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Piers Courage


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#1 Martyj

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 16:44

Two things:

1) In the new issue of F1 Magazine, there is a brief mention that there is a new book about Piers Courage. Any one have information about this?

1) In absense of me ever seeing this book, I'd like to get a thread going to compile whatever information there is about this sometimes forgotten driver. I know he doesn't at all rank near the greats, though he had a pair of stellar second place finishes in private Brabhams. I know that it was documented that he lost a lot of confidence with the DeTomaso, and was making a lot of mistakes as result. What I find more intriging is that he, like Jo Bonnier and Elio DeAngelis, is off track a more well-rounded individaul than his peers. Charles Fox wrote a wonderful piece for "Car and Driver" about 15 years ago that explored this a bit. And also that he was one of the more universally liked drivers in the paddock. Anyone have any Piers Courage tales?

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#2 David Force

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 17:27

The book is by Adam Cooper who spent 4 years researching and writing it. It has stacks of unseen photos and is one of THE very best books out there whether you wear your anorak whilst reading it or not.

Its not hard to find so go buy it.

#3 provapr

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 17:33

Agreed, it's a superb read and goes way beyond camshafts and understeer. The most pognant chapters are towards the end, particularly with regard to his sad demise and the unfortunate accident that befell his son, Jason. Highly recommended from this end...

#4 provapr

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 17:35

Sorry - poignant...

#5 Martyj

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 17:43

Wow, I was unaware of this book and it's availability. Are you guys in England? I've not seen it here in the States.

#6 917

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 18:18

"Classic & Sports Car", August 2003, pages 146-149: "Courage best - Adam Cooper offers a taster of his book on racer Piers Courage".

A small panel there says: "Piers Courage - Last of the Gentlemen Racers", by Adam Cooper, is published by Haynes, and available from July 9 (ISBN 1-85960-663-6, 30 Pounds Sterling).

#7 2F-001

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 18:38

I came across Adam Cooper in some bookseller's tent at Goodwood the other week - had I been feeling a little more flush with cash I would have bought it (and asked Mr. Cooper to sign it!). He was discussing the book with said dealer - who thought the initial print run was huge for such a book (can't recall the figure) but it was selling well and Adam was pondering what his next subject should be. All the major UK dealers have it, I think. Looks like a nice book. I always though Adam was a real enthusiast and wrote entertainingly in Autosport. Come to think of it, why isn't he on TNF?

(When I said ''bought it'' I meant the book, not the tent.)

#8 WGD706

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 18:50

According to the grandprix.com encyclopedia, Piers Courage preferred to stay with Frank Williams into the 1970 season instead of accepting an offer from Ferrari. Apparently, Piers was good friends with Jonathan Williams, who raced for Ferrari in F2 in1967.(The F2 car was slow arriving and Ferrari allowed Williams to race for De Sanctis in the Monza Lottery - which he won. At the end of the season Williams made his Grand Prix debut in the second Ferrari at the Mexican GP, standing in for the injured Mike Parkes. He finished eighth.
In 1968 he won the Monza Lottery for a third time but his international career faded as Enzo Ferrari became excited about newcomers Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell.)
Perhaps wiser by the unjust treatment Jonathan Williams had received by the Scuderia in 1967, Courage turned it down and chose to stick with FWR.
He'd raced in Formula 3 and 2 throughout much of the 1960s and briefly contested Grands Prix for the BRM team before really making his name in 1969 in the Williams Brabham.
http://www.gpracing....careers/140.cfm

#9 Cirrus

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 20:19

I liked the story (told recently in Motorsport - I think) where Frank Williams recalls his Euopean travels with Piers Courage in F3. Apparently, even though they often slept rough in the back of a van, Piers C insisted on changing into his pyjamas before retiring, resulting in many bemused onlookers witnessing the bizarre sight of him, having chnged into his, no doubt, stylish silk bedwear, walking across a car park clutching a sponge bag and small towel in order to perform his nighttime ablutions at some ghastly public toilet.

Britain has been responsible for many negative things throughout the years, but 24 carat eccentricity is something for which we can be very proud.

#10 Jeroen Brink

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 20:27

One of the more fascinating racing drivers. Nigel Roebuck wrote many tributes, but the one on Piers Courage is reallz superb and makes one regret not having been able to watch him.

I have to think regularly about him as I drive with my bicycle past the east side of the Zandvoort-track into the dunes. Not nice.

#11 wherezmyz

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 22:14

Originally posted by Martyj
Wow, I was unaware of this book and it's availability. Are you guys in England? I've not seen it here in the States.

Try www.amazon.co.uk. I ordered my copy of the book on a Wednesday and it arrived the next Monday. Less than a week to the States isn't too bad.

#12 ensign14

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 06:01

Originally posted by 2F-001
IAdam was pondering what his next subject should be.

He mentioned Denny Hulme - he has spoken to many members of Hulme's family. Should be worth waiting for, most info about Denny is him as linked with Brabham and McLaren rather than as an individual.

#13 fines

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 15:23

Originally posted by WGD706
He'd raced in Formula 3 and 2 throughout much of the 1960s and briefly contested Grands Prix for the BRM team

[pedantic hat on] AFAIK, he never drove for the BRM team - he did, however, drive a BRM for the Parnell team! [/pedantic hat off]


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#14 David McKinney

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 15:59

In the same vein...
He did drive for the BRM team, though not in world championship GPs

#15 fines

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 16:40

:o :blush:


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#16 Martyj

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 17:42

Other than that Tasman race in the rain in 68, did he ever actually win anything? I'm remembering in his last year he did endurance races with Alfa Romeo, and I wonder if he won any of those?

Of course, I'm sure this question is answered in the book.

#17 Rob Ryder

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 21:32

Originally posted by Martyj
Other than that Tasman race in the rain in 68, did he ever actually win anything?


F3
29/08/66 Les Leston Trophy Brands Hatch Lotus 41

F2
22/12/68 Temporada Series Buenos Aires Brabham BT23C
24/08/69 Mediterranean Grand Prix Enna-Pergusa Brabham BT30

Tasman
04/03/68 South Pacific Trophy Longford McLaren M4A
25/01/69 Teretonga International Teretonga Brabham BT24

Sportscars
18/01/70 Buenos Aires Cup Buenos Aires Alfa Romeo T33/3 (with Andrea de Adamich)

Probably other races but this is all I have on record ;)

Rob

#18 theunions

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Posted 30 September 2003 - 21:03

Received it yesterday...looks very intriguing just skimming rapidly through it.

I'm thinking of doing an online book review...does anyone here have a photo from their own collection that would be useful for illustrating it?

#19 Ralliart

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 08:30

In the book on Williams that came out in the early 80's, there is quite a bit about Piers Courage. I've got a copy (autographed by Williams when my brother came across him during a skiing holiday in California!) but it's not handy at the moment. I will buy a copy of the Courage biography when it makes its way to my local outlet (along with the book on Chris Amon). IF they don't get them pretty soon, though, I'll have to order them. Really looking forward to reading both books.

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#20 brooster51

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 02:55

Originally posted by Martyj
Other than that Tasman race in the rain in 68, did he ever actually win anything? I'm remembering in his last year he did endurance races with Alfa Romeo, and I wonder if he won any of those?

Of course, I'm sure this question is answered in the book.


I think if you look at the '65 and '66 F3 seasons, Piers Courage was one of the leading F3 drivers along with the likes of Roy Pike and Chris Irwin. I think in '66 he won the Craven 'A' championship which was effectively the French F3 championship of that year. I'd say he was clearly a comer if he'd survived the Dallara. I think he was very underated.

#21 RS2000

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 15:44

I would have to say the best motorsport book in some time (and I was even able to borrow it from the local library). Learnt a lot from it I didnt know (including Max Moseley's politically incorrect tale of negotiating Junction 7 of the M4....).

#22 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 21:06

Posted Image


Here is a photo I have in my shop of Piers Courage in the Brabham Ford V8 at the 1969 French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand. This large framed photo on canvas, copyright by the photographer, Carl Imber, was commercially available quite a few years ago. I haven't seen another one of these in a very long time.

I believe Piers Courage was killed in his next race. I've heard it said, by those who would know, that he had the talent to be World Champion.

#23 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 01:26

Thats a stunning photo, thanks for posting it because Piers was my hero, my absolute hero. Perhaps something to do with being the first F1 drivers I met.

Oh what a tragedy Albert Poon scrapped his Brabham BT30.

#24 Geza Sury

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 07:49

Originally posted by vintageautomobilia
Here is a photo I have in my shop of Piers Courage in the Brabham Ford V8 at the 1969 French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand. (...) I believe Piers Courage was killed in his next race.

No, Piers crashed fatally a year later, during the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

#25 Gary Davies

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 09:49

I shouldn't be asking this question because Piers was active at a time when I spent about 26 hours a day thinking and reading about motor racing (in contrast to today when it's about 0.26 hours a day : ) but ... how good was Piers Courage? How much potential did he really have?

I always admired the manner (and rough living) of his rise through the lower formulae.

Of course, his career encompassed but two full Grand Prix seasons, with just bits of '66, '67 and '70 tacked on. And Sir Frank's de Tomaso hardly flattered his talent. Not a lot to go on.

I prefer to recall his fabulous duel with Ickx at Monaco in 1969. Ickx was hot back then and my recollection of the BBC broadcast is that he had Jacky well and truly covered that day.

Had he not perished at Zandvoort, I suspect he would have received offers of works drives and might ultimately have been perceived as worthy of rubbing shoulders (in terms of speed compared with his contemporaries) with the likes of Ickx, Brabham, Rodriguez, Amon, Fittipaldi, Hill and Cevert. Perhaps not quite at a level with Andretti, Gurney, Peterson and Stewart but ahead of such as Siffert, Regazzoni and Hulme.

What thinkest thou?

#26 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 20:47

Originally posted by Geza Sury

No, Piers crashed fatally a year later, during the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.


Thank you, Geza.

I knew it was at the Dutch GP at Zandvoort, which I think was the next race in the schedule, but I wasn't sure which year. I guess I should have looked it up.

#27 Macca

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 09:19

posted by Vanwall:

Had he not perished at Zandvoort, I suspect he would have received offers of works drives and might ultimately have been perceived as worthy of rubbing shoulders (in terms of speed compared with his contemporaries) with the likes of Ickx, Brabham, Rodriguez, Amon, Fittipaldi, Hill and Cevert. Perhaps not quite at a level with Andretti, Gurney, Peterson and Stewart but ahead of such as Siffert, Regazzoni and Hulme.



According to the biog (highly recommended), he had received an offer from Ferrari for 1970, presumably on the strength of his performances against the known talent of Ickx in a similar car in 1969; also they probably wanted him for the sportscar team.

However he decided to stick with Frank, and drive for Alfa in prototypes..................... :cry:


Paul M

#28 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 11:33

If my memory helps me, Piers Courage at the end of 1969 didn't sign for Ferrari because he had already signed for Alfa Romeo to drive the 33.3 in the WSC 1970.

He began the season running at Baires with Andrea De Adamich 11 Jan 1970 the 1000 Km (6th over all), and again 18 Jan. 1970 winning the 200 Miles.

I think he was one of the greatest natural driver: during practice at the Targa Florio 1970 (his first attempt in the infernal Madonie 72 km. circuit) he got the 4th time, just after Siffert, Elford and Vaccarella :eek: and in front of Rodriguez, Van Lennep, Larrousse and other road specialists...

#29 ricardo1954

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 22:34

I know others wins of Piers Courage in F-3 :

1965 - april/10 - Goodwood
may/15 - Silverstone
june/06 - Brands Hatch
june/07 - Goodwood
june/20 - Caserta
july/11 - Rouen
july/24 - Silverstone
august/21 - Oulton Park
october/02 - Silverstone
december/26 - Brands Hatch
all in a Brabham BT-10

1966 - april/17 - Pau
may/08 - Brands Hatch
may/29 - Brands Hatch
july/10 - Rouen
august/29 - Brands Hatch
september/25 - Albi
all in a Lotus 41

Is this results right?

Ricardo Cunha

#30 brooster51

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 06:16

Ricardo1954

I don't can't find a race at Goodwood on April 9th, 1965, but otherwise I think I can match them up. For 1965, Piers won 9 races (excluding the 4/10 win that I can't find), 3 seconds, 2 thirds, 1 fourth, 3 finishes less than sixth, 7 retirements, 6 poles, and 7 fastest race laps. A ratio of 36% wins and 56% podiums out of 25 races. Thats a good score especially considering some of the others he was competing against: Roy Pike, Jonathan Williams, Charles Crichton-Stuart, Peter Gethin, and John Fenning who were all considered the class of F3.

I'll look at 66 tomorrow.

Brooster51

#31 brooster51

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 04:31

Ricardo1954

This is what I can find for PCs 66 season. The wins agree with your list.

(The following is sorted by race result and then date, PP = Pole Position, FL = Fastest Race Lap, NC = Not Classified, R = Retired)

04.17 XXV Grand Prix Automobile de Pau - Formule 3, Circuit de Pau 1//FL
05.08 Les Leston Trophy, Brands Hatch Circuit 1/PP/FL
05.29 £ 500 Les Leston Trophy, Brands Hatch Circuit 1//FL
07.10 VI Coupe de l'A.C. Normand, Circuit de Rouen-les-Essarts 1//FL
08.29 Les Leston International Trophy, Brands Hatch Circuit 1//FL
09.25 III Coupe de Vitesse d'Albi, Circuit d'Albi 1//FL
05.30 Bromley Bowl, Crystal Palace Circuit 2//FL
08.21 XV Kanonloppet, Gelleråsbanan 2
10.02 I European Formula 3 International Challenge, Brands Hatch Circuit 2
07.03 X Coupe de Vitesse Formule 3, Circuit de Reims-Gueux 3
09.11 Corsa dei Campioni, Ente Autodromo di Pergusa 4
04.24 IV Trofeo Juan Jover, Montjuïc Park 5
05.01 XV Trofeo Bruno e Fofi Vigorelli, Autodromo Nazionale di Monza 6
04.11 Chichester Cup, Goodwood Circuit NC
07.24 W.D. & H.O. Wills Trophy, Silverstone Circuit NC
08.14 Ford Grand Prix, Roskilde Ring NC
04.08 Les Leston Trophy, Snetterton Circuit R
05.14 I Radio London Trophy, Silverstone Circuit R
05.21 VIII Grand Prix de Monaco - Formule 3, Circuit de Monte Carlo R
06.26 VIII Gran Premio della Lotteria di Monza, Autodromo Nazionale di Monza R
09.18 Coupe de Vitesse de Le Mans, Circuit Bugatti au Mans R

Hope this helps

Best regards

#32 ricardo1954

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 17:30

brooster51 :

Thank you for yours informations.

Ricardo

#33 aerogi

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 18:49

This happened at the German Grand Prix in 1969.
It was the 2nd lap. After a contact Piers Courage lost the left rear tyre, slipped and his
race was over. Luckily he escaped unharmed. Note in the left picture the wheel
that is going straight to the audience!

Link to a picture of this incident from my website: http://users.pandora.....n GP_1969.jpg

Source: L'automobile magazine (French magazine)

#34 john aston

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 19:14

Several years late I have just read this book and have slightly mixed feelings about it. It is far better written than the usual motor racing work but I do feel that Adam Cooper perhaps lacked some objectivity in the story. For example , the reader is often told that PC qualified 'an excellent '(or similar adjective ) 9th or 10th - on a grid of 12 or 14 cars. And he did seem to have an enormous number of shunts - I finished the book thinking that PC would have won GPs (but probably not if he'd stuck with Frank Williams as his time didn't really come for nearly another decade )anbut that he would not have been more than an occasional winner.Good sports car driver definitely .

But the results are irrelevant really as he came across as just the loveliest guy, even if the they 'didn't have two pennies to rub together' riff by the author wore a little thin re the 911 and Ferrari driving Piers.....How nice too to read of a racing driver who was actively interested in the arts and current affairs- I suspect some of the current crop live in a silly little bubble- remember Vettel's absurd comment in Bahrain that , in essence ,'never mind the riots and brutality lets talk about important stuff like tyres'. I doubt if PC would have been so mealy mouthed...

#35 David Beard

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 22:19

remember Vettel's absurd comment in Bahrain that , in essence ,'never mind the riots and brutality lets talk about important stuff like tyres'. I doubt if PC would have been so mealy mouthed...


He's an intelligent lad. Some misinterpretation here, I'm sure...

#36 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 22:41

This is what he was reported to have said (checked on several sources);

"Generally, being in the paddock, there seems to be no problem," the Red Bull ace said. "Outside of the paddock maybe there is a risk, but there is a risk everywhere we go. If you imagine when we got to Brazil, it is not really the place we want to be as well. It is not a big problem and I am happy once we start testing tomorrow because then we can start worrying about the stuff that really matters like tyre temperatures, cars... I haven't seen anyone throwing bombs. I don't think it is that bad. There is a lot of hype which is why I think it is good that we start our job here which is the sport and nothing else."

#37 eldougo

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:37

. There is a lot of hype which is why I think it is good that we start our job here which is the sport and nothing else."

IT,s not a sport it,s a business you ill informed boy. :rolleyes:


#38 Sharman

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:59

Several years late I have just read this book and have slightly mixed feelings about it. It is far better written than the usual motor racing work but I do feel that Adam Cooper perhaps lacked some objectivity in the story. For example , the reader is often told that PC qualified 'an excellent '(or similar adjective ) 9th or 10th - on a grid of 12 or 14 cars. And he did seem to have an enormous number of shunts - I finished the book thinking that PC would have won GPs (but probably not if he'd stuck with Frank Williams as his time didn't really come for nearly another decade )anbut that he would not have been more than an occasional winner.Good sports car driver definitely .

But the results are irrelevant really as he came across as just the loveliest guy, even if the they 'didn't have two pennies to rub together' riff by the author wore a little thin re the 911 and Ferrari driving Piers.....How nice too to read of a racing driver who was actively interested in the arts and current affairs- I suspect some of the current crop live in a silly little bubble- remember Vettel's absurd comment in Bahrain that , in essence ,'never mind the riots and brutality lets talk about important stuff like tyres'. I doubt if PC would have been so mealy mouthed...


Suggesting that he didn't have "two pennies to rub together" is rather wide of the mark. He lived in a manner that would be described as informal, most of the teams(aside from the "works" teams and even them at times) lived in a rough and ready manner. Sleeping in the back of the truck was no big deal, under the trailer was the norm, using the car as a tentpole to support the tarpaulin. This is not to decry PC, he was a very pleasant person, but things should really be put in perspective.

#39 john winfield

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 14:02

Several years late I have just read this book and have slightly mixed feelings about it. It is far better written than the usual motor racing work but I do feel that Adam Cooper perhaps lacked some objectivity in the story. For example , the reader is often told that PC qualified 'an excellent '(or similar adjective ) 9th or 10th - on a grid of 12 or 14 cars. And he did seem to have an enormous number of shunts - I finished the book thinking that PC would have won GPs (but probably not if he'd stuck with Frank Williams as his time didn't really come for nearly another decade )anbut that he would not have been more than an occasional winner.Good sports car driver definitely .

But the results are irrelevant really as he came across as just the loveliest guy, even if the they 'didn't have two pennies to rub together' riff by the author wore a little thin re the 911 and Ferrari driving Piers.....How nice too to read of a racing driver who was actively interested in the arts and current affairs- I suspect some of the current crop live in a silly little bubble- remember Vettel's absurd comment in Bahrain that , in essence ,'never mind the riots and brutality lets talk about important stuff like tyres'. I doubt if PC would have been so mealy mouthed...


John, Adam Cooper was unquestionably sympathetic to his subject but I think this may have contributed to what I thought was one of the most enjoyable motor sport biographies ever. An enthusiastic writer, plenty of research, lots of good photos and a likeable subject; a good recipe! I suspect that Piers', and particularly Sally's, politics would be miles to the right of mine, and their way of life slightly different, but who cares? As you say, Piers comes across as 'just the loveliest guy'. (And slightly OT I'm pleased that, at the first big meeting I ever attended - 1965 Int Trophy at Silverstone - he won the F3 race in one of Luke's Brabhams).


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#40 lustigson

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 14:22

I read 'Last of the Gentlemen Racers' over the summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even stumbled upon some information that I hadn't heard before — apart from all the personal and racing details, of course, which were also new to me ;) — and that is that Rindt and Ecclestone were planning to set-up their own team, together, which contradicts the well-know fact that Rindt promised his wife Nina that he'd retire come the end of 1970 (which, ironically, he did, in a (sad) way).

#41 Spa65

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:28

I haven't read many of the Piers Courage items above, but I am an enthusiastic follower of Grand Prix racing. I am old enough to remember Stirling Moss in a Vanwall at Monaco a few days after the event on BBC - I guess they had to fly the film back in 1958.

Anyway, the first Grand Prix I attended was Silverstone in July 1969. An epic battle between Stewart and Rindt. However I don't know why Stewart says in his autobiography that they passed each other dozens of times (or words to that effect). I watched and filmed it in 8mm and there were no more than 5 passing manouvers between them at most during the whole race. Was Stewart delibaretly exaggerating, or was he just confused, given the vast number of racing laps he did in his career?

Getting back to the thread, in these days it was pretty easy to casually stroll into the paddock, or even into the pits. I was able to watch from above the pits (with no pass of any kind, just the cheapest ticket as a race spectator) as Rindt came screaming into the pits towards the end, to get his wayward wing end plate clipped off, as well as watching Hill come in at high speed pointing vigorously that he was almost out of fuel.

Rindt exited at high speed and passed Courage, I think on the last lap.

I walked down the stairs back into the paddock as the drivers returned after Stewart had deservedy won. I was standing there as Courage drove in and parked beside me. He stood up in his Brabham and said to his mechanics, thinking he was out of earshot: "****ing shit". I think, in relation to Rindt's pass.

I remember being slightly surprised by his language, given his Etomian and brewery dynasty upbringing, but later came to be more exposed to such colourful descriptions as I met more of these people I had erroneously thought were quite soft in their language.

I wandered uninterrupted through the paddock. From a few feet away I looked into the small caravan with Rindt and Hill recovering with no words being spoken, but with intense looks written on their faces - I think Chapman was sitting opposite. I knew then that Hill had met his match and that the future was not his - I already knew from watching Rindt during that race. TV cannot show the true ability of such drivers - but watching it live, you can.

I'm rambling a bit, having been to the pub earlier, but hope that this might be of some interest. I think these were better days, but I might be written off as an old fogey. Not that I care.

#42 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:33

Anyway, the first Grand Prix I attended was Silverstone in July 1969. An epic battle between Stewart and Rindt. However I don't know why Stewart says in his autobiography that they passed each other dozens of times (or words to that effect). I watched and filmed it in 8mm and there were no more than 5 passing manouvers between them at most during the whole race. Was Stewart delibaretly exaggerating, or was he just confused, given the vast number of racing laps he did in his career?

This is confirmed by the race report and lap chart in Autosport. Rindt led from the start until he was passed by Stewart during lap 7. He got back in front on lap 16 and stayed there until lap 62, when Stewart got ahead again and Jochen stopped at the end of that lap to have the wing endplate problem fixed. No other passing manoeuvres are mentioned in the text.

Rindt made two pit stops, the first as mentioned to fix the endplate. The second was at the end of lap 77 (out of 84) to take on fuel. Following this stop he was somewhat demoralised and was passed by Courage, but woke up sufficiently to repass Piers on the last lap.

Edited by Tim Murray, 09 December 2012 - 06:40.


#43 David McKinney

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:59

Presumably neither Spa's viewing point nor the Autosport lap-charter's had vision of the while circuit. There could have been other passing moves out of their sight, adding up to Stewart's "dozens". Or he could have been speaking loosely...

#44 john aston

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:07

I haven't read many of the Piers Courage items above, but I am an enthusiastic follower of Grand Prix racing. I am old enough to remember Stirling Moss in a Vanwall at Monaco a few days after the event on BBC - I guess they had to fly the film back in 1958.

Anyway, the first Grand Prix I attended was Silverstone in July 1969. An epic battle between Stewart and Rindt. However I don't know why Stewart says in his autobiography that they passed each other dozens of times (or words to that effect). I watched and filmed it in 8mm and there were no more than 5 passing manouvers between them at most during the whole race. Was Stewart delibaretly exaggerating, or was he just confused, given the vast number of racing laps he did in his career?

Getting back to the thread, in these days it was pretty easy to casually stroll into the paddock, or even into the pits. I was able to watch from above the pits (with no pass of any kind, just the cheapest ticket as a race spectator) as Rindt came screaming into the pits towards the end, to get his wayward wing end plate clipped off, as well as watching Hill come in at high speed pointing vigorously that he was almost out of fuel.

Rindt exited at high speed and passed Courage, I think on the last lap.

I walked down the stairs back into the paddock as the drivers returned after Stewart had deservedy won. I was standing there as Courage drove in and parked beside me. He stood up in his Brabham and said to his mechanics, thinking he was out of earshot: "****ing shit". I think, in relation to Rindt's pass.

I remember being slightly surprised by his language, given his Etomian and brewery dynasty upbringing, but later came to be more exposed to such colourful descriptions as I met more of these people I had erroneously thought were quite soft in their language.

I wandered uninterrupted through the paddock. From a few feet away I looked into the small caravan with Rindt and Hill recovering with no words being spoken, but with intense looks written on their faces - I think Chapman was sitting opposite. I knew then that Hill had met his match and that the future was not his - I already knew from watching Rindt during that race. TV cannot show the true ability of such drivers - but watching it live, you can.

I'm rambling a bit, having been to the pub earlier, but hope that this might be of some interest. I think these were better days, but I might be written off as an old fogey. Not that I care.

Far from it- personal anecdotes like this say much more about the drama of a race- terrific stuff.

#45 Stephen W

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:33

Presumably neither Spa's viewing point nor the Autosport lap-charter's had vision of the while circuit. There could have been other passing moves out of their sight, adding up to Stewart's "dozens". Or he could have been speaking loosely...


I was in the grandstands near the start and we could just see Copse. There were several overtaking manouvres at Copse where one would overtake the other but by the time they were back at Woodcote the order was as per the previous lap. I would be more inclined to accept Stewart's recollection of "dozens" of overtakes.

:wave:



#46 Spa65

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:02

I was in the grandstands near the start and we could just see Copse. There were several overtaking manouvres at Copse where one would overtake the other but by the time they were back at Woodcote the order was as per the previous lap. I would be more inclined to accept Stewart's recollection of "dozens" of overtakes.

:wave:


Tim Murray's account is exactly right. I thought it was only three passes, not the maximum of five that I suggested.

Also I don't think there was any chance that there were passing manouvers out of sight that I missed, because there was a continuous commentary over the tannoys and you knew exactly how close they were all the time. The few laps before Rindt went into the pits were very exciting as Stewart piled on the pressure breaking the lap record several laps in a row and closing right in on Rindt. It seemed to me that he had been biding his time before making his great effort. Up until then there had been a gap of about three seconds.

Wonderful stuff from the two best drivers I ever saw - they were a joy to watch. Stewart was always smooth and clean, the car only sliding slightly even when he was on the limit. Rindt was the opposite - he had no hesitation in flicking the car sideways and holding on the power. And the consequences of a mistake could hardly be contemplated.

#47 David McKinney

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 13:26

I don't think there was any chance that there were passing manouvers out of sight that I missed, because there was a continuous commentary over the tannoys and you knew exactly how close they were all the time.

I didn't think of that :rolleyes:

#48 jj2728

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 14:05

Far from it- personal anecdotes like this say much more about the drama of a race- terrific stuff.


My thoughts exactly.
http://www.youtube.c...e=results_video

#49 seccotine

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 14:52

Ok, no dozens.

"I'm rambling a bit, having been to the pub earlier, but hope that this might be of some interest. I think these were better days, but I might be written off as an old fogey. Not that I care."

Well, your memories are vivid and you share them nicely.
1969 was 43 years ago... It is always time to record such memories.

#50 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 18:10

Well, like Spa (welcome Spa!) I was there. Here's my lap chart scribbled in the event programme contemporaneously. This is as seen from over the pits but I could hear the commentary well enough, with the French guy screaming about JPB incessantly!

Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image

ST :wave: