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Tragedy at Phillip Island


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#1 Bernd

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 01:10

Details are sketchy Ray Bell who was there rang me up and asked me to post it. The drivers name has not been confirmed.

Richard Flack(?) driving the last P25 BRM in the world had died in a horrific accident during a historic meet at the Phillip Island circuit. Apparently coming out of Siberia Corner he clipped another car he was passing his BRM was then launched into a series of flips eventual coming to a stop broken into 3 pieces and on fire.

More details on this sad episode later.

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#2 Bernd

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 01:33

Just a few more details.

This actually occured yesterday. The drivers name was David Flack and the name of the event was the Shannons Phillip Island Classic.

#3 Gary C

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 01:40

:( :down:

#4 kanec

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 02:07

Very sad. :(

Does anyone have any information on Spencers' history in racing or any information regarding him?


(edited name on 24/02)

#5 AdrianM

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 02:27

:( :cry:
Very sad

#6 Wolf

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 02:54

:)

#7 Jhope

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 04:52

Originally posted by Wolf
:)


huh? what's with the smiley?


:( Sad way to end one's life though...

#8 Falcadore

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 07:24

Additionally, in the lead up to the Grand Prix, this will give every football writer in Melbourne the excuse to bag motor racing. :(

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 07:26

Spencer Flack was a leading player in European historic events over the past half-dozen years or so. A fomer RAF pilot and one-time member (captain?) of the famous Red Arrows aerobatic team, he owned and until recently flew his own Spitfire. He started his racing with Bentleys, then moved on to a Cooper-Bristol with which he rapidly became the class of the field. Other cars he has raced - and usually won with - over the last few years include (from memory) Maserati 250F, Lotus 16, Cooper-Climax T53, Lotus XV sports and Tasman Brabham-Climax as well as the BRM.
His passing leaves a huge hole in the historic racing world.

#10 Gary Davies

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 08:26

Most dreadfully sad.

#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 08:50

Spencer's dead, which really matters, a real toughie, a man of achievement, not a man to be messed about with as a number of racing car dealers had, in recent years, discovered - peripherally, but historically, '258' is dead too - this is not the start to a Sunday morning I expected. Terrible news indeed...

DCN

#12 twymanj

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 09:15

Most sad news, I agree with Doug. :cry:

#13 Bernd

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 09:21

So his name was Spencer? if so apologies for getting his name wrong I was working with very little information and I still haven't had any solid information at all. There has been no mention of this in the papers or TV news that I have seen, which I find very strange.
All I've heard was from Ray over a very crackly mobile phone connection.

#14 twymanj

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 09:26

Well I believe Spencer drove the last P25. I know that he lived for racing and so possibly he went to Australia to get a full 365 day season. He will be very sadly missed around the paddock. :(

#15 The Kanisteri

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 09:56

:(

#16 Witt

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 10:50

I was there myself today (sunday), and was shocked when i heard the news over the PA. A minutes silence was held for him at 1 o'clock. As bernd said, there has been no news reports on the tv or in the papers yet, so when i arrived there this morning i was still looking foward to seeing the BRM in action. As you could probably guess, it was the worst way imaginable to find out the P25 wouldn't be in action. :(

Bernd, i am also confused about the name of the driver. Over the PA, i'm sure they said his name was David Flack, but as you know it's sometimes hard to hear everything from the PA. In the program, they have a write up about the P25, and the driver is mentioned as David Flack. On the entry list, the name is written as Spencer Flack. I'm still not quite sure what his real name is. Perhaps his full name is David Spencer Flack? Surely someone here can enlighten us.

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 11:02

He could have been David Spencer Flack. Now that British race programmes have finally got around to printing drivers' Christian names in their entry-lists, we have perhaps missed the chance of seeing him listed as D S Flack (if that's what he was). I've never seen him listed as anything but Spencer

#18 Wolf

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 12:09

Jhope, thanks for straightening me out. I sincerely appologise for the typo in my previous post (keys 8 and 9 are qiute close). I assure You, what I meant to post was:

:(

#19 Jhope

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Posted 24 February 2002 - 17:18

It's ok. I figured someone of your nature could only make a mistake. I knew it wasn't on purpose.

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#20 FEV

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 04:15

:( :( very sad news...
Am I wrong or is the poor Spencer Flack only the second driver to lost his life at the wheel of a BRM (the only one I can remember is Seppi) ?

#21 redfiveoz

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 10:35

Perhaps Phillip Island is the domain of 'bikes only. The late, great, Gregg Hansford also lost his life here on four wheels. :(

#22 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 10:36

I am sorry to report that it seems Spencer Flack has indeed been killed in BRM Type 25 '258' at Phillip Island. I am told that running in close contact with fellow British-based visitor Julian Bronson's Lister-Jaguar he was apparently unsighted in a fast corner as Julian braked behind a backmarker. Spencer reportedly saw a chance to pass, pulled out, and ran into the backmarker at a very high closing speed. Spencer was thrown out and fatally injured. The car, Jo Bonnier's 1959 Dutch Grand Prix winner - and an iconic piece of British motor racing history - seems to have been constructively destroyed.

DCN

#23 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 14:34

Doug....Lister-Jaguar (sports racer)? vs BRM P-25 (GP racer)! :down: ....maybe another reason that closed wheel racers, and open wheels racers..JUST DON'T mix...I understand the organisers problem with small grids to group them together, but when I race I just won't do that for them...it's too dam dangerous..simple as that! :mad:
Peter

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 16:01

Getting a bit OT
There's no doubt the P25 in question was the sole genuine survivor, but how sure are we that it was the Bonnier Zandvoort winner? Reason I ask is that I was once told that when the factory were tearing the P25s apart to make P48s, someone thought, "Oops, better keep one to mark our first F1 championship GP win - um, that one there will do." The suggestion being that no-one really knew whether the 'saved' car was the Zandvoort winner or not.
Perhaps some BRM historian in our mnidst might be able to confirm or deny. (I can see good reason for both sides of the story being put about).

#25 alain

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 17:32

:(

#26 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 19:21

Dave - I think I told you that story about the Dutch GP winning car - like, between ourselves, mate...

I don't think the story really stood up to scrutiny when I double-checked it. But a good mischievous mechanic's story nonetheless, one of millions...

Even if the car's identity had been in REAL doubt - and it was certainly '258' in my mind* - there is no doubt that Spencer's car was the sole BRM-built genuine survivor of the type - as (I fear) the magnesium fire at Phillip Island has so sickeningly confirmed.

And I emphasise it should be 'Type 25' NOT 'P'25 as has become normal useage...and as I have written myself before I learned the error of my ways...for which, again, I apologise to all.

Karl - whose serious work I so hugely admire, having prefaced my very first letter to him long ago with the words "if a cat can look at a King...", which I really meant - deserves the credit for pointing out to us all, way back when, that 'W163' was a misnomer for the 'W154' Mercedes-Benz fitted with 'M163' engine under the marque's 1939 bodyform.

Well in my minor way I'm preaching Type 25 instead of P25 where BRMs are concerned.

This is because BRM Project 25 was, strictly speaking, the basic 2 1/2-litre 4-cyl engine project.

The 2 1/2-litre chassis as originated in 1954-55 was the Project 27.

The first five cars built used semi-monocoque stressed-skin panelled centre sections. They were nicknamed 'The Over-Stressed Skin Specials' by the team. They were then replaced by an evolutionary multi-tubular chassis structure with all-detachable body panels - apart from the spoon-shaped semi-stressed undertray - which retained the Project 27 internal classification, though v. different from the original design under that number.

The cars - assembled from P25 engine and P27 chassis frame - should properly be referred to as the 'Type 25'.

In period, they were known by most people as neither P25, nor P27, nor PS, PT, PTFE nor Type anything...they were just 'the BRM' or 'the 4-cylinder BRM' or 'the 2 1/2-litre BRM'.

Fans like us just didn't develop anoraksia nervosa over type numbers then.

I think I was one of the very first ever to quote 'BT' Brabham type designations in print, in an F2 review in 'Motor Racing' magazine, I think in 1964. Until that time Lotus digital model numbers or '250F' were about the only ones that were at all familiar...check the magazine record to see... Coopers tended to be described as 'Lowline' or '1959-type'....the internal model classifications T43, T51, T53, T53P were first exposed, publicised and then adopted by 'us' years after the cars were current.

*I first saw '258' on display in the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu around 1960-61, with a perspex engine cover permitting sight of the works beneath. When I examined it thoroughly prior to its sale by Christie's in 1981 the only chassis identity was '27/3' lightly stamped low down into one frame tube in the cockpit. Think about it - new Type 27 multi-tubular spaceframe chassis number '3'. '251' to '255' had been stressed-skin cars, so '256', '257' and '258' were the first, second and third tube-frame versions...i.e. '27/3'. Magnesium alloy - elektron - body. Lovely jubbly... but not, I fear, any more...

I hope this clarifies some of these matters.

DCN

#27 dmj

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 19:27

:( Sad news. Great loss.

#28 David McKinney

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 19:48

Thanks for that Doug
I hasten to make clear my source was not you - and I would certainly hope I wouldn't spill the beans if it had been a "between mates" sort of story. But I am equally certain the person who told me would have heard it from you (or vice versa?) as he has raced BRMs in historic events - and also the Vanwall. With me?

Fascinating about the model designation - dammit! You've no idea how many records I've got to change! Can we still call the V16 the P15? And what about later cars - P48? P261? P153? Surely they're OK?

I certainly remember the days when reports never carried type references - especially the Coopers, which were MkI this or MkIII that. No-one ever referred to the 500 range by anything other than Mark numbers as long as they were racing. The first 'T' list I saw was in Autosport in nineteen-um (sixty something?), which might well be when it was drawn up (It's a long time since I've read the Nye Cooper book...) But I believe it's perfectly legitimate for us to apply them retrospectively.

#29 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 21:25

Of course it is! Oh dear - re the other matter probably my fault then? Loose talk costs lives, and all that psssshhhhh! walls have ears! - stuff from Dad's Army.

I absolutely agree with you - it is alright to be pernickety about these type numbers etc in retrospect, so that at least today we all KNOW which specific car we mean. Look at all these damned F3 Dallars around our knees today - how else could we differentiate last year's from this year's from 1998s etc etc.

The BRM 'Type' necessity only arises in the P25 engine/P27 frame combination - the P48 used the P25 engine, but in rear-mounting form, but if you want to be REALLY esoteric you'd call the BRM P48 with strut-type rear suspension and 3 disc brakes the 'Mark I' rear-engined car, and then the wishbone rear suspension 4-brake P48 the 'Mark II' - and then there's a 'Mark III' which emerged in 1961 with wishbone rear suspension, 4-brakes, Climax engine, smaller tube chassis etc and was then re-classified in the paper trail as the P57. ... Still with me?

Make that car smaller - fit tailor-made fuel bags instead of re-using the old P48 mouldings - as had the interim P57-Climax - stick a V8 in the stern - and hey presto P578...and so on.

It's easier to go P48 Marks I and II, P57-Climax, P578, P61 monocoque, P261, etc etc etc.

DCN

#30 hhh

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 22:02

It certainly is very bad news hearing about this terrible accident.
However if we realize how fast these old cars (even though they all are very well prepared) are being driven, and I do exactely the same, it is surprising that we have so few really very bad accidents.
Nigel Corner got close at Goodwood but luckily survided, probably because he was thrown out.
Sad that Spencer didn't have this luck.
In certain Historic classes (not the '50s or '60s GP cars) I believe that the risks are getting rather high, especially in the Grand Prix classes of the '70s and '80s where there are a number of very well qualified drivers running together with completely unqualified drivers.
These cars were very dangerous then and are only marginally less dangerous now.
I think there must be a new grading of competition licences for these cars.

#31 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 22:30

Thin ice here - the basic problem (once an accident has been triggered) is that there's insufficient reliable structure within the cars to mount a roll-over bar or cage - which would in any case be a grotesque mutilation and disfigurement of the car - and without practical roll-over protection one would not wish to be strapped into place anyway - so seat-belts are not used...

Tony Rudd is hurt by the news - for this is the first time a driver has ever died in one of 'his' cars...the Lotus 78 was not his...nor was the BRM P160...

S--- happens...

DCN

#32 Bex37

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 22:32

:cry:

I offer my condolences to friends and family. Very sad news indeed.

#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 23:10

Allow me to welcome you to TNF, hhh. Are you by any chance a practising historic racer - it certainly sounds that way! At any event, welcome!

When I heard of this terrible event, my thoughts immediately went to Nigel Corner, and also to the terrifying shunt that befell Black Jack at Goodwood a couple of years ago. While I believe fervently that these historic racing cars should be raced, as was intended from their genesis, I think you are right - the historic racing authorities need to set their house in order, before the forces of political correctness do it for them.

#34 Bernd

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Posted 26 February 2002 - 00:38

I was never able to figure out how the Goodwood Revival organisers allowed the 3 Litre F1 into the Glover Trophy Race in was it 1999? The circuit was closed because among other reasons the cars were getting to fast for it, yet 33 odd years later they allow those very cars to run. The result we nearly lost Sir Jack Brabham and got a very historic McLaren smashed, luckily both Sir Jack & the car have fully recovered.
They were not going slow in the race either, the bloke in the 49 did a 1.20 lap which is pretty bloody quick.

#35 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 February 2002 - 10:26

Bernd, re why we ran the Goodwood Glover Trophy for 3-litre F1 cars in '99 - it was a conscious and deeply considered - I promise you, DEEPLY considered - decision to present the Goodwood race that never was, but which should have been.

Virtually all British-made 3-litre Formula 1 cars well into the 1980s were tested at some stage at Goodwood. Often several ran there simultaneously....without serious problems. Freddy March, the Duke of Richmond & Gordon who had conceived and opened the circuit in 1948 - and whose decision finally closed it in 1966 - had simply lost interest.

Although he expressed safety concerns about the circuit relative to the rising power and speed of major-league cars, his concerns were more for spectator protection than anything else. It was not so much 3-litre F1 which concerned him - as 6-litre Group 7 sports-racing cars with the aerodynamic effects which could influence their flight....

While we promote the circuit as being unchanged since its heyday - which in strict circuit terms, i.e. the line and lie of the asphalt, it certainly is - Goodwood in fact was remodelled enormously, but subtly, before it was re-opened. Everywhere banks were moved back and or re-aligned or re-faced. It looks much the same - but its 'sameness' is in part an illusion, as is so much of what we present there.

Black Jack's accident - which at first sight looked really bad - occurred at a spot where we have no record whatsoever of any previous racing car impact, at any time, during the circuit's history.

Ever the charger, our hero saw an opportunity to pass Jackie Oliver's Lotus 49 - OK, Lotus 49 replica (it's just received FIA Historic paper recognition, can you credit that????) - exiting St Mary's ess bend. He put two McLaren wheels on the grass on the right-side verge, his left-rear wheel clipped the rear of Ollie's right-front, and Sir Jack's M5A then spun across the Lotus's nose - tagging its left-front wheel on the way - before spinning backwards into the left-side bank...

Sir Jack sustained internal bruising and chipped vertebrae. Two months later, in the Adelaide Classic Rally, he misread - or didn't see - or ignored - metre-square fluorescent yellow 'Double Caution' signs at the roadside on a special stage straight leading up to a blind crest, on which the road turned 90-right. His Aston Martin DB4GT rammed a tree head on, pushed the rad back into the engine and the engine into the cabin space between the occupants. One year later, on the same stage, Win Percy made the same mistake in a 7-litre Cobra replica, and struck the next-door tree. Sir Jack thought this was utterly hilarious, 'Brabham Corner' having become 'Percy's Corner' - "Great!", he said, "That really takes the pressure off me!".

Free men make a choice every time they climb into a competition car - they also choose where they drive and who they run against - and how hard they press the pedals, and when. I fervently support such liberty, and as long as innocent, unwitting bystanders are protected (from us) to the nth degree - the informed decision of whether or not to put ourselves at risk, is surely a free man's right????

DCN

#36 Bernd

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Posted 26 February 2002 - 11:06

Don't get me wrong I was all for it. I was pleasantly surprised yet stunned that it was allowed to go ahead. But as you say testing of seriously fast machinery had been going on for years and as we all know testing can be more dangerous than racing.
Your glory of Goodwood book is superb Doug. My congratulations to Lawrence, Taylor & your good self for a superlative work.

#37 nic

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Posted 26 February 2002 - 12:02

To correct some errors in the posted messages - His name was Spencer Robert Flack, he was 59, he was never in the RAF and did not fly with the Red Arrows. He learnt to fly at Elstree, Hertfordshire and self improved his flying skills to eventually gain an ATPL. He spent many years rebuilding and flying historic aircraft – when Warbird operation was relatively new with nothing like the numbers involved today. At the height of his involvement he operated a Spitfire, Hawker Hunter and Hawker Sea Fury in which he survived a horrific crash in 1981. Later he had a P51 Mustang.

When he retired from flying Warbirds he took up motor racing with the same enthusiasm and total dedication he had previously shown to flying.

I have lost many friends and acquaintances to dangerous sports but Spencer’s is the hardest of all to take.

#38 hhh

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Posted 26 February 2002 - 22:30

I am all in favour of recreating the atmosphere of the 50s and 60s racing and I really enjoyed driving at Goodwood last year (GT40 so now you know who this is), but I also realized that at Goodwood there is much less margin for error than on most other circuits.
The enlarged gravel traps were in the right places and certainly worked.
My point about qualified/unqualified drivers is that there are lots of fast competent Historic drivers who at some circuit would go all out at 98% just because of safety, and there are drivers often with less ability who will go 102%. It may work and it may not, mostly depending on the type of car and how you are protected in a crash.
I agree with Doug Nye that there is no question about changing the looks of these beautiful early cars with rollbars etc, we just need drivers that can handle them efficiently and safely and maybe sometimes a bit less agressive than we see at some of the races.
Spencer Flack was certainly a good driver, but this time his luck ran out and it may happen to the best of us!

#39 David McKinney

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Posted 27 February 2002 - 06:15

Nic
Thanks for correcting my RAF/Red Arrows reference. The name thing was of course an attempt to understand why he should have been described in the programme as David

Hans
I completely agree with your earlier posting about tightening up licensing. We've all seen examples of atrocious driving in historic events. The trouble is, organisers naturally want to encourage interesting cars to their meetings, and I suspect they cross their fingers and hope nothing goes wrong. And most times it doesn't.
I hasten to add that I'm not suggesting this was a factor in the Philip Island tragedy.

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 February 2002 - 13:10

My arrival at the Island was just after racing began on Sunday. Among the first people I bumped into was Grant Gibson.

Grant was formerly Nigel Mansell's personal engineer with Williams (c 1986-8) and was racing the ex-Derek Jolly Lotus 15 with a 2-litre Climax FPF. He is, of course, one of the younger brothers of Beban Gibson, killed at Bathurst in 1969, and I think the fastest of those brothers... if not of the whole family.

I asked him if he was 'going to give it a bootful' and he replied, "I was right behind the fatal accident yesterday..."

That was the first I heard of it. He told me that the car was that badly broken up etc.

Since then I've learned that the car from the cockpit forward is very much repairable. The corners were all torn off, but the chassis and engine essentially undamaged (Ian Tate told me this, he was pretty much running the meeting and has years of experience in fixing race cars both in a hurry and over a long term).

The accident occured coming out of Siberia, with the Lister moving to the centre of the circuit to pass a car on the right, Flack went further left to pass the Lister and found another car right in his path.

I'm delighted to report that Grant did get stuck into it in the main ten lapper on Sunday, chasing down Paul Samuels' 2.5 litre Lotus 15 (complete with A-series diff) and setting fastest lap or the race... until fuel pressure problems slowed him.

#41 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 13 July 2002 - 10:01

Originally posted by David McKinney
Getting a bit OT
There's no doubt the P25 in question was the sole genuine survivor, but how sure are we that it was the Bonnier Zandvoort winner? Reason I ask is that I was once told that when the factory were tearing the P25s apart to make P48s, someone thought, "Oops, better keep one to mark our first F1 championship GP win - um, that one there will do." The suggestion being that no-one really knew whether the 'saved' car was the Zandvoort winner or not.
Perhaps some BRM historian in our mnidst might be able to confirm or deny. (I can see good reason for both sides of the story being put about).



Corner’s BRM: the real story

It appears that the information we received regarding Neil Corner’s BRM P25 last week was rather misleading, and the car is not quite all that it seems. In fact Bonnier’s Dutch GP-winning car was dismantled at the end of 1959 along with the other works cars to be cannibalised for the rear-engined P48 of the following year.

However, the Donington Collection has acquired one of these P48s, and with the aid of that and other sundry components has reconstructed no fewer than three P25s during the winter. These semi-genuine, semi-replica models have new chassis frames and bodies but can boast of entirely original mechanical parts, so they are at any rate as “genuine” as you could now get.

The car that Corner will drive in historic races this summer carries the same chassis number as Bonnier’s successful model with BRM’s blessing. However, that is the only part that could be guaranteed to be from the victor of Zandvoort. The Donington Collection still owns it and are loaning it to Corner so that it can once again be seen in its true enviroment.

Published in Track Topics – Motoring News – April 4, 1974

#42 Christopher Snow

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Posted 13 July 2002 - 10:25

Terribly sad news.

I would like to applaude--to congratulate--the man...(whatever his name)...for a life LIVED, even if one lost.

so...

......for courage and spirit...and guts! (sniff).


Christopher Snow

#43 Twin Window

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 01:50

Am I correct in thinking that the Type 25 involved in this tragic tale was the same one I saw at the Coy's meeting at Silverstone in 1999 - the BRM tribute event?

If so, who were the owner and driver at that point in time (as I don't tend to buy programmes)?

I'm only asking as I'm afraid I don't know enough about the historic scene to be aware if there are Type 25 replicas around.

#44 T54

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 02:42

I also am aware that Robs Lamplough was driving a pale green "25' just a few years back. The problem today is that so many cars are replicas using a few parts from what was left of an original machine that anyone can be confused unless one was in the very room where this happened.

Free men make a choice every time they climb into a competition car - they also choose where they drive and who they run against - and how hard they press the pedals, and when. I fervently support such liberty, and as long as innocent, unwitting bystanders are protected (from us) to the nth degree - the informed decision of whether or not to put ourselves at risk, is surely a free man's right????


Could not say it any better. And that goes for slower gentlemen drivers too. They have the same rights, same responsibilities and encounter the same risks from the ones who have to win at all cost because it is in their blood, either the old guard reliving their younger days or younger ones who just are very competitive in their own right. It is just very sad when something like this happens, but not at all unexpected when one sees the kind of competitiveness is shown in vintage racing today.

T54 :(

#45 David McKinney

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:07

Originally posted by Twin Window
Am I correct in thinking that the Type 25 involved in this tragic tale was the same one I saw at the Coy's meeting at Silverstone in 1999 - the BRM tribute event?
If so, who were the owner and driver at that point in time

It was one of those in the BRM tribute, owned at the time by Hon Amschel Rothschild

#46 Reilly71

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 04:56

I am a long-time reader of these forums and have spent many many hours happily reading away, and I thank you all for the pleasure you have provided me with for so long.


Coming across this topic has compelled me to post however as I was present at Phillip Island on this dreadful day, watching the exit of turn 12 as the cars accelerated out and onto the not-inconsiderable straight.

All I would like to say is that Mr. Flack's BRM was being driven superbly, and was a joy to behold. For me, watching this car drift gracefully from the apex tucked in close behind a competitor to start that lap was something I will never forget.

Please excuse me for adding to a long-dormant thread.


Regards


Jason

#47 Derek Pitt

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 06:56

I was not aware of the existence of this thread until Jason's posting brought it to my attention.

I too, was present at Phillip Island that fateful Saturday back in 2002, but my impression was somewhat different to yours Jason.

I was near the end of the main straight and I was concerned that both the BRM and the Lister Corvette were being "over-driven" under the circumstances.

Phillip Island is a full-blown GP circuit and both cars were very quick motor cars being driven, it must be said with the greatest respect, by amateur drivers.

Add the fact that, due to the thin nature of historic fields in Australia, there were some pretty "average" performing cars and drivers in the event, I felt real trepidation as I saw both the Lister and BRM enter the Southern Loop knowing they were soon to encounter slower cars. I also had the impression that the two local Lotus XV's were deliberately hanging back from the two fiercely-duelling leading cars - which I am now convinced was for obvious reasons.

I believe that Historic Race Regulations in Victoria were changed as a result of the Flack accident to ensure less aggressive driving in lapping slower cars..but I am not sure of the details.

Derek

#48 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:43

Spencer Flack's crash was the subject of a detailed investigation undertaken by Dr Michael Henderson on behalf of the CAMS Historic Commission which ultimately attributed the cause to an over aggressive move to pass a lapped car. Amongst several initiatives implemented by CAMS in response to the fatality and the findings of the Victorian Coroner were changes incorporating the following addition to the 5th Category regulations which govern historic motor sport in Australia:

'Drivers of faster cars are expected to abide by a code of conduct whereby they do not seek to improve their position in the race during the lapping of slower cars. Similarly, drivers of cars being lapped must not seek to improve their position in the race when being lapped.'