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Bellof - Spa 1985, footage by John Nichols?


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#1 Lutz G

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Posted 15 September 2002 - 23:36

There is in car footage from Ickx's car that show his crash with Stefan Bellof - but a film by John Nichols
should show the *whole* incident.

http://www.izdebski....e/das_ende.html

The text says:
"Stefan and Ickx took their cars after a pit stop from their team mates. Ickx managed to return to the track with an advantage of 5 secs to Bellof on the Brun Porsche. Within shortest time the faster Bellof closed up on the works Porsche. Ickx blocked Stefan for three laps by all means. After La Source he suddenly rushed to the right (see drawing), a clear invitation to overtake. Stefan took it and was already besides Ickx when he (Ickx) pulled left into Eau Rouge and pushed Bellof away."

The author (Rudi Izdebski) saw the accident from the pits with his own eyes. He told me about the John Nichols Film. Porsche bought the rights for this footage and locked the film somewhere in their archive, Rudi told me. But they allowed a reporter from the german newspaper "AZ" to have a look at it. He agreed with Rudi's point of view after watching it.

Does anybody else (perhaps from TNF?) had a look at this footage? Does Porsche got the only copy or is there somewhere (perhaps John Nichols still owns a copy?) another one?

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#2 BMW FW22

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 10:41

absolute fantastic site !

#3 stavelot

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 18:29

This report suggest that the Ickx' intention was to push out poor Bellof.

I can't agree with this explanation.

Ickx could also die after this huge crash. He could know the danger of Eau Rouge!

#4 scheivlak

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 18:43

Izdebski's report condemns Ickx strongly for ignoring blue flags. However, he doesn't mention if Ickx was about to be lapped. Was this the case or not?

#5 alain_sl

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 02:35

I am not specially a great fan of Ickx (except for 1984-86 Paris-Dakar races), but to be fair, I think there is an important point that has been omitted. At the exit of la Source, there was a backmaker in front of Ickx (I can not recall who it was, a Tiga or Spice or someone else) . Ickx pass him on the right side of the track, then went back to the left just like he should have been there if there was not that backmaker. As he was approaching Eau Rouge (and then only), he went on the right again. But I think, it was not to give Bellof enough room to pass him. Ickx was just following the racing line. It happened that Bellof took the inside of the corner. I have never been inside a 956 ( :cry: ) and I can not realize what is the visibility from inside the cockpit. I just believe Ickx did not think Bellof was possibly there, on his left. And sadly, the accident happened.
Just would like to point out that if Ickx 'rushed to the right' after exiting la Source, it was to pass a backmaker and not to invit Bellof to overtake him.
Alain

#6 Lutz G

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 12:21

Originally posted by alain_sl
I am not specially a great fan of Ickx (except for 1984-86 Paris-Dakar races), but to be fair, I think there is an important point that has been omitted.

(...)

Just would like to point out that if Ickx 'rushed to the right' after exiting la Source, it was to pass a backmaker and not to invit Bellof to overtake him.
Alain


I didn't see the accident with my own eyes (like Rudi did) so I don't want to comment in this thread on who is "guilty" or not. I just want to know if this footage by John Nichols (which shows the whole story - so everbody could see what happened) is locked in the Porsche archives for another 20 years or if there might exist somewhere a copy. BTW: Who is John Nichols? Perhaps someone can tell my how to contact him?

#7 rallen

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 20:49

Found this thread after searching for Bellof and Brundle - fascinating but can't get my head round it. Is it acknowledged that this film does exist or is it an urban myth? Also why would Porsche by the rights and then lock it up - surely the damage to their reputation was that Bellof was killed full stop.

Did Ickx have a reputation as a dirty/hard driver? - he was way before my time but seemed like a gentleman to me and I can't see it.

#8 HeskethBoy

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 00:50

Izdebski's report condemns Ickx strongly for ignoring blue flags. However, he doesn't mention if Ickx was about to be lapped. Was this the case or not?


Who can recall what was the Blue Flag rule in those days?
Was it strictly enforced that it be shown only to cars about to be lapped?
Or did flag marshals have free reign to wave it at whatever they thought was an overtaking move? This is how I (vaguely) remember it being at that time.

Ickx did not have a reputation for ruthless driving, and his knowledge of that track and those cars would rule out any deliberate move to push another car off at that spot.

Was the blue flag being waved at the slower car, and did Bellof think it was being shown to Ickx because he (Bellof) was having a go?
All that I can say with any certainty, is that it was a sad day.

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:46

My memory is that at the time in question use of the blue flag would have been as traditional, ie held stationery: Someone's chasing you. Waved: Someone's trying to pass you

I cant comment on the Bellof/Ickx incident

#10 HeskethBoy

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:53

My memory is that at the time in question use of the blue flag would have been as traditional, ie held stationery: Someone's chasing you. Waved: Someone's trying to pass you


Thanks David,
That's how I also feel the rule would have been at that time - hence, if Ickx moved over to get past the slower car, then surely a blue flag would be waving.
And if Bellof sees a gap, he might have been inclined to go for it - even at that place on that circuit.

So - possibly, the blue flag had nothing to do with Bellof, but played a role in the end result?

#11 LittleChris

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:32

My understanding has always been that Ickx & Bellof were fighting for the lead.

In car footage from Ickx can be seen here




If a blue flag was shown then it must've been for the car he overtakes between La Source & Eau Rouge since why would anyone blue flag the race leader ?

For what it's worth, I think Bellof took one risk too many and sadly lost his life as a result.



#12 scheivlak

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:36

There are already two other threads about this: http://forums.autosp...w...ellof&st=40 and http://forums.autosp...w...ellof&st=40

To quote myself from one of these threads: as mentioned elsewhere, Ickx was leading the race. Blue flags were waved, but not because of Ickx!
They were waved for another competitor who was about to be lapped by both Ickx and Bellof, fighting for the lead.



#13 David McKinney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:11

why would anyone blue flag the race leader ?

For the reasons quoted in my earlier post :)


#14 LittleChris

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 13:07

Must admit my knowledge of flag rules isn't 100% David but I thought that during a race only cars about to be lapped would face a blue flag unlike practice when anyone could be flagged as warning of a quicker car approaching.

#15 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 14:05

I just want to know if this footage by John Nichols (which shows the whole story - so everbody could see what happened) is locked in the Porsche archives for another 20 years or if there might exist somewhere a copy.


For what it's worth: the on-board footage from Ickx's car has been available on the 'Sportscar Experience' VHS from Duke Video for many years.

Edited by Rob Semmeling, 16 April 2012 - 14:06.


#16 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 15:37

Must admit my knowledge of flag rules isn't 100% David but I thought that during a race only cars about to be lapped would face a blue flag unlike practice when anyone could be flagged as warning of a quicker car approaching.


IIRC at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, Senna was shown Blue flags in the latter stages when Mansell was trying to take the lead so its possible Ickx was shown blue flags despite being the leader.

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 16:39

Must admit my knowledge of flag rules isn't 100% David but I thought that during a race only cars about to be lapped would face a blue flag unlike practice when anyone could be flagged as warning of a quicker car approaching.

That's (more or less) the current rule
Until then, it was exactly as I stated - "someone", no matter who

#18 HeskethBoy

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:51

IIRC at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, Senna was shown Blue flags in the latter stages when Mansell was trying to take the lead so its possible Ickx was shown blue flags despite being the leader.


Exactly! Flag marshals are human. And back in those times the rule was a lot more open-ended than it is today (where a computer programme virtually decides when a blue flag is shown).
So, a keeen and enthusiastic marshal might easily have chosen to wave the flag for whatever reason they thought was valid at the time.

The old rule that the onus for overtaking safely rests with the driver carrying out the manoeuvre applied as much then as it does today.

#19 Ralliart

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:47

I watched that race on TV - the tape-delay coverage of sports car racing on ESPN. Not only the in-car was shown but, of course, the events leading up to the crash. It appeared Bellof tried to pass in a place where one couldn't pass without a big enough gap. It appeared to be entirely his fault.

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#20 HeskethBoy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:26

http://www.i-t-d.net...nde/az_1_85.jpg

The blue flag - but I don't read German - so I'm unsure what the comment is about.

#21 Little Leaf

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:53

http://www.i-t-d.net...nde/az_1_85.jpg

The blue flag - but I don't read German - so I'm unsure what the comment is about.


"Not to be missed: Blue flag: That means: Careful, somebody wants to overtake. Nevertheless Ickx "never in his dreams thought that somebody would overtake here""

Roughly translated!