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 20:54

I have sea the accident on TV, and means to remember to sea David Purley who search to bring Williamsons car back on his wheel. On this time was also for a non-fire protected person possibly to help him, I thought 2 or 3 persons were enough to make this? But in my memory I remember to sea the officials engaged to toke Purley away from the car.

I’m wrong?

#43 oldtimer

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 21:24

Mention has been made of the very few occasions when a driver has stopped during a race to help a fellow driver. One was the 1954 Syracuse GP, when Gonzales stopped to help Hawthorn, whose clothes were on fire. Whilst doing this, Gonzales' brand new Squalo rolled into Hawthorn's burning car and now there were two Ferraris on fire.

I don't seem to remember much debate about this incident. Does that say something about the times?

#44 MaTT2799

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 21:36

Oldtimer, the differance between the incedent you state and the one at Zandvoort is down to TV.

That Dutch Race was filmed, and a large area of the public was thus able to see it. The fact that the race continued, with Roger still in the upturned car at the side of the track, covered in a blanket, is enough to fill anyone with rage. It was one of the most terrible moments in motorsport, and I think this saying from the end of the Roger Williamson chapter in the David Tremayne book 'Racers Apart' sums it up very well.

"He didn't want money or fame. All he asked of life was the chance to race cars with Tom Wheatcroft. Those craven marshals who plunged Dutch motorsport to such disgusting depths that day in July 1973 denied him even that simple wish"

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2002 - 23:25

I've never seen pictures of it before... I always imagined the car was up on a sandbank or something...

But now one sees what part Armco had to play in it all... confining the cars, preventing the fire truck from coming back to the scene...

#46 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 21:27

The whole thing was unbelievable. It gets worse. Services present refused to lift Roger from the wreck. Tom did it himself, with one helper I believe. Tom has never forgotten...of course.

DCN

#47 FEV

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 21:48

I also read about fights between spectators and security agents on the scene of the accident. Seeing Purley struggling to save Williamson and the marshalls doing nothing, many spectators tried to run at the wreck to help Purley. Security agents threw their dogs at them, with for excuse that it would have been dangerous to cross the track during the race :( .

#48 fines

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 08:35

Originally posted by Doug Nye The whole thing was unbelievable. It gets worse. Services present refused to lift Roger from the wreck. Tom did it himself, with one helper I believe. Tom has never forgotten...of course.

What a nightmare... :( Poor Tom!

#49 MaTT2799

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 11:17

Originally posted by Doug Nye
The whole thing was unbelievable. It gets worse. Services present refused to lift Roger from the wreck. Tom did it himself, with one helper I believe. Tom has never forgotten...of course.

DCN


I'm sorry, but after finding that out I just cant see why anyone could even begin to defend the safety crew that day. That makes me feel sick.

#50 Keir

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 14:27

There is no defense for the safety crew that day.

For the drivers part, stopping during a race is far more dangerous than the accident itself. Remember, all the while that Purley was trying to help Roger, the race was still going on!!!