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#1 Théodore33

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 12:10

Hy,

I am very interresting in the career of the English driver Stephen South.

I know that he drove in CanAm before his formula one experience at Long Beach in 1980 and after when he lost one leg in a terrible accident.
I discovered that he tested for Lotus : http://forums.atlasf...t=stephen south.

But, I have several question about this man, who seems to have been forgotten.

Does anyone knows :
-- If he tested several times the Lotus and if he has had a chance to drive the Lotus in grand prix during the 1979 or 1980 season ?
-- Why he was choosen to drive the McLaren at LongBeach, while Prost was unable to drive after his Kyalami accident ?
-- Why he did not attend to qualify during that meeting ?
-- The circonstances of his accident
-- What he is doing today

One more question : Does anyone possess great Pictures of Stephen South on board a formula one ? I only know a picture of him at Long Beach... unfortunatly always the same.
So, if someone has very great pictures of him, I am interrested in.

Thanks.

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#2 theunions

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 16:54

Originally posted by hfalc
He still works in his own light engineering company.


This is the first I've heard about him having any sort of meaningful employment since 1980. Any more details?

#3 Mallory Dan

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 17:06

I've heard/read on another thread that he's pretty bitter about how his career ended, after the Mclaren, then Toleman then big crash incidents. As a result he's not keen to bring any of this back to light, hence you see or hear very little about him at all.

Shame, because I rated him highly in the late 70s. He was very good in F3, shone in F2 and appeared to be going well in F1 testing. ISTR that even in F3/F2 there were questions about his temperament though, perhaps he was one of those who had all the talent, but not quite enough drive to make it. Any other views on him ??

#4 petefenelon

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 18:33

Originally posted by theunions


This is the first I've heard about him having any sort of meaningful employment since 1980. Any more details?


As far as I remember (there was a very brief 'where are they now' about him in Autosport a few years back) he went back into the family business after recuperating from his accident, so has presumably now inherited control of it?

I'm not sure Stephen could've gone all the way to the World Championship, but I think he certainly could've got close. He was on a par with the Nilssons, Ribeiros and Sullivans of this world in F3, back when he was driving for Bert Ray in what amounted to a bit of a special... on his track record, had he not been injured the thought of Watson/South in McLarens does make it interesting to consider whether Ron would ever have needed Niki...

#5 neville mackay

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 20:19

I personally thought that SS was absolutely sensational, and his loss to the sport was one of the great tragedies of the 1980's. His performances in F3 and F2 on a shoestring budget were mind boggling. Robin Herd was a great supporter and helped ease his transition into the works March F2 team.

Before then, SS first made his way in Formula Ford in a Ray - I believe this was the first of many such creations from Bert Ray. And before that, he was karting hotshoe of national renown.

I do hope that he decides one day to break his silence and talk about his career. A lot of us remember him with great admiration

Neville

#6 SEdward

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 20:53

I followed Stephen's career closely between 1976 and 1980 and I came to admire him greatly. One particular memory I have of him was an unchallenged victory in the F3 race supporting the 1977 International Trophy. Driving a year-old car that he entered himself and was running more or less on his pocket money, he thrashed everyone in the pouring rain, including all the works teams, and clinched BP backing for the rest of the season.

He won the Vandervell Championship that year. I also remember seeing him trounce the field at Snetterton later that season in the other British F3 Championship. I can't remember what he did in 1978, but I think he ran a self-entered March 782 in a few races.

He should have done better in an accident-blighted 1979 season in an F2 March. I think he ended up with a single victory at Hockenheim, a few pole positions and fifth or sixth in the championship. When he got past the first corner, he went well. Mind you, F2 was push and shove affair that season.

He was sometimes infuriating. He seemed to be either unbeatable or he would fiddle around in midfield giving the impression that he'd rather be elsewhere.

The Mclaren/Toleman affair was a dreadful error of judgement. Had he driven the Toleman that year, he would probably have walked off with the F2 championship and got a decent drive in F1.

Hugely talented and usually underfunded, he could have been a worthy successor to James Hunt.

What a waste.
Edward.

#7 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 22:09

The following is unsubstiated as it comes strictly from memory.

I recall reading some details of his shunt at Trois Rivieres not long after the incident. I believe that he was driving the Newman/Hass Lola 530, a car specifically developed for the 2nd generation CanAm regs. SS crashed heavily into a concrete barrier head-on at some considerable speed. The front of the Lola was destroyed. The throttle mechanism jammed wide-open(maybe the cause for the incident in the first place???)and the after rebounding from the barrier, the Lola proceeded to drive its way back into it again at least twice more, causing even more destruction and doing critical damage to his leg that could not be saved. Could anyone confirm or enlarge on this?

#8 eldougo

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 08:10

:)

When Steven South was in F3 we all thought he was going to go to the top ,he was just brillant in the wet an put lots of up an comming drivers to shame one day at Silverstone he just drove the
the wheels of the little March (unreal) . Most people thought that Nigel was hopeless an look
what happened to him Ooooo well i guess that how it goes for some people such a shame he was
Really GOOD . both as a person and a driver. :up: :(

#9 RTH

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:28

He tested the Toleman TG280/01 at Goodwood in Feb 1980 and the photo was on the front cover of Autosport that week.

#10 Théodore33

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 11:49

Originally posted by RTH
He tested the Toleman TG280/01 at Goodwood in Feb 1980 and the photo was on the front cover of Autosport that week.


Thanks at everyone.
One thing is strange. There is very few pictures of that driver.
Can some one scan the picture of Stephen driving the Toleman TG280 Formula 2 ?

One more times : thanks.

#11 SEdward

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 14:19

Posted Image
Posted Image

A David Hamilton-esque view of the man circa 1978 or 1979.
Stephen in his last race at the Glen in 1980.

Anything else will require me to go up into the loft and dig out my 1977 - 1979 copies of Autosport (when it was still worth reading). If anyone out there has a nice image of Stephen from 1977 in that magnificient BP livery, then please post.

What a waste...
Edward. :cry:

#12 Rob Ryder

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 15:02

No Toleman F2 but...

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1977 Monaco F3 - March 773 (Photo: Autocourse 1977)

Posted Image
1979 March 792 - Hockenheim(?) (Photo : Automobile Year 1979)

#13 David Lawson

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 17:51

A picture I took at Brands Hatch 1977

(Lost by previous image host)

David

#14 Mallory Dan

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 11:55

Agree with all the above, I think he could have been really good in F1 had he got there. Considert that in his first, and only proper F2 year, he won a race, and had a few other good places against much more experienced people like, Surer, Henton, Cheever, Rahal, Daly, Warwick, Stohr, Fabi, most of whom went onto bigger and better things. Also look at who he beat in F3 in 77, some of the above plus, Lees, Elgh, Mansell, Brabham, Riley, some pretty good names there aswell.

I accept SS probably wasn't a Piquet/Senna/Prost, but he deserved much better than CanAm in 1980.

#15 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 13:14

Stephen was definitely a bright star for the future. Such a waste.
I have a colour shot of his FF Ray from an Autosport. He had some great scraps with the likes of Bob Arnott, Don MacLeod, Danny Sullivan etc.
Does anyone remember the titanic scrap he had with Daly at the British GP support F3 race in 1977?
One of the finest dices I have ever seen - until they both went off at Becketts!

#16 Sc. Serrenissima

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 23:56

I have just read on the web that an article named "Stephen South, the man who would have been Nigel Mansell " have just been published in the september edition of "MotorSport".
Unfortunatly this magazine is not sell in my country.

Like théodore33, I am a fan of Stephen South.
So, anyone can help me ?

#17 Twin Window

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 10:28

I mentioned this a while ago on TNF, but one amusing memory I have of Stephen is from F3 in mid-1975. He'd been driving the Ray for Bert Ray, but I think they ran out of funds or the car just wasn't up to it. John Stokes, who owned a 'bier keller' in Birmingham called Bogarts, had been running a March 753 (743?) for himself up to that point and, hearing of Stephen's plight, offered to step down and run him in the car instead (there was a past karting connecton between them somewhere down the line).

At a round at Silverstone Stephen, John Stokes, the mechanic, Ron O'Nions (an ex-karter and my neighbour) and myself were in that great, long-lost paddock cafe having a nice healthy fry-up when a couple of us noticed something the bloke had said over the PA system... to the effect that F3 qualifying was almost over! :eek:

We all belted out of that place like we were on fire and dived into the back of the garage, got SS strapped in and out onto the circuit... IIRC, he managed one flying lap before the flag came out, but still got himself on the front row! Heroic stuff...

Super guy, and very quick. Absolutely tragic that it panned out like that for him, but he did marry one of his nurses and hopefully that proved to be a happy and a long lasting arrangement. :up:

Here's a shot of Stephen testing the Lotus 79 at Paul Ricard in September/October 1979.

Posted Image
(Source: Autosprint)

I wonder if that was the last time a Lotus ran in plain 'BRG'?

#18 Mallory Dan

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 11:09

Twinny, re John Stokes, I too recall his Bogarts Bier Keller, very avant garde for the mid 70s! Think he later had a connection with Wayne Wainwright, another pretty quick Brummy as I recall. Any stories of WW, or indeed the Bier Keller ?

#19 Twin Window

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 11:29

I'm afraid not! I did go and see John at Bogarts a few times in the evening, but it was all rather civilised. The Steering Wheel Club in West Bromwich, owned by Sid Taylor, was another matter altogether! Sadly, the nature of the exploits there prevent me from relating them here. Except, perhaps, for the fact that a friend of mine was a chef at the local hotel and was given the job of looking after West Brom's then-new signing Laurie Cunningham, who was put up at the hotel by the club, who we introduced to the joys of Midland night life at said watering hole!

I remember Wainwright vaguely, and the last time I saw John he was racing a Chevron F3 car, IIRC.

Talking of clubs, Scott Stringfellow was a useful contact and lead to some 'fun' evenings for Tommy, Calvin, Fluxie myself and a few other racing blokes back in the mid-eighties...!

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#20 Lifeline

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:11

Mallory Dan, Twinny

IIRC Wayne Wainwright was very successful in the Penthouse/Debenhams escort one make series (Although the cars were not always legitimate, I do rememebr on car that was considerably shorter and lower than all the others) and also Sports 2000. His cars were sponsored by the Opposite Lock Club owned by Martin Hone whom founded the Birmingham Super Prix. Wainwrights career was not helped by his father whom many of you may remember relieved Noel Edmonds of a vast amount of money over an aborted water speed record attempt and then manged to convince the nation through the Tomorrows World Program that he had invented a car that ran on water. It was a modified TR7 called the butterfly car. I beleive Wayne now lives in America exporting classic cars in to the UK. His father is or was in jail in the US for selling water purifying tablets as a miracle cure for AIDS.

#21 RTH

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 13:30

I bought Stephen South's March 773 from Gerry Amato in Bromley in 1984 and we ran it in Monoposto formula - which is just about all the reason I need to print this picture of Heidi sitting in the car on the grid at Brands!

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#22 Twin Window

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 13:36

Gerry was a character, wasn't he! And still is, I hope!

So who is Heidi, Richard - is she Mrs Hinton? And what's with the pseudo-Group 44 livery? Was Godfrey Hall doing Monoposto in those days, or had he moved on by then?

#23 SEdward

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 13:51

I am pleasantly surprised to see that Stephen South still generates so much interest. After all, there have been many equally successful F3 drivers in Britain both before and since Stephen who are, IMHO, long forgotten.

Edward.

#24 RTH

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 13:57

Gerry was just as you say a quite extraordinary character, he thought nothing of ringing up for a chat at 2.00 am - claiming he 'hadn't noticed the time' Last I heard he was moving to Florida - he had a relative there 'in the motor trade'!

Heidi? no sadly not, she was also a very nice person - I wonder where she is now?

Peter Winston who was driving the car , his father had been involved in setting up the ill-fated UK Skoal Bandit chewing tobacco plant and they wanted the look of that without actually using the name.

Don't remember Godfrey Hall then , but funny you should mention his name I also bought his RT3/84 when he sold his BMW dealership to Dick Lovett in 1986

#25 wsp77

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:36

:) Hi everyone. I'm new to the Bulletin Board but have been reading the articles for some time. I was reading the posts on 'where are they now' - some really intersting stories there. Doe anyone know what became of Stephen South? He was a talented driver but only had his one shot in F1, where he failed to qualify. I know he went on to race in Can Am where I believe he was unfortuantely injured. I heard he was present at the British GP this year? Doe this mean he is still involved in motorsport?

#26 Twin Window

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:54

Hi wsp77, and welcome to TNF! :wave:

As you can see, I've merged your post with another thread already started on Stephen. In the top-right hand corner of each page there is a 'Search BB' button which you may find useful in the future.

Have fun here! :up:

#27 wsp77

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:47

Thanks everyone - really interesting. If anyone has met Stephen recently, it would be great to hear what he is doing now.

#28 theunions

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 19:05

Originally posted by Sc. Serrenissima
I have just read on the web that an article named "Stephen South, the man who would have been Nigel Mansell " have just been published in the september edition of "MotorSport".
Unfortunatly this magazine is not sell in my country.

Like théodore33, I am a fan of Stephen South.
So, anyone can help me ?


I remember reading that article at the newsstand, but I can't for the life of me recall if it even had a current photo of Stephen (who actually did consent to an interview) or mentioned in any real detail what he's currently doing. Anyone care to refresh my memory?

#29 eldougo

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:42

:wave:
You mean this bloke ,he was GREAT.


Posted Image

#30 donharper

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 19:46

My memory is ailing but at Trois Rivieres , I seem to remember he was in a Newman Freeman Spyder , which I think was based on a 332/333 Chassis. I seem to recall Elliot Forbes-Robinson may have had one of their T530's. Carl Haas did not have Paul Newman partnering him at the time , and we had Patrick Tambay in a T530.

#31 Allen Brown

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 20:46

Originally posted by donharper
My memory is ailing but at Trois Rivieres , I seem to remember he was in a Newman Freeman Spyder , which I think was based on a 332/333 Chassis. I seem to recall Elliot Forbes-Robinson may have had one of their T530's. Carl Haas did not have Paul Newman partnering him at the time , and we had Patrick Tambay in a T530.

Welcome Don

Yes, that's exactly right. South had already wrecked his T530 so was using one of the team's 1979 Spyders when he had his disasterous accident. As you say, the Spyder was T333-based.

Allen

#32 wsp77

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 18:00

Hi everyone :wave:

An update on Stephen, as I originally posted sometime ago.

I wrote to him recently and he responded to me with a pleasant reply giving me some background details I requested of F3.

So I guess he is fine and well, which is great news! :)

#33 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 18:17

I was only thinking about him the other day, good to hear he's "about" a huge talent in my opinion, and the perfect "what if"

#34 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:21

In the 1979-1980 winter South tested at Paul Ricard for Lotus. Other drivers being scoouted were De Angelis and Lammers, amongst others. I recall that I was amazed to see South sitting in the Lotus (strapped in but helmet of), drinking a cup of tea. Very english!

#35 swede917

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 20:08

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Welcome Don

Yes, that's exactly right. South had already wrecked his T530 so was using one of the team's 1979 Spyders when he had his disasterous accident. As you say, the Spyder was T333-based.

Allen



Same was true two weeks earlier at Brainerd, he crashed the 530 in practice when if I remember a wheel broke, then later crashed the Spyder. The Spyder ended up wedged between two trees, of which one had to be cut down in order to remove the car. (So we were told at the time..?) So he DNS at Brainerd, which was a shame as he had been on pole the race before at Road America, which was a brave feat in those cars with massive tunnels and sliding skirts. Great stuff to watch.

The crash at Trios-Rivieres was a sad way to end to a great drivers career.

#36 alfredaustria

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 18:47

Hi - Perhaps have you an idea how to contact Stephen South? I just want to send him a letter and ask for his autograph. Who knows the postal address? Thank you for your help. Regards from Vienna - Alfred

#37 don hodgdon

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 14:54

This was posted in the Personal Photos from the Track thread, but seemed appropriate here. Stephan South in the McLaren at Long Beach,

Posted Image

#38 alfredaustria

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 15:42

Great photo - thank you very much.
If one of you knows the address of Stephen, please send me an email or a private message. Thanks
Alfred :wave:

#39 Roberto Manzolla

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 19:59

TERRIFIC pictures :clap: :love: :clap: :love: :clap: :love: :clap: :love: :clap: :love: :up:

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#40 Twin Window

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 21:22

Spotted secreted within the bowels of the Beaulieu Autojumble today were the body panels from Stephen's FF1600 Ray...

Posted Image

#41 swede917

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 17:12

Here is some footage of the 1980 Can-Am Round from Road America with Stephen South on pole.

http://www.youtube.c...155/4pMDa5CLLVs


Also Watkins Glen where he hits his spinning teammate EFR.

http://www.youtube.c...156/f1RW34KGPww


Be sure and checkout the other racing videos posted by Motorsports History TV on YouTube.

#42 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 21:41

You may be interested to see that Stephen's Ray F3 car is up for sale next week at Coys Autosport show auction.
http://www.coys.co.u...c...97&id=57988

#43 MCS

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 22:08

You may be interested to see that Stephen's Ray F3 car is up for sale next week at Coys Autosport show auction.
http://www.coys.co.u...c...97&id=57988


Interesting. The notes are a bit obscure. Is my memory playing tricks? Wasn't the car written off in a crash, which was at least partly why Stephen started racing John Stokes' March?

#44 Chris Townsend

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 22:42

Interesting. The notes are a bit obscure. Is my memory playing tricks? Wasn't the car written off in a crash, which was at least partly why Stephen started racing John Stokes' March?


The 1975 Ray was badly damaged in a crash at Silverstone in August 1975 and immediately after South switched to the Stokes' 753.
However, the 1976 Ray, raced with a distinct lack of pace by Luis de Almenara, was said to be South's 1975 car, so it looks as though it was rebuilt, and not sold off at the end of 1975 as these notes state, but at the end of 1976

#45 Cavalier53

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:25

Stephen was definitely a bright star for the future. Such a waste.
I have a colour shot of his FF Ray from an Autosport. He had some great scraps with the likes of Bob Arnott, Don MacLeod, Danny Sullivan etc.
Does anyone remember the titanic scrap he had with Daly at the British GP support F3 race in 1977?
One of the finest dices I have ever seen - until they both went off at Becketts!

Indeed, Daly and South hit eachother on the straight exiting Beckett's - in my recollection as if both while looking at the other thought: If I win here I'll be in F1 next year, not you! - and avoidable.
Don't recollect how it actually ended, at least one of them spun into the grass.

#46 MCS

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 12:40

Indeed, Daly and South hit eachother on the straight exiting Beckett's - in my recollection as if both while looking at the other thought: If I win here I'll be in F1 next year, not you! - and avoidable.
Don't recollect how it actually ended, at least one of them spun into the grass.


South spun after Daly forced him wide as they approached the Hangar Straight - I saw it with my own eyes.


#47 mwphoto

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 14:48

Here is some footage of the 1980 Can-Am Round from Road America with Stephen South on pole.


Same race..
Posted Image

Posted Image


#48 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:59

South spun after Daly forced him wide as they approached the Hangar Straight - I saw it with my own eyes.


I did not see this incident but I well remember the South / Daly battle at Silverstone in 1977 and my recollection is that Stephen's car ended up turning over with quite serious damage to the rollover bar. I was crewing for another F3 competitor in that race and recall that we were all quite concerned for Stephen's well being when the damaged March was returned to the paddock. As I recall he was not seriously injured and was back on the grid within a week or so. I spoke to Derek Daly after the race and he seemed quite remorseful but, given the heat of the battle he had been involved in and the stakes involved for both of them, I suspect it was really simply a 'racing incident'.

#49 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:36

I did not see this incident but I well remember the South / Daly battle at Silverstone in 1977 and my recollection is that Stephen's car ended up turning over with quite serious damage to the rollover bar. I was crewing for another F3 competitor in that race and recall that we were all quite concerned for Stephen's well being when the damaged March was returned to the paddock. As I recall he was not seriously injured and was back on the grid within a week or so. I spoke to Derek Daly after the race and he seemed quite remorseful but, given the heat of the battle he had been involved in and the stakes involved for both of them, I suspect it was really simply a 'racing incident'.


I was at Club in for the GP meeting and as you say I can remember looking at the car being returned to the paddock and being concerned for South's wellbeing

Here is the car in one piece on the Thursday practice ( sorry for the quality :blush: )

Posted Image

PAR

Edited by Phil Rainford, 10 January 2010 - 10:42.


#50 eldougo

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:02

Steven in his first F3 car the Bert RAYcar.
Posted Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us...On Four Wheels No 90

Edited by eldougo, 23 April 2011 - 01:04.