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Caserta 18th June 1967


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#1 Cirrus

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 13:14

Whilst looking up F3 races for the "Late-Sixties F3 Results" thread, I was reminded of the series of tragic races in the middle of 1967, in particular the race at Caserta, where Beat Fehr, "Geki" and "Tiger" all perished. I know it has been mentioned in other threads in the past, but accounts seem to differ. Can anybody enlighten me as to what actually happened ?

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#2 Herbert

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 13:56

This is what Steve Small wrote about the accident:
Having been involved in a multiple pile-up, the Swiss driver, Fehr Beat, jumped from his stricken car and ran back along the track to warn the leading bunch - which included 'Geki', who was tragically unable to avoid striking and killing his unfortunate rival. The Italian's Matra then ploughed into a concrete wall and he perished when the car burst into flames.

#3 Cirrus

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 15:54

Does anyone know, was it Beat Fehr (as in sometime TFN poster Beat Schenker), or Fehr Beat? Also, did "Tiger" die in the same multilple accident?

#4 LittleChris

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 19:13

Originally posted by Cirrus
"Tiger"

For info - real name Romano Perdomo I believe.

There is a french language book called Drama at Caserta by ex F3 driver Jurg Dubler who was there and this may shed some light on the subject.

#5 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 19:17

As my holiday coach passed the autostrada exit to Caserta earlier this week, I was reminded that we still have no circuit plan for this track despite the best efforts of some Italian contacts.

I tried e-mailing the local council a couple of months back but got no reply.

Can anyone throw light on this circuit, PLEASE?

#6 neville mackay

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 19:51

There is a whole chapter devoted to this bizzare and tragic incident in Volume 2 of Jurg Dubler's book on the golden years of formula 3 - a cracking read by the way, although its written entirely in French. Jurg was involved in the accident which occurred during the first lap of the final. The circuit was basically a triangle which involved a flat out blast around the narrow and wall lined streets of Caserta.

A number of drivers - Perdomi, Manfredini, Regazzoni, Dubler and (almost inevitably) supreme hard man Ernesto Brambilla tangled at the end of a straight, just as it led into a blind right hander. Beat Fehr (a real prospect according to Dubler, although he was in his first international race and driving Dubler's old Brabham from the previous year) stopped and ran back down the track to warn the oncoming drivers. Somehow he was struck by Giacomo Russo (a.k.a Geki) whose Matra struck a wall and burst into flames. Dubler's description of seeing the prone body of Russo land at his feet, going into shock, and only realising who it was when he encountered Geki's distraught wife on the way back to the pits is both moving and harrowing. He didn't realsied that his friend Beat had also perished until he got back to the pits

Russo and Fehr were killed instantly. Perdomi lingered for a while before dying. Others had miraculous escapes. There is a picture of a twisted pile of tubes stuffed into the wall laying atop two other racers, from which the redoubtable Ernesto B walked away to crash another day.

Geki was an interesting character - a driver of some repute, winner of the Italian F3 championship, who drove a Lotus in a couple of grand prix at Monza. He seemed quite happy to plug away in the harum scarum world of 1960's fromala 3 racing and was building a fine reputation as a works driver for Alfa Romeo as they re-entered sports prototype racing at that time. His loss in such shocking circumstances somehow encapsulated the cavalier attitude to safety which existed at the time and which had seen the likes of Lorenzo Bandini perish only a matter of weeks before

Neville Mackay

#7 LittleChris

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 23:09

Thank you for that Neville. I've wondered for a long time what actually happened. Does the book include a map of the circuit ?

There is a mention somewhere ( I'll remember where when the snakebite ( cider & lager mix for those not aware ) wears off ) of an Italian F3 driver who died in the late 60's from relatively minor injuries because he was over- anaesthetised whilst having a broken leg set . Is it possible that it was Tiger ?

Chris

#8 Cirrus

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 07:32

Thanks for all the information. 1967 was indeed a bleak year for F3. Within a few weeks of Caserta, Tim Cash and Boley Pittard both died, Cash after hitting a wall in Portugal, and Pittard, after steering his blazing car to a safe position at Monza. I have nothing but respect for the guys who joined the European F3 circus in the sixties - it was an incredibly dangerous time.

#9 neville mackay

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:04

The Dubler book does contain a map of the Caserta circuit which looks as if it may have been lifted from one of the Italian motoring magazines - possibly Autosprint - of the day.

Dubler's book also gives quite a lot of space to the extraordinary character that was Tim Cash. Cash was a short sighted former member of the Queen's Life Guard Regiment who, on leaving the army, brought an old Merlyn and proceeded to race to no great effect but with much incident and hilarity around Europe. He hooked up with Dubler and spent quite a lot of time at Dubler's base near Zurich. He ws killed at Cascais in 1967 when he went into the trees. Cash was a madcap charater and Dubler always wondered whether his final destiny was self selected rather than just accidental

#10 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:34

Neville, are you able to scan and post this circuit map?

If not, I am happy to send an s.a.e if you could photocopy the map. This circuit has been an itch that we have been scratching at for a very long time.

#11 neville mackay

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 12:30

Barry

I don't have a scanner (and wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to use it if I did), but if you contact me via the members list with your surface mail address I'll gladly send you a photocopy of the relevant info. Glad to be of help.

Neville

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 13:25

Thanks, Neville; please check your Private Messages file.

#13 chris stoddart

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 14:09

Barry

Like you, I've been trying to pin this track down for years.

Please can you post an image of it, on this forum.


Thanks


Chris

#14 Rob29

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 16:11

Originally posted by neville mackay
The Dubler book does contain a map of the Caserta circuit which looks as if it may have been lifted from one of the Italian motoring magazines - possibly Autosprint - of the day.

The book does in fact state that the drawings are from Autosprint. I don't have a scanner or copier either,but it would be rather dificult to copy from my copy anyway, due to the hand drawn map running into the binding of the book. Circuit is triangular in shape which is about all the map will tell you.The diagram of the shunt is more interesting. Also the photos-anyone who thinks Monaco is narrow needs to see this place.

#15 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 16:59

Once I see what the overall shape was, I will delve yet again into Multimap to try to find the roads as they are now. Almost without exception, old Italian circuits survive with virtually no alteration.

Bravo Italia!

#16 kstrt

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 22:38

Are there photos?

#17 Rob29

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 09:05

Originally posted by kstrt
Are there photos?

Yes,in the Jurg Dubler book vol.2 ,referred to above.Possibly too poor quality to copy?

#18 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 18:36

The Caserta disaster was shaped by the nature of the circuit section on which it occurred. These pictures were taken a few days after the incident.

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The above is taken in the direction of travel for the competing cars, and is shot like this from the right of the roadway running towards the blind right-hander seen ahead because here we are actually on the exit of a similarly blind left-hander. Note the house and low barrier at the apex of the approaching right-hander which is almost completely blind, and bounded by that unforgiving wall on the left... Most critically - there was apparently no available site used for flag marshalling at this point.

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This is the view looking back against the direction of the circuit, on the same section of road as is shown in the first picture. I believe this was the area in which the multiple collision began, and Beat Fehr would have been in great danger due to these totally blind approaches as he ran back in his tragic attempt to warn oncoming cars that the road was blocked.

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It seems that beyond the right-hander seen in the first picture the road then opened up as above to the right, although that tall wall still provided no escape whatsoever to the left . The houses next up on the right are those which 'Tiger's car apparently rammed after becoming airborne over others...

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The stone window edging shows the spang marks from 'Tiger's airborne car. It appears that the stone ramp in the left-side gutter also played a destructive role in the disaster - trapping, damaging and launching cars which tried to avoid those piling up ahead.

A very nasty business...indeed.

DCN





#19 neville mackay

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 19:57

Great pictures, Doug. Amazing To think that they blatted through those turns in the middle of a slipstreaming horde really boggles the mind. Was there ever a more dangerous time to be a racing driver?

I dislike morbidity and tend not to dwell on the darker side of motor racing. But there is something about the Caserta accident that haunts me to this day. Apart from the quite incredible and horrifying nature of the accident itself, I think it has something to do with it marking the beginning of the end of an era. The days of European formula three caravan indulging in titanic battles in lethally unsafe cars on frighteningly unprotected circuits were beginning to pass - perhaps thankfully so. Caserta just seemed to mark the break point between that era and the more safety minded professional age that followed.



Neville

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#20 kstrt

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 20:31

Can you scan a track map?

#21 Mawerick

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 21:46

A map of the track, not very accurate though, it seems.

http://www.racingcir...ly/Caserta.html

#22 gdecarli

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 00:07

Originally posted by Mawerick
A map of the track, not very accurate though, it seems.

http://www.racingcir...ly/Caserta.html

This map should be quite accurate and it comes from Neville Mackay & Barry Boor.

I have one on my website, derived from the same source (click to open my page) :

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Ciao,
Guido

#23 Paul Taylor

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 00:16

Originally posted by Rob29
Yes,in the Jurg Dubler book vol.2 ,referred to above.Possibly too poor quality to copy?


Is that photos of the incident, or are you referring to the photos that Doug has just posted?

And looking at those images, I simply can't believe that anyone would allow a race there.

#24 Rob29

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 09:21

Originally posted by Paul Taylor


Is that photos of the incident, or are you referring to the photos that Doug has just posted?

And looking at those images, I simply can't believe that anyone would allow a race there.

Not Doug's photos,but taken shortly after the incident,showing wrecked cars.

#25 kstrt

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 10:04

Can you post it?

#26 kstrt

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 10:12

What happened with Cash and Raby?

#27 Paul Taylor

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 13:04

Originally posted by Cirrus
Within a few weeks of Caserta, Tim Cash and Boley Pittard both died, Cash after hitting a wall in Portugal, and Pittard, after steering his blazing car to a safe position at Monza. I have nothing but respect for the guys who joined the European F3 circus in the sixties - it was an incredibly dangerous time.


Read up the thread, and you'll find this.

Originally posted by Jesper Hvid on another forum
At Zandvoort in Holland, Briton Ian Raby was severely injured in a F2 race after crashing though the barriers and hurtling down an embankment in a race won by Belgian star Jacky Ickx. Raby passed away some months later.


Unless Jesper quoted this forum, he posted this once on TBK's Forum.

#28 kstrt

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 13:25

Are there more drivers who died racing at F3 in the sixties?

#29 Paul Taylor

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 13:35

NOT Originally posted by kstrt
Thank you for the information Paul.


You're welcome...

Originally posted by kstrt
Are there more drivers who died racing at F3 in the sixties?[/B]


Thanks to MUZZA for this excellent site, which tells of almost all deaths in racing incidents. These are the fatal crashes that happened in the 1960s. Check down the column that says "category" to find Formula 3 fatal accidents.

http://www.motorspor...60-1969-S.shtml

#30 kstrt

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 13:47

Thank you. I had lost this site.

#31 kstrt

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 14:46

I hadn`t see anything about «Tiger», Beat Fehr, Cash and Pittard

#32 Cirrus

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 06:10

Forty years ago today...

#33 Terry Walker

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:07

The circuit seems to be intact and hardly changed in 40 years. Google Map/Earth has high resolution coverage of the area, just north of Naples.

#34 kevthedrummer

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 23:52

I have an account of the accident in Caserta from a proof copy of the book, 'Risk Life, Risk Limb,' by Michael Cooper-Evans. I don't know how factual it is but some may find it interesting:

'In the Formula Three race at Caserta in 1967 trouble began on the seventh lap when a young Swiss driver called Fehr Beat was involved in a relatively minor accident with another car on a very fast, twisty section of the circuit where stone walls on each side of the road impose a severe limit on visibility. Both cars were damaged, their wreckage partially blocking the road, but neither driver was hurt. One of them, Beat, apparently took it upon himself to run back down the road to warn oncoming drivers of the impending obstruction, and while doing so he was knocked down and killed by a car driven by Giaccomo Russo. Russo himself, out of control after the impact, was immediately killed when his car struck a wall. Moments later, a fourth car collided with the debris of Russo's machine and the driver, Giusseppe Perdoni, was trapped, seriously injured, in the wreckage.

While all of this was taking place very little help was being provided by the race authorities. Some soldiers, whose job it was to keep spectators under control, proffered assistance and were instructed by one of the drivers to telephone for ambulances and rescue equipment. One of the soldiers explained that they would have to use a coin-operated public telephone for this purpose and, as they had no money, it was not until the appropriate coins had been produced that the so-called rescue operation could get under way. When, eventually, assistance in the shape of the local fire brigade arrived on the scene, it was clear that their equipment was inadequate to procure the release of Perdoni from his battered car; he was eventually extricated by his own mechanics using equipment that they had carried from their pit, some distance away. He died in hospital before the day was out. '

#35 JB Miltonian

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:11

Because there are no pictures remaining in this thread, here is an image I've scanned from Quattroruote August 1967. This appears to be one the mechanics arriving on the scene of the accident.

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#36 lil'chris

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 23:34

Birds eye views of the Caserta circuit now available on multimap

#37 Fr@nk

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 14:13

Because there are no pictures remaining in this thread, here is an image I've scanned from Quattroruote August 1967. This appears to be one the mechanics arriving on the scene of the accident.

Posted Image


I'm writing something about F.3. italian races of 1967, in particular about I Coppa San Piero a Sieve the last race before Caserta's one.
Could you help me to find some photos of the Caserta tragedy ?
The photos in this thread posted by Doug Nye are no more available.
Thank you very much.

Bye
Fr@nk

#38 wolf sun

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 21:12

This is Clay Regazzoni's account of the accident, from his autobiography "E questione di cuore". The book is, of course, originally written in Italian - I've got the German version, and have translated the following excerpt:

"Finally, everything ended in tragedy. Tino Brambilla, a brother of Vittorio's, had a lead of fifty metres on a chasing group that included myself. In the last two positions were Swiss driver Fehr, and Seltari. Those two touched right after one of the three corners, the view being impeded by the corner of a house. Fehr's car came to rest in the middle of the track, the pursuers closing in at 200 km/h (125 mph, ws) down the straight. Fehr immediately realised that the other drivers would be unsighted by the corner of the house, and ran around it to warn the others of the danger (there were no marshals in those days!). He was run over. I was in fourth place and could only see a cloud of dust in front of me. I braked immediately. All I remember is hits and bumps left and right. I had come to a halt in a pile of ten or twelve cars. I got out of my battered car, and walked towards Romano Perdomi's car. He was trapped in the cockpit, but was conscious. Just as I noticed that the rev counter had penetrated his knee and stuck in it, I heard the sound of a rapidly approaching car. It was Brambilla, leading, unaware of all this. I could hear his gearchange, and then saw him come round the corner at speed. A terrifying feeling. I pressed myself against the wall of the house, motionless. After a first impact, Tino's car flew over all the others and landed close to mine.
It was total chaos. Spectators and fire marshals were close to panic. It was us drivers who remained calmest of all. We started to extract Perdomi. Although badly hurt, he was conscious and remained calm, even though his hours were numbered. In all the anxiety, nobody had looked after Jeki (sic). His car had hit a lamp post and was split in half, the engine separated from the seat. It was too late to rescue him. By now, smoke was coming from his car. I feared that a fire would break out while he was still trapped in the cockpit. I yelled at a fire marshal to go and get some water, and he came back with a bottle. This was still the stone age of rescue services."

#39 Mig007

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 14:44

May you respost the images, please?

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#40 Cirrus

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 17:26

I've just realised that the Caserta tragedy happened 45 years ago yesterday...

#41 Jimisgod

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:40

Warning, fatal crash

Posted Image

Posted Image

Two further images of what they claim to be the Caserta accident. The link has a description, allegedly by Clay Regazzoni, but the source is unnamed. I don't support the ethics of that forum though.

Edited by Jimisgod, 24 October 2012 - 07:44.


#42 Mig007

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 23:11

That's an horrible forum indeed, I just saw the title and closed it

#43 Jimisgod

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:42

The link has a description, allegedly by Clay Regazzoni, but the source is unnamed.


Appears they copied the Regazzoni account from here, and probably the images also.

#44 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:09

The pictures of Caserta tragedy are definitely from the magazine Auto Italiana.

#45 wolf sun

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 18:57

Appears they copied the Regazzoni account from here, and probably the images also.


They did indeed, I translated Regazzoni's account myself, and have only posted it here.