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Knicker Brook - Oulton Park


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#1 pedro

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 09:48

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This might stir some memories. The 'where' is in the thread title. Knicker Brook was not just the name of a bend, but was a real brook (i.e. muddy pit) into which cars used to plummet at the rate of about one per meting. Does anyone else recall any other Knicker Brook victims? One I'm particularly trying to recall was a Maserati 250F, sometime in the early 60s (i.e. probably during a F Libre club race?)

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 10:29

I seem to recall that being Cameron Millar???? Of course poor Stu Howitt actually drowned there - but this has been mentioned in a recent thread.

DCN

#3 Slyder

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Posted 07 June 2002 - 00:10

All I know is that Paul Warwick crashed to his death in that corner, after his suspension failed in back in '90 or '91.

#4 Speed Demon

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Posted 08 June 2002 - 20:17

Anyone else got the sudden urge to listen to Blaster Bates?

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 June 2002 - 21:45

:lol: ...now there's a blast from the past...

#6 LittleChris

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Posted 09 June 2002 - 22:49

Sadly Andy Coulson & Neil Shanahan

#7 FlagMan

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Posted 13 June 2002 - 12:14

To be strictly accurate - Neil Shanahan's accident was at Clay Hill.

Considering what an awesome corner Knicker Brook used to be, the number of fatalites in car racing was quite small.

IIRC there was a TVR Tascan driver killed there in the early 70's - possibly named White. I cannot recall any more there until Paul Warwick's accident.

Probably the most serious accident there was on the first lap of an International Sidecar race in the early 70's - IIRC there were several fatalities when one of the leading outfits went straight on and then bouced back into the middle of the pack.

#8 lynmeredith

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Posted 14 June 2002 - 00:15

Is Oulton Park still in use as a race track? It used to be my favourite venue but I haven't seen it since the 60s.

One of the funniest (ouch) things I saw there was during a sidecar race. There was a downhill section leading towards the lake where the track went to the left (Island Bend?). The passenger who was lying flat on the floor of the 'chair' slid off backwards going down the straight, un-noticed by his driver. At the left hander the outfit went straight on due to the lack of passenger ballast, into the lake which fortunately was not very deep. The driver jumped off and realising that his passenger was missing started diving into the mud thinking that he must be trapped under the outfit. Marshals quickly joined the frantic search until the prodigal passenger strolled down to the water's edge to ask what they were looking for, and could he help?. Collapse of all parties..

But it was also where my motorcycling hero Bob MacIntyre was killed. So long ago.

Lyn M

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 14 June 2002 - 05:18

Yes, Oulton Park is still used, but ruined since the placement of a chicane before Knicker Brook, thus destroying the last great corner on a UK circuit

#10 karlcars

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Posted 15 June 2002 - 09:28

An Oulton Park marshal is planning to write a book about the history of the circuit. An important issue is this: for the best commercial results, should the book cover all events there? Or should there be two books -- one for car racing and the other for motorcycles? Would car guys buy a book that also included motorcycle racing? And vice versa?

Any opinions on this would be of great interest.

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 15 June 2002 - 10:30

I suspect the audiences are largely different, but equally feel that for commercial reasons one book would be the way to go. I would definitely buy one with both activities covered - but I wouldn't read any of the 2-wheeled stuff.

#12 lynmeredith

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Posted 16 June 2002 - 01:06

How could you write a 'history of the circuit' and ignore 50% of what goes on there? I know Bill Boddy managed it with his Brooklands book and that disappointed me. I am sure a competent author could meld the two disciplines into one story. It's not as if he were writing a history of Aintree and having to consider whether to include horse racing! Several of the two-wheel operators would also turn up on four wheels in any case. If it had an engine, put it in, I say. (Rally special stages too.) Perhaps the motorcycling bits could be printed in different coloured type for the convenience of David McK :D .

LDM

#13 David Beard

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 21:43

[QUOTE]Originally posted by karlcars
An Oulton Park marshal is planning to write a book about the history of the circuit. An important issue is this: for the best commercial results, should the book cover all events there? Or should there be two books -- one for car racing and the other for motorcycles? Would car guys buy a book that also included motorcycle racing? And vice versa?

Any opinions on this would be of great interest.
[/QUOTE

Any news on this book?

#14 David Beard

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 21:45

Originally posted by David McKinney
I suspect the audiences are largely different, but equally feel that for commercial reasons one book would be the way to go. I would definitely buy one with both activities covered - but I wouldn't read any of the 2-wheeled stuff.


You surprise me, David. But then I am often surprised that there is not more sharing of interest in general between 2, 3 & 4 wheel motor sport enthusiasts.

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 22:13

Something to do with the way my mind works
When I first discovered motor racing I decided that single-seater racing was the real thing, and I didn't care about anything else. Pretty quickly however I realised that a lot of the single-seater drivers also raced sportscars, or had done so earlier in their careers. So I started paying attention to that too. And before much longer I decided that, for much the same reason, I should add saloons to the list as well. But I decided that I'd draw the line at bikes. If I wanted to know as much about motorcycle racing as I strove to learn about four-wheeled sport, there wouldn't be room in my poor brain for all the categories I had decided were more important.
I have watched, and enjoyed, motorcycle racing and wouldn't dream of playing down its importance or appeal. But it's just not for me.
And I was probably exaggerating when I said I wouldn't read any Oulton Park two-wheeled coverage. A fairer way of putting it, perhaps, would be that if there was one car book and one bike book I'd only but one...

#16 David Beard

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 19:45

[i]
And I was probably exaggerating when I said I wouldn't read any Oulton Park two-wheeled coverage. A fairer way of putting it, perhaps, would be that if there was one car book and one bike book I'd only but one... [/B]

Fair enough. I only follow motor cycle sport to a minor degree...but sometimes I catch a bit of a race on TV and wonder why I don't watch more often. Then I hope some motor cycle fan won't try and get me to explain to him why I think car racing is more interesting. I can't ...car racing is just the motorsport I chose to concentrate on, despite the fact that I think that bike racing is awesome.

Going back to Oulton. When I went to Oulton last year for the Gold Cup I found myself looking at things and thinking...they shouldn't have built that building...it's not in keeping. Then I realised that I shouldn't be comparing it with Goodwood....this is a track still used for modern racing. I was being duped by the fact that the place has such a classic feel to it and seems much more "right" for historic racing than Silverstone, despite the chicanes.

#17 jgm

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 20:09

I remember Trevor Taylor having perhaps his last big accident at Knicker Brook in a F5000 race in the early 70s.

#18 Pete Stowe

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 20:20

Like David McK I can’t raise much interest in motor-cycle racing, but in my view any circuit history should at least touch on all of a circuit’s activities, and if bike racing forms a big part, then that should be reflected in the book. This was the approach for the book published a couple of years ago on Castle Combe, which has hosted bike racing for many years, and which I think has been reasonably successful.

Originally posted by karlcars
An Oulton Park marshal is planning to write a book about the history of the circuit. An important issue is this: for the best commercial results, should the book cover all events there? Or should there be two books -- one for car racing and the other for motorcycles? Would car guys buy a book that also included motorcycle racing? And vice versa?

Any opinions on this would be of great interest.

Karl, if you're still after opinions, the 'Combe book has sold well at the circuit, where there is great local support, with bigger crowds at club meetings than at Internationals at other UK tracks.
I’m not privy to the commercial details of the ‘Combe book, talk to the publisher Paul Lawrence (www.tfmpublishing.co.uk - who also did the Thruxton history) if you want to know more.

Given that there is only a limited market for any particular circuit history, I would have thought that doing separate books covering cars and bikes may well result in neither being viable. Whatever, the ultimate success will be down to content. From a personal viewpoint, if an Oulton Park book is just a meeting by meeting resume of all the races, it would be of limited interest. But if it also covers the history behind the scenes, with plenty of anecdotes from over the years, then it could be well worth looking at, and I'd read the bike bits too. Although I’ve already said I’m not very interested in bike racing, I can still enjoy a good story about it, e.g. Terry Sanger in the ‘Combe book on racing in the 1950’s :

‘One of my earliest memories was riding the BSA Gold Star at Castle Combe. I was always too heavy, really, but I was usually first away at the start because I could start it after two or three steps. But that meant I had to be the first to put the brakes on. One of the funniest moments was when I came down to Camp on about the third lap. We were all trying to be the last of the late brakers and I braked far too late. Being heavy, I went clean over the handlebars and I was sat on my backside still doing about 70mph with the bike right behind me, following a straight line off the corner. In those days, fifteen feet from the edge of the road were steel posts driven into the ground with a rope stretched between them. The spectators stood behind and they gently held up the rope as I slid underneath it. But I kept going and by this time my behind was getting a bit sore. I actually went feet first into the Red Cross tent. Ray Cordy was already in there because he’d fallen off at the start. He looked down at me as I went sliding past and out the other end of the tent. He said: ‘You’d better deal with him first, he’s in a hurry!’

#19 Anorak Man

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 02:53

Exciting news from Karl:

An Oulton Park marshal is planning to write a book about the history of the circuit. An important issue is this: for the best commercial results, should the book cover all events there? Or should there be two books -- one for car racing and the other for motorcycles? Would car guys buy a book that also included motorcycle racing? And vice versa?
Any opinions on this would be of great interest.

T'riffic idea, it was my local circuit and I was a season ticket holder in the early 70's.
I used to love watching both bikes and cars, and would feel scammed if I bought a book on Oulton Park and either bikes or cars were omitted. You've GOT to include both Karl. Biker's wouldn't be so interested in cars racing, but I've not met any 4 wheel fans who didn't turn their heads when Ago went past 'on the mega'.
Decide who your market are, OP fans or bike or car fans. That will make your decision for you. If it's an OP market you're aiming at, include both.

AM

PS. Anyone got any photos of OP in the early 70's to get my hood twitching?
I was a regular at Lodge Corner.

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#20 Barrie Hobkirk

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 05:56

Quote from 'pedro'

One I'm particularly trying to recall was a Maserati 250F, sometime in the early 60s (i.e. probably during a F Libre club race?)


Quote from Doug Nye

I seem to recall that being Cameron Millar????


Sorry so late 'pedro'.
Indeed it was Cameron Millar in 2516 at the VSCC Oulton Park on June 19th, 1965. The 10-lap Allcomers Scratch Race
This was Cameron's first appearance in this restored car he had earlier purchased from Australia.
Quoting from a period bulletin,
"..."Confound it! Just as I was getting the hang of the thing!" Thus complained Cameron Millar as he was dragged out from under his inverted 250F Maserati at Knicker Brook after some fast lappery during Friday's practice. Fortunately neither he nor his beautiful car were badly damaged, but he was chiefly concerned about the smashing of an expensive wrap-around windscreen which had been specially made for the racer, and which the entire Millar family had been specifically warned never to touch for fear that it might get even slightly damaged..."
Cameron recently told me that on top of all the above, while pinned beneath, he was drenched in this 250F's gallons and gallons of methanol with a smoldering exhaust pipe by his elbow. Once freed, the methanol soaked clothing necessitated him stripping naked at trackside. Still, the shattered windscreen bothers him more to this day.

Cheers,
Barrie

#21 LB

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:33

Senna and Brundle had their famous coming together in F3 at Knickerbrook.

There was a guy that used to stand there and film every weekend - he released a couple of videos I think back in the 80's of crashes at the corner.

#22 FlagMan

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:44

Senna and Brundle had their famous coming together in F3 at Knickerbrook.



Fosters to be more accurate

There was a guy that used to stand there and film every weekend - he released a couple of videos I think back in the 80's of crashes at the corner.



Steve Jones was the guy - He released a series of videos titled something like 'Oulton Park's Greatest Hits'

He stopped after 'the management' wanted to charge him a huge amount for filming - which to me seemed somewhat short sighted as the videos might just have got the 'bash & smash' generation interested in going along to see it for real.

Flagman appears on some of those videos - if you know where to look - :clap: