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Christian/Christina Melville? British/Portugese?


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#1 Frank de Jong

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 20:32

A little problem I'd like to share with you.
I've come across a certain Christian Melville, racing in 1985 in a Luigi Alfa Romeo GTV/6, partnered by Pedro Meireles of Portugal.
According to my (in fact SAT's) notes, Christian is Portugese.
There's another Melville, according to time and two seats, Christina, who's obviously of the opposite sex. Christina is British and raced sportscars in 1973/1974.
My Danish contributor Jesper has a Belgian Melville in his memory.
Now, are we talking about the same Melville? Is it Christian or Christina or yet another name?
A google search turns up some British Melvilles but not much more.
So does anyone know more?

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#2 Jeremy Jackson

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 21:07

Hi Frank,

There are, naturally, errors in Time & Two Seats, and I belive this is one. All my sports car references to this driver have HIM as Christian, although Autopsort obviously didn't know in his earlier races in 1973, as they list him as C. Melville. I've never seen him called British either.

I thought he may be German, but I think possibly Spanish: Autosport's 1973 Barcelona 400ks report says that 4 Abarths were driven by "various Spanish drivers", these were Torredemer, Fernandez, Ottero, and... Melville.

On the other hand, of course, Janos Wimpffen may have researched it all better....

Hope that helps!

Jeremy

#3 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 23:37

Hi Frank

I just did a search on Christian+Melville and turned up what looks like a Portugese race report from August 1972. http://planeta.clix....la_conde_72.htm.
Here's a Christian Melville in a BMW 2002 group 1 finishing 3rd? (my Portugese in rusty enough for the scarp yard).

On another note there's also mentioned a Clemente Ribeiro da Silva. Frank, you have a da Silva in your results at Estoril in 1985 and 1988. Can anyone verify if this is the same da Silva.

Jesper O. Hansen

#4 Neri Moreira

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 09:47

Hi Fellows :)

In fact Christian Melville race and lived in Portugal in the 70ties, I'm not completelly sure if he was Portuguese because somewhere in the back of my brain I have an idea that he is Belgian, but I can try to check later.

Clemente Ribeiro da Silva was indeed a fine Portuguese driver that was stupidilly killed in an accident in Estoril (not a racing accident as he was ran out (dont know the English term) by another car while he was on the pits or crossing the track.

That's all for now :)

Yours
Neri :wave:

#5 Frank de Jong

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 12:53

On http://www.autodiva.com/wom_list.htm one Christina Melville turns up... though the list has other errors.

#6 Rob29

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 16:30

Originally posted by Frank de Jong
On http://www.autodiva.com/wom_list.htm, one Christina Melville turns up... though the list has other errors.

Frank,that link does not work. The one I have is www.autodiva.com/women.htmCorrection- to go direct to the list, link is correct except for the comma at the end!

#7 Udo K.

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 17:59

Originally posted by Frank de Jong
On http://www.autodiva.com/wom_list.htm, one Christina Melville turns up... though the list has other errors.


Frank, I don't think "Christina" Melville is correct. I also have Christian Melville in some Portugese races from 1969 to 1972. Now, in my records I have him as French, to complicate things more...
But I have to admit that I do not have a reliable source for it.

#8 Frank de Jong

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 18:31

Summary.
We know now that Christian Melville is probably a bloke, either British, Belgian, Spanish, Portugese, German or French; that he has raced in 1969-1974 and 1985. Since it's not a very common name (just try google) the 1969-1974 and 1985 person might be the same.
Portugese might be the best bet since he had a Portugese teammate in 1985.

(I've edited my previous post).

#9 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 23:07

In order to turn as many stones as possibly I repeated the search for Christian Melville and found this at a family tree site

quote: 1. PETER DONALDSON was born 1680 in Comrie, and died 1748 in Tullibody. He met CHRISTIAN MELVILLE July 01, 1709. She was born 1681 in Tullibody, and died 1746. End of quote

So Christian was a female name in Brittain around 1700!

Returning to "our" Melville, I would think that a guy racing a group 1 car, at a time when group 2 cars where the more international saloon car formula, in a Portugese event in 1972 he would have close links to the Portugese racing scene. But what kind of event was this http://planeta.clix.....a_conde_72.htm - national or international?

Jesper O. Hansen

Just checked the link and found it not working, sorry.

Have found it again: http://planeta.clix....oso/velocidade/
then click on ARQUIVO and click on RELEMBRAR... and click on CIRCUITO DE VILA DO CONDE 1972

#10 Neri Moreira

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 21:28

Hi again my friends :)

In fact Christian Melville was a frequent racer in our nacional speed championships mainly in Turism series (Group 1 mostly but Group also).

I couldnt check yet if he was in fact Belgian or not, as, sometimes our memories are not acurate .....

About that particular event, the "Circuito de Vila do Conde", this was a national event only that was held once a year (allways in August, then) after it started to be held twice a year, but I think it last year was the last one, for security reasons (not sure also).

Its in a litle and very nice town about 25 Km North of Porto, in front of the Atlantic Ocean and is were river Ave (bird) meets the sea.

In that particular year I was there with my father that was a "marshal" (steward ?) in that circuit for many years :).

That year he was (with me) in the exact location where the Formula Ford driver had his fatal acident and fall to the river :(

I was 16 year old then

Yours
Neri

#11 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 01:46

Thanks for the comments Neri Moreira.

It always seems to be very helpfull when local knowledge is available.

I didn't realise that the single seater (a combined FFord and FVee event if I'm correct) accident at the bottom picture was fatal, but by "reading" the paragraph I can gather that much. At first I didn't even realise that the car had landed in the harbour!

Of other interesting things to turn up is that the driver Joaquim Moutinho pictured in the humble Datsun 1200 is the same Moutinho that won the 1986 Portugese WRC round in a Renault 5 Turbo, unfortunately under somewhat sad circumstances due to a nasty accident involving spectators. According to Frank Moutinho also did a few ETCC events in the 80s.

Somewhere else I read that Circuito de Vila do Conde is/was a street circuit (but now, can I remember where!). The name of the circuit means something like "the circuit of the village Conde", ey?

You also told the sad ending of Clemente Ribeiro da Silva. I have always felt that such accidents are the worst. Bob Wollek run over by a 82-year driver of a mobile home springs to mind in the catagory of non-racing fatalities, of some of those I have experienced. But when exact did da Silva meet his maker?

Sorry If I'm sidetracking the subject a bit, but I always find it interesting to learn about motorsport in new countries. I have links to motorsport in a variety of countries, but realised that before this Melville-deal I had none referring to Portugal.

..and just to continue the sidetracking I looked a little further at the page about the Circuito de Vila do Conde event in 1972 and found a similar race report from Estoril in June the same year, 1972.

My initial interest was captured by the striking similarity betwin the Ford Escort BDA in picture #2 to the Ford Escort BDA my Danish countryman Erik Høyer drove in 1972 ..only to find out that is was indeed Høyer in that picture #2. It makes some sence since the car was a real Ford factory car that was stationed in Brittain in-betwin races in Denmark. The journey to Portugal was probably shorter, and by the look of the weather, more pleasant than a journey to Denmark.

Resently I have joined a gang of like minded persons that has set ourselfs the task of creating an online datebase of race results by Danish Drivers (foreigners included whenever they have occured). This report seems to be of some interest! From the text I gather that "Nicha" Cabral won, but does it say anything about where Høyer finished? Cabrel seems to have been a figure in Portugal at the time since he was pictured at the Conde event as well.

Picture #1 in the Estoril report says something about group 2. Although the picture is s-m-all (W.C. Fields) the red car starting circa 3rd is a Chevrolet Camaro, conveniently resembling the race report about the group 1 catagory (goes for Conde as well).

This is the end for a "Portugese for beginners" (dogme)

Jesper O. Hansen

#12 Frank de Jong

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 10:49

Well, and I've learned that "Nicha" Cabral is the same as Mário de Araujo Cabral.
Very interesting, this insight on Portugese racing.

#13 Neri Moreira

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 12:46

Hi again :)

Jesper - In fact the driver, Luis Fernandes, was killed in this accident, he felt in the river, not in the harbour, but was suposelly killed by the twisting of the frame :(

Joaquim Moutinho, that started is carrier in the Datsun 1200 league also run in a Formula (ford or V ?) in the same event, he run lots of circuits and rallies along the years with lots of sucess.
He won the 1986 Rallie de Portugal in a Renault 5 Turbo, in that fatal year when Joaquim Santos had an accident in Sintra, with a Ford RS 2000 (?) killing some (5 ?) spetactors wich lead to the factory teams to stop his rally then, that was a Rally year to forget (or to remember) not only in Portugal, wich lead to the end of Group B also.

Vila do Conde is (was ?) in fact a street circuit in a village called "Vila do Conde", (yes Vila means village, and Conde means Count), I think I meassed the point here :)

About the dead of Clemente Ribeiro da Silva, I couldnt find the year till now, but I remember it was in a (3 hour ?) International Turisms event held in Estoril (must check after).

Yes also in 1972 was the inaugural race of the Esturil race track, with some F3, FF GT and turism races, with Eric Hoyer (that I think went also to the Vila Real race in 72 (not sure about this)), in the Estoril event he fought for the lead with Cabral, but he had to quit the race that was won by Cabral.

In fact the image with the Camaro is the start of Group 1 and not Group 2 (wrong legend) it was driven by Ernesto Neves that fought with the BMWs of Carlos Santos and Cabral till he also had to quit.

The same Ernesto Neves also run the GT race in a Lotus 62 and the Formula 3 event (his first try) that he also had to quit when in fourth :)

Frank (and Jesper) - Mário Araújo Cabral (or "Nicha Cabral") was (is :) ) a caracter in the portuguese racing scene, he made his debut in Formula 1 in the Portuguese Grand Prix of 1959 in Monsanto (Jack Brabham didnt liked it a lot) and also ran the Portuguese GP of 1960 in Porto (dont say Oporto please :) ), he made some other tries in Formula 1 and 2 with the sucess we can expect without money or a factory suport, but he was a great driver, he had a big accident in Rouen (I think) that put an end to his international ambitions.

After recovering he had a looong carrier in Portuguese and African racing with plenty of sucess.

His life style and the way he held his racing made that his byograffy recently published in Portuguese had a huge sucess.

Hope I could help :)

Yours
Neri

#14 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 15:26

Thank you Neri for some more back ground on Portugese drivers.

I found a diagram of Vila do Conde on http://www.racingcircuits.net/ - reminds me of Enna-Pergusa. According to this site the track was active to 2000.

Best regards
Jesper O. Hansen

#15 Neri Moreira

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 16:28

Hi again Jesper

THe diagram shown in that site for Vila do Conde is not acurate, you can find the acurate one in this thread: http://www.atlasf1.c...highlight=conde.

Also the Porto lay-out in the same site is also wrong :(

There were races in Vila do Conde till 2002, the question is about 2003 :)

Yours
Neri :wave:

#16 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 00:16

Hi Neri

I have studied the picture from your link and compared it to what is descriped as the original circuit on http://www.racingcircuits.net/ and can not spot the difference. The modified circuit has three chicanes thrown in, which must alter the length a bit though.

Jesper O. Hansen

#17 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 07:50

with a Ford RS 2000 (?)



Ford RS200.

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#18 Neri Moreira

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 20:16

Jesper and Rainer :o

You are both right :)

Jesper - I didnt check the "original circuit" in the site, only saw the one with the stupid chicanes.
In fact the lay-out original in the site is acurate (thanks God) :)


Rainer, indeed it was a Ford RS200 (and not 2000) that had the terrible accident in Sintra. :)

Thank you both for the corrections :up:

Yours
Neri :wave:

#19 brickyard

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 21:24

hi all,

about some doubts here at this thread I'm prepared to help:

- Christian Melville was in fact a french speaking BELGIUM fellow that raced here in Portugal from 1968. In 1985 he and the portuguese driver Pedro Meireles where co-drivers in the European Touring Car Championship, with an Alfa Romeo GTV6.

- In the 1977's 500Km of Estoril, an ETCC race, Clemente Ribeiro da Silva was killed when the winners car run over him. The story it's very tragic and also stupid: the race finished when the day was over and the winning car took another lap after finish with the lights off!!! As Clemente didn't noticed that fact, he crossed the track to leave his abandoned car and return to the pit lane. With the darkness and the noise on the straight lane he didn't noticed the car and was runned over, only a few hours after his last win. :cry: He was one of our best drivers in touring cars.



hope this clear some doubts

brickyard

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#20 Frank de Jong

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 15:18

Thanks mate for poiting out Melville. I'll add the sad story of Clemente Ribeiro da Silva as a foornote to the 1977 Estoril race.

#21 Mig007

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 14:24

Hadn't Melville dual citizenship, at least at the end of his career?