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Animals killed in motor racing


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#1 Mihai

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:00

Here’s a topic for the more sensitive of you or the contrary for the more sadistic of you. More often than one might think, animals are innocent victims of motor racing. Because this kind of unfortunate incidents is generating public sympathy, pictures or films are rarely seen in media. But we all know they exist. An exception is this drawing from Italian weekly newspaper ‘La Tribuna Illustrata’ with Tazio Nuvolari (Auto Union D) crashing into a stag during practice for the 1938 British GP in Donington.

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I saw or I read about a dozen of incidents of this kind. The last one involved a couple of 250 cc riders and seagull in the last World Championship round in Phillip Island. What should be done ?

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#2 petefenelon

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:17

"Steve Johnson"'s venison casserole when he drove for McLaren is probably the most famous recent incident.

And Graham Hill massacred a wild cine camera at the Ring once ;P

#3 SEdward

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:25

Alan Stacey met a bird at Spa in 1960. He did not survive, I doubt that the bird did either.

Edward.

#4 RTH

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:26

Didn't Tony Brise head butt a pigeon going arond paddock hill bend at Brands once?

#5 Geoff E

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:54

Animals and other things: http://forums.atlasf...=&threadid=1116

#6 Lec CRP1

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 16:24

Then there was Chris Irwin's Ford F3L (only 'alleged' in some sources) hare-shredding at the Nurburgring in 1968. Whether it caused the accident is unknown, but it seems likely. They only found out after the wreck had been on blocks in the garage for a few weeks. Quite how they found out is, well, obvious.

#7 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 16:33

In one biography of Graham Hill (I believe the one published around 1975 before the disastrous plane crash), Hill recalls that he went out one day on pheasant hunting. After one intensive day he had a hit rate of nil.
The next day he went testing his BRM on a humid, misty track. What did he hit? A pheasant ...

#8 Macca

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 16:49

The regular sight at Silverstone was 'Harry the Hare' and it was just a matter of how long he'd last at each meeting.

At the bike GP in 1984 I was spectating on the outside of the exit from Copse and the hare appeared during the 500cc race. He made a couple of feints to cross the track, which was very worrying, and then he went for it..........and was hit by the tarmac-scraping knee of the leader and eventual winner, Randy Mamola on a Honda NSR500.

That was a VERY near miss for Randy.............the body of the hare was flung up the track, and I seem to remember the riders just altered their lines to miss it until the end.


Paul

#9 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:05

I did not see the Carrera PanAmericana vulture that nearly decapitated one of the Mercedes driver - was it Hans Klenk the year he won with Karl Kling?

Or was Klenk - Kling merely the noise of said avian meeting gullwing at 150mph?

#10 petefenelon

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:06

Originally posted by Macca
The regular sight at Silverstone was 'Harry the Hare' and it was just a matter of how long he'd last at each meeting.

Paul


There's some big hares at Croft, at last year's BTCC meeting they seemed to be trying to chase the cars through the hairpin!

Thinking of other animals that have perished at the hands of racing drivers - everything that Innes Ireland ever shot! - a man who very much enjoyed game hunting.

#11 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:16

At the 1935 Masaryk Grand Prix at Brno, Czechoslovakia, Hans Stuck (Auto Union) was hit in the face by a Sparrow while driving at full speed. The Bird did not survive but the driver did with shattered glass from his racing goggles in the eye. He stopped at the pits and was relieved by Paul Pietsch. After treatment by the doctor he took over his car again but then gave up with engine trouble or a painful eye.

#12 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:25

At the 1928 Alessandria Circuit race, Pietro Bordino with his mechanic, Pietro Lasagni, had died in practice. Trying to avoid a dog running in front of his Bugatti, Bordino bumped into the large Alsatian. The canine jammed his steering. The car crashed over a earth wall and ended upside down in a ravine of the Tanaro river, where Bordino and his mechanic drowned before help arrived. In honor of this great Italian driver, the Alessandria race became known thereafter the Coppa Pietro Bordino on the Circuito Bordino.

#13 Ren de Boer

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:29

Dario Franchitti famously hit a hare when in the lead of the DTM-race at the Nürburgring in August 1995 with his Mercedes C-Class. The hare didn't survive and Franchitti retired one lap later due to the damage caued in the collision.

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:32

Originally posted by ensign14
Or was Klenk - Kling merely the noise of said avian meeting gullwing at 150mph?

:rotfl:

#15 Magee

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:45

Westwood circuit was known for its deer. Many roamed the unsettled area of Eagle Mountain and wandered about the open circuit. One section of track was called Deer's Leap, and more than one accident occured when car met deer.

#16 Macca

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 17:53

One section of track was called Deer's Leap, and more than one accident occured when car met deer.



Was that how Deer Leap at Oulton Park got its name?

And as for how Knicker Brook came to be so called.............wild life isn't in it.



Paul

#17 Muzza

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 18:01

Originally posted by SEdward
Alan Stacey met a bird at Spa in 1960. He did not survive, I doubt that the bird did either.

Edward.


Eight years later Stacey's tragedy was almost repeated, when Lucien Bianchi - driving a Cooper-BRM - was hit in the face at full speed by a bird. As Doug Nye reports in "Cooper Cars", page 303, "he returned to the pits shaken and with blood and feathers in his helmet".

Bianchi nevertheless went back to the cockpit and raced that weekend, finishing his home grand prix in sixth place.

Another driver of those times also hit by a bird in the head was no one else than Jim Clark. Clark had such a scary moment at reputedly more than 300 km/h, on the descent to the Thillois hairpin during one of the practice sessions for the 1966 French GP at Reims. He was injured and withdrew from the race.

A few years ago Tommi Mäkkinen (someone please confirm it was him) destroyed his Mitsubishi during the Tour de Corse after hitting a cow. The animal was killed.

#18 dolomite

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 18:09

Originally posted by Macca


Was that how Deer Leap at Oulton Park got its name?

And as for how Knicker Brook came to be so called.............wild life isn't in it.
Paul


http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=58286 :wave:

#19 rpfotog

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 18:21

I was at Montreal in 1996 (I believe that's the year) and witnessed Mika Hakkinen striking a gull of some sort on the approach to turn 6 on the back side of the track during practice. The car appeared to suck the bird under like a vaccuum and it blew feathers and parts everywhere. Walking around that track for several different F1 races, I was always amazed at how calm the wildlife seemed in spite of these frightening, noisy machines shooting by. Groundhogs and rabbits seemed completely immune to the deafening shriek of a V12 Ferrari.

Rob Parker

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#20 Paul Taylor

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 18:54

One of those NASCAR driver's hit a bird back in 1988, or thereabouts. I think it was Dale Earnhardt. I'm not very good with NASCAR though :blush:

#21 jgm

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 18:59

Stefan Johansson hit a deer in his McLaren during practice for the Austrian GP in 1987. There is a photo of the incident in that year's Autocourse. The deer was comprehensively dismantled and the car crashed heavily.

#22 Disco Stu

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 19:04

Over the years I've managed to de-shell a turtle and sent a groundhog flying back into the woods for whatever that's worth. I do remember an ugly incident at Road America a few years back where a Formula Vee came upon a deer in the back straight heading into turn 12. The deer tried to jump over the car, and wound up kicking the driver in the head. It left the driver in a coma for 3 days. From what I heard later he pretty much recovered, but was still just a little off since that wreck.

#23 David McKinney

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 19:56

Originally posted by jgm
Stefan Johansson hit a deer in his McLaren during practice for the Austrian GP in 1987. There is a photo of the incident in that year's Autocourse. The deer was comprehensively dismantled and the car crashed heavily.

That's the incident mentioned in Post 2 :)

#24 Ralliart

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 20:08

Ronnie Peterson recounted how he encountered a rabbit during practice at a GP (and the attendant aftermath), there was a photo at the Osterreichring in, I think, '74, where a deer was crossing the track right in front of a driver and the time in '85 in practice at a GP where Niki Lauda encountered a rabbit, I think. he told Ron Dennis about it when he arrived in the pits but Dennis didn't believe him. Later on that afternoon, a photo made its way around the pits confirming that a rabbit, or whatever it was, was making a pest of himself and, apparently, Dennis apologized to Lauda. As to the problem with sea gulls, here in California there have been stories of owners of dumps hiring a trainer with hawks, I think, that scare the gulls away. I would think, though, that the organizers of Phillips Island have tried all sorts of things to keep them away. Located right next to the beach, though, it's a bitch, I'm sure.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 20:45

How well I remember looking down on the start and the F5000s stringing into South Curve and the Southern Loop at the Island in 1977...

But the gulls were all gone, there had been hundreds of them. The rising crescendo of noise prior to the start hadn't moved them, nor the warm up lap, but when the clutches bit and the feet went to the floor, they lifted as one and disappeared.

There's a story about a BRM in 1957 or so, was that at Goodwood or Silverstone? It came in with a handling problem, they could see no reason, it went out again, came back in and the bone of a hare's leg was sticking through a part of the tread which had obviously been on the ground in the first stop.

A kangaroo darted in front of a Holden in the warm up for the Bathurst 1000 a few years ago... it escaped.

#26 D-Type

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 22:54

An apocryphal story regarding seagulls

A friend of mine who did a lot of camping claims that when he got fed up with seagulls raiding his food stored under the tent flysheet, he put lumps of calcium carbide inside bits of bread and fed it to them.

I have no idea whether the story is true, but the image of exploding seagulls has stayed with me for thirty years.

Back on thread, wasn't there a series of photos of a motorcycle and a cobra at Sepang?

#27 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 23:08

In 1931 during tests at Monza, Luigi Arcangeli killed a rabbit with his Alfa 8C Monza. This incident did not have any serious consequences to driver or car.

#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 23:12

Originally posted by Ray Bell


There's a story about a BRM in 1957 or so, was that at Goodwood or Silverstone? It came in with a handling problem, they could see no reason, it went out again, came back in and the bone of a hare's leg was sticking through a part of the tread which had obviously been on the ground in the first stop.

This was Jean Behra in the 1958 Grand Prix. Denis Jenkinson wrote "Behra had never really been in the hunt and lost interest after that, the car being withdrawn." He gave the reason for retirement as "flat tyre and driver deflated". :lol:

#29 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 01:00

Magee
Westwood circuit was known for its deer. Many roamed the unsettled area of Eagle Mountain and wandered about the open circuit. One section of track was called Deer's Leap, and more than one accident occured when car met deer.


I hear tell that many years ago, a novice driver in a formula car, presumably taking his driving school, collected a deer on the back straight with fatal results to both. If true, it would be the most phoenominal bad luck for each. Subject to confirmation at the CMSHG.

Edit: the next day

Sad to relate confirmation of this appalling incident in a private email from a knowledgable source. No details will be discussed here.

#30 philippe7

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:44

A couple of years ago a Italian 125cc rider whose name escapes me right now hit a COBRA in the head with his knee during ( I think) the Malaysian GP at Sha Alham circuit ( but it may also have been at Sepang....) . I saw the clip on TV a couple of times , in slow motion, very impressive to see the snake raise his head in anger a split second before being hit by the knee....

#31 Ralliart

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 09:03

Philippe 7 - that's an incredible story. I think I read once where snakes have been sighted by at least one driver at Fiorano. Although he didn't hit it, there is the sequence in "The Speed Merchants" with Ronnie Peterson, around the swimming pool during the '72 Watkins Glen race, recounting his episode with a bee while he was racing somewhere and I think it was Peterson who talked about the time he found a lizard in his car - the fastest lizard around Monza, that sort of thing.

#32 gdecarli

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:01

Recently Jordan were quite unluck: each year fro 1997 to 2001 they hitted an animal so hard that they couldn't remove it from car nose!
  • 1997
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  • 1998
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  • 1999
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  • 2000
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  • 2001
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:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
Ciao,
Guido

(pics from www.f1-legend.com)

#33 ian senior

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 12:32

The lake at Enna was reputed to be full of snakes, or serpents if that's the aquatic equivalent. Hopefully ( I don't go a bundle on snakes) some of them met an early death whenever a racing car took a tumble into the wet stuff. Don't know how many times this ocurred, but I do know a Protos got wet once.

#34 Mohican

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 14:28

If I remember correctly, Jackie Stewart retired his Tyrrell from the 1970 Mexican GP after hitting a dog. That was the year where crowd control was non-existent, with spectators literally sitting on the track. Ickx won in a Ferrari 312B if memory serves.

Autosport magazine ran a track test of a March 711 in late '71, when the tester had a bird carried over his head by the aerodynamics. Said bird then hit the roll-over bar with fatal results.

#35 Michael Müller

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 15:53

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
In 1931 during tests at Monza, Luigi Arcangeli killed a rabbit with his Alfa 8C Monza. This incident did not have any serious consequences to driver or car.


8C Monza or P2..?

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#36 Michael Müller

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 15:54

And what about the countless flies...? Is nobody taking care??

#37 conjohn

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 16:14

Time to bring up Tim Schenken's quote about 'Ronnie being the only one who has squashed flies on the side of his helmet'..., so Ronnie accounted for quite a few....

#38 panzani

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 16:15

Here in Brazil kites are called "papagaios", that is, "parrots"...
In 2002 at the Brazilian GP a Williams, IIRC, was trapped by a falling kite and its string in the "Curva do Sol"; no damages at all but the car had to go to the pits anyway to be checked.
The kite itself was "killed" indeed, but I do not know if it applies for this thread.

#39 Frank S

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 16:26

I don't know how to describe the experience of following a refuse truck from an abbatoir, as we were on the way to Solo I at Ontario (California) Speedway.

During a similar trip at the same location a year later, we were reminiscing about that when we ran into a cloud of butterflies. It was suggested someone should put out the Insect Flag.

Frank S

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#40 canon1753

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 18:07

Pel McCarthy talked about the field of a Euro F3 race running over a family of ducklings at Zandvoort.

#41 Teapot

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 18:17

Alessandro Nannini collected a marmot with his Benetton during Montreal's qualifying session (or it was in practice?) in 1989 (or it was 1990? Mmm...severe brain-fade here!).

Enzo Ferrari wrote in his book "Piloti, che gente" (sorry, I'don't know the translation of the title) that once he threw his racing car in a ditch to avoid a wandering setter ("a beautiful setter" he says).

#42 D-Type

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 18:32

Looking for something else I came across This old thread

BTW, Teapot, the English version of Ferrari's autobiography was titled 'My Terrible Joys' which is a long way from an exact translation of the Italian.

#43 Ralliart

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 18:51

Isn't "Piloti, che gente" - a fantastic book - really "Pilots I Have Known"?

#44 Magee

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 19:13

Earlier we mentioned the problems of running into deer at Westwood (near Vancouver, Canada). One of the members of the CHSHG posted a note on our forum about another danger at the track, especially a threat to the corner workers. Mike Currie was a corner marshal for many years at Turn 3 at Westwood. Can you top this animal story? Here's his recollection:

Let me tell you about the bear.

When Westwood was first opened, and for quite a number of years, the communication system consisted of landline telephone
booths. The club had (through the good offices of some members who worked for BC TEL) acquired some telephone booths and the
requisite amount of wire. The installation of all of this was accomplished by members of the club. There was even a switchboard in
the tower.

There were a few minor downsides to using the telephone system. For instance, our marshals station in Turn 3 was on the outside,
but the telephone booth and communicator was on the inside of the circuit. We had to yell or hand signal information across the
track, which is difficult in the middle of a race.

One other drawback is that the bears loved the telephone booths. One day the corner marshals were being delivered to their corners
and the crew from Turn 2 came back in straight away. When queried as to why they had returned, the Course Marshal was informed
that they wouldn't man the station at 2 until the very large black bear in the telephone booth was removed. Can't say I blame them.

#45 Teapot

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 19:29

Originally posted by D-Type

BTW, Teapot, the English version of Ferrari's autobiography was titled 'My Terrible Joys' which is a long way from an exact translation of the Italian .



I think we're talking about two different books... "My terrible Joys" is the exact translation for the Italian "Le mie gioie terribili", another one of the Old Man's books. Infact, the book I mentioned in my previous post it's not an autobiography, but rather a kind of list of pilots, each one "reviewed" by Ferrari himself. Thanks indeed!

And thanks to Ralliart, too...I think you gave me the correct title

#46 2F-001

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 20:05

Going back to Enna, which Ian mentioned, wasn't there a F3000 meeting there a few years ago when the track was overrun with a plague of frogs?

I was helping marshall at a club sprint at Curborough once, when I had to deploy the red flag because of sheep running about the place. There were no upleasant incidents - and its hardly in the same league anyway!

#47 D-Type

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 22:34

Originally posted by Teapot


I think we're talking about two different books... "My terrible Joys" is the exact translation for the Italian "Le mie gioie terribili", another one of the Old Man's books. Infact, the book I mentioned in my previous post it's not an autobiography, but rather a kind of list of pilots, each one "reviewed" by Ferrari himself. Thanks indeed!

And thanks to Ralliart, too...I think you gave me the correct title

I'm obviously having a bad day today. this is the second goof I've made :o

My excuse: The gundog story is in 'My Terrible Joys' as well.

#48 Falcadore

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 08:11

I'm sure its in the other thread, but yes it was Tommi Makinen who hit a cow on the Tour de Corse.

Rally drivers have been quite deadly in reducing the populatyion of feral animals. I remeber Carlos Sainz once but down a vicious feral sheep that was on the point of attack his Ford Escort. Where else but New Zealand.....

The late great Possum Bourne got his name for NOT killing animals, supposedly. The story goes he wrecked a car in his teens while avoiding a possum on NZ's backroads while still an apprentice mech. He never confirmed the veracity of the tale, content to let the urban myth float around him. Now we'll never know.

Ray, you sure it was a Commodore that vicoius feral Kangaroo attacked? I thought it was Cam McLeans ST BMW that just missed the curious 'roo.

Andy Rouse slayed a poor innocent but again still viciously feral dog at Bathurst in '87 in Moffats Sierra. Cue South Park.... look at the cute bunny rabbit...... ITS COMING RIGHT FOR US!

Troy Corser plastered a seagull across the breaking zone into Doohan Corner on Gardner Straight during an Australian Superbike Grand Prix. He won the other race that weekend.

A King Cobra menaced riders at Sepang once. A seagull is one thing, and even though they're airborn and all...... a bloody COBRA! Yeeeoowch!! Someone ran over it, and nobody got bit, but still your leaning into a corner and theres a twig racing towards, that suddenly fans its fins into full Cobretic glory.......

#49 gdecarli

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 12:34

Originally posted by Teapot
Alessandro Nannini collected a marmot with his Benetton during Montreal's qualifying session (or it was in practice?) in 1989 (or it was 1990? Mmm...severe brain-fade here!).

It was during Canadian GP 1990, lap 15 while Nannini was third. After this accident, Nannini broke his front left flap and front left tyre blown, so he had to go back to pits and he restarted 21th. Few laps later he retired because of another accident. Of course the marmot was much more unluck!

At 1st Gran Premio d'Italia Enzo Ferrari (Brescia Montichiari, September 1921) had an accident because he tried to avoid some cows that were standing on the track during practice. After that, he had to retire from this GP.
(source: a Word file in Italian with 1st Italy GP history that can be dowloaded from here)

Ciao,
Guido

#50 Mihai

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 16:29

We can all confirm the cow incident in Corsica. But are you familiar with a more recent incident involving two little pigs in the same French island ? Back in 2000, Corsican nationalist bastards released them on a tight and twisty special stage when Delecour was powering on that section. The on-board camera saw everithing.