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When did 'the music stop'?


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#1 Teddy Dupont

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:19

For no reason, I was suddenly reminded of the days when Grand Prix drivers used to race in all sorts of categories, not merely Formula 1. Jim Clark seemed to have a go in just about every type of racing car around in the 60's. Even later, Rindt, Stewart, Siffert, Rodriguez & Co raced in F2, sports cars, CanAm and god knows what else as well as being full-time F1 drivers.

......But when did this stop? I cannot get clear in my mind when this became both commercially unacceptable and physically impossible due to the increased number of World Championship races.

I will never forget the exhilaration of seeing Clark thrashing round in the Lotus Cortina with only three wheels on the ground and Rindt making one of his amazing last minute bursts to win an F2 race by a hair's breadth. And they actually used to overtake each other on the track. Now that's a novel idea!

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#2 Henri Greuter

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:40

Originally posted by Teddy Dupont
For no reason, I was suddenly reminded of the days when Grand Prix drivers used to race in all sorts of categories, not merely Formula 1. Jim Clark seemed to have a go in just about every type of racing car around in the 60's. Even later, Rindt, Stewart, Siffert, Rodriguez & Co raced in F2, sports cars, CanAm and god knows what else as well as being full-time F1 drivers.

......But when did this stop? I cannot get clear in my mind when this became both commercially unacceptable and physically impossible due to the increased number of World Championship races.

I will never forget the exhilaration of seeing Clark thrashing round in the Lotus Cortina with only three wheels on the ground and Rindt making one of his amazing last minute bursts to win an F2 race by a hair's breadth. And they actually used to overtake each other on the track. Now that's a novel idea!




I think it ended about the mid eightties. Maybe the fatalities of Stefan Bellof and Manfred Winkelhock in Gp C Porsches and the near fatality of Jonathan Palmer in a 956 as well made F1 team owners realize that it was one thing to let dirvers risk their lives in their own cars. But in sportscars or any other kind of car for that matter was something different.

I do remember that when Lauda came to Ferrari in '74 (which had just quit the sportscar program by the way) he had to quit touring cars for Ford, Berger had to do the same for BMW in '87.
Ferrari stated the trend rather early and I think that their allowance of Gilles Villeneuve to compete in the '79 Giro d'Italia with a Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo was kind of unusual for a Ferrari driver


Henri

#3 Stephen W

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:56

It happened in the 70s when the F1 teams started to all acquire sponsors who took a dim view of the star drivers nipping off to some little backwater circuit to run in four or five races! So I suppose we have to blame Colin Chapman and Gold Leaf!

:wave:

#4 mikedeering

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:00

A certain M Schumacher was still racing for the Mercedes sports car team in 1991 while also racing in F1, but that didn't last long! As already stated - 1985 was probably the last time regular F1 drivers mixed racing. Clearly Winkelhock and Bellof's accidents didn't help. More recently, a few F1 drivers have taken part in the annual RoC event - Coulthard and Schumacher to name a few. But that hardly compares to the 1960s and 1970s.

#5 RTH

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:10

The start of the downwards slope 1968 with the appearance of wings and sponsorship all over the cars.

#6 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:30

When Did The Music Stop ?

When Bernie appeared


We had hard fought F2 battles with GP drivers a big crowds - Bernie invented F3000

We had hard fought SC or Group C races - Bernie placed his men in the organisation

We had hard fought Touring Car races with GP aces like Amon,Peterson, Icks - Benie invented "Shiluette Cars"

Now we can watch all mostly dull "No-overtaking"- F1 races on TV and in former time we only could go to the track and see hard fought mostley never dull with a lot overtking SC, F2 or TC races.

#7 jonpollak

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:32

You know...
I really think a true Drivers World Championship should consist of a few rounds each of the different disciplines in motor racing.

F1
Sports Cars
Rally Cars
Indy Cars
Stock Cars
Dragsters
etc.

....and then I woke up.

Jp

#8 ensign14

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:56

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
We had hard fought F2 battles with GP drivers a big crowds - Bernie invented F3000

That did provide some great racing at times, though. The last few years of F2 were abject as one team tended to dominate, usually the works Ralt-Honda. Barring '82, which had Corrado Fabi, Boutsen, Johansson and Bellof tearing it up.

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker

We had hard fought Touring Car races with GP aces like Amon,Peterson, Icks - Benie invented "Shiluette Cars"

I still think that was not a bad idea. A sort of European road-based NASCAR.

#9 Hieronymus

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 13:59

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
When Did The Music Stop ?

When Bernie appeared





INDEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 Tmeranda

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 14:06

Originally posted by jonpollak
You know...
I really think a true Drivers World Championship should consist of a few rounds each of the different disciplines in motor racing.

F1
Sports Cars
Rally Cars
Indy Cars
Stock Cars
Dragsters
etc.

....and then I woke up.

Jp

Roger Penske invented something like this when he created the orginal IROC. What great racing. Then somebody turned it into a NASCAR side show.

#11 Terry Walker

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 14:49

I can almost see it:

World Driver's Championship 2010:

3 or 4 Formula 1 races (one on the Nordschliefe...)
1,000 km at Bathurst
Daytona 500
Indy 500
Pikes Peak hilllclimb
A WRC rally
Le Mans
F2 race/s


or similar. (Somebody north of the equator could advise on the sports car scene, which I don't follow.)

Got to compete in all rounds to qualify for WDC...

#12 Bob Riebe

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 15:02

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Ferrari stated the trend rather early and I think that their allowance of Gilles Villeneuve to compete in the '79 Giro d'Italia with a Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo was kind of unusual for a Ferrari driver
Henri


I think it partly happened because of different attitudes of different generation of drivers.

Villeneuve not only developed a Formula One snowmobile for Ski-Doo, violating his contract, but actually raced it in one race.
Ferrari found out, and DID put an end to it, but the "in your face" attitude of one generation, turned into " yes master" in the next.
Bob

#13 Even Darker

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 15:44

No-one seems to have mentioned the impact of the increased amount of testing drivers have to do these days.

There was also the rule brought in to ban drivers from competing in other events on a grand prix weekend, because of fears of driver exhaustion.

#14 mikedeering

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 16:25

Didn't Andretti compete in the Indy 500 while still competing in F1? I am sure I recall he competed in the Monaco GP in between qualifying and racing at Indy one year.

#15 HistoricMustang

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 20:12

Originally posted by Terry Walker
I can almost see it:

World Driver's Championship 2010:

3 or 4 Formula 1 races (one on the Nordschliefe...)
1,000 km at Bathurst
Daytona 500
Indy 500
Pikes Peak hilllclimb
A WRC rally
Le Mans
F2 race/s


or similar. (Somebody north of the equator could advise on the sports car scene, which I don't follow.)

Got to compete in all rounds to qualify for WDC...


Perhaps Bernie and Brian are infact headed this way. :rolleyes:

Henry

#16 lofong

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 20:41

As I recall organisers of European F-2 Championship events could only accept up to 6 entries from graded drivers. During the 1970s appearances of graded drivers in F-2 became more sporadic and before the end of the decade had totally disappeared. The series then seemed to take on more of the appearance of an F-1 feeder series, more akin to the current GP2.

But were graded drivers ever specifically banned from participating in the series or was their demise and disappearance due to natural causes?

#17 LotusElise

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 21:13

Have "retired" F1 drivers always raced sports and touring cars like they do now?
The age profile of sportscar races is skewed quite oddly nowadays, with a lot of older drivers who have drifted in from other disciplines and a group of much younger ones who specialise. The mid-section is a bit empty.

#18 Twin Window

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 21:55

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker

...Bernie invented F3000

And he did that purely because there was suddenly a glut of surplus DFVs - plus the appropriate chassis - as the turbo trend took over F1. How cynical a move was that?

Also for yonks the FIA made sure that a GP - normally Canada, IIRC - clashed with Le Mans, which thereby prevented contemporary F1 drivers [albeit generally the lesser-lights, to be fair] from competing at the Sarthe.

The ridiculous F1 contract stipulations which became de mode in the early-to-mid 1990s did away with that need, however... :rolleyes:

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 22:40

Originally posted by Twin Window
And he did that purely because there was suddenly a glut of surplus DFVs - plus the appropriate chassis - as the turbo trend took over F1. How cynical a move was that?

Why do you say cynical? There have been may racing classes that were a success because somebody had a suitable engine; the 1.5/4.5 litre Grand Prix formula being one example. Bernie was following the old tradition of creating a class for the available equipment. It seems a sensible idea to me.

On the original question, surely drivers stopped racing in other classes when the financial rewards of Grand Prix racing no longer made it necessary for them to augment their meagre incomes.

In any case, wasn't the practice of Grand Prix drivers appearing in all manner of miscellaneous vehicles a relatively short-lived one starting approximately in the mid-1950s. Before that, drivers did drive in a few major sports-car events and perhaps Formula 2 but not much beyond that. There weren't many drivers of the German teams in the 1930s moonlighting in Voiturette racing or anything else. Perhaps it's all a matter of the strength of Grand Prix racing. When it's strong, drivers don't need to do anything else.

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#20 Twin Window

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 22:55

Originally posted by Roger Clark

Why do you say cynical? There have been may racing classes that were a success because somebody had a suitable engine; the 1.5/4.5 litre Grand Prix formula being one example. Bernie was following the old tradition of creating a class for the available equipment. It seems a sensible idea to me.

I thought at the time, and still do, that it was a cynical move because he killed-off Formula 2 with just one aim in mind; to create a marketplace for the [suddenly] obsolete 'atmo' F1 engines and chassis.

That was - and still is - my view, and also that of my colleagues of the time (for what it's worth).

:)

#21 scheivlak

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 23:01

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
When Did The Music Stop ?

When Bernie appeared


We had hard fought F2 battles with GP drivers a big crowds - Bernie invented F3000

We had hard fought SC or Group C races - Bernie placed his men in the organisation

We had hard fought Touring Car races with GP aces like Amon,Peterson, Icks - Benie invented "Shiluette Cars"

Now we can watch all mostly dull "No-overtaking"- F1 races on TV and in former time we only could go to the track and see hard fought mostley never dull with a lot overtking SC, F2 or TC races.

Sounds nice and but this is all populist fabrication on a scale that Bernie wouldn't even dare to try.
How many GP drivers did you see in F2 in the 80s?
How much influence did Bernie have on Group C?
When did Amon, Peterson and Ickx drive Touring Cars, what kind of touring cars did they drive and when did Bernie come to power?

:rolleyes:

Time to face reality.
This is not a story of a mean and lewd devil who corrupted blameless enthousiasts.....
The significant thing is how gradual it went. Almost unnoticed, step by step.

#22 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 04:21

The music has not quite stopped....Valentino Rossi, one of today's few great motorsportsmen, is competing in the WRC New Zealand rally next month

#23 lofong

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 04:44

Originally posted by scheivlak
The significant thing is how gradual it went. Almost unnoticed, step by step.

So true ...... I never was the sharpest tool but as I recall the same thing happened with my marriage :lol:

But I think with F-2 it went so unnoticed because, until its final years, the series was so strong and was filled with talent, many knocking on the door of F-1. The absence of established superstars didn't lessen the entertainment.

With sports car racing it was already a mix of current and former F-1 drivers and complicated by others just taking a brief sabbatical from F-1, so there was for some time a false impression of F-1 names still being involved.

I recently noticed how more F-1 stars than I remembered made occasional appearances in the ETCC in the early 70s. At the time this seemed to be only a short term boom period for the series, as part of its seemingly inevitable peaks and troughs, as the level of manufacturer interest varied. So the significant part to me is not that active F-1 drivers disappeared -- more that they never returned.

The regular appearance of GP drivers in the BMW Procar series for that brief period was something of a reversal of the trend and, at the time, a pleasant surprise.

#24 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 04:48

Originally posted by Huw Jadvantich
The music has not quite stopped....Valentino Rossi, one of today's few great motorsportsmen, is competing in the WRC New Zealand rally next month



But Biaggi is being prevented from undertaking a SuperMotard race by his new Superbike team. Valentino can do whatever he wants.

#25 Bernd

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:09

That comes with being the best. Do you honestly think Ferrari could've stopped WunderKraut if he wanted to do something.

Not a f***ing chance is the answer.

#26 FLB

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:50

Originally posted by mikedeering
As already stated - 1985 was probably the last time regular F1 drivers mixed racing. Clearly Winkelhock and Bellof's accidents didn't help.

For sportscars, 1985 was close to being an equivalent of what 1994 was for F1. As well as the two fatalities, there was a typhoon at Fuji, a tornado at Monza, a major pit fire at Hockenheim, a Sauber flipping at Le Mans and a few big ones for Jonathan Palmer. Add Jo Gartner's death at Le Mans the following year and Group C begins to look a bit iffy safety-wise (the inclement weather can't be blamed on anyone, although the cars were still raced).

Didn't Micheal Schumacher do a high-level kart race a few years ago, just for the sheer pleasure of it? EDIT: Ross just answered my question below :)

Giancarlo Fisichella I think was the last contemporary F1 driver to race touring cars. Berger did the same early in his career, but that was sponsored by BMW. When Grand Prix drivers raced something else, it was either because their F1 pay wasn't any good or someone wanted to place them for X or Y reason. Lotus, Cooper and Brabham sold customer cars; who better than your lead driver to show how competitive your cars are?

Wouldn't you want to be Clark/Hill/Brabham/Hulme/McLaren? You can!

Just buy a Lotus/Cooper/Brabham/McLaren, with a BRM/Climax engine!
:lol:

The drivers racing in North America still have that versatility. You'll see a bunch of them do NASACR and sportscars, single-seaters and sportscars, ChampCars and NASCAR/ARCA, sportscars/IndyCars, etc.

#27 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:56

The last race of the Formula Super A World Championship was held at Kerpen so he entered with the factory Tony Kart team. I think he finished on the podium with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Lewis Hamilton. 2001 I think.

#28 petefenelon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:33

Originally posted by Twin Window
I thought at the time, and still do, that it was a cynical move because he killed-off Formula 2 with just one aim in mind; to create a marketplace for the [suddenly] obsolete 'atmo' F1 engines and chassis.

That was - and still is - my view, and also that of my colleagues of the time (for what it's worth).

:)


It's only cynical when you consider who bought a job-lot of old DFVs in 1984. No need for 'em any more guv, F1's going turbo, they're just scrap, honest...!

#29 ian senior

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:37

When Martin Brundle and Derek Warwick took part in the RAC rally, was it at the time they had been driving F1 earlier in the year?

#30 Stephen W

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:56

Originally posted by lofong
As I recall organisers of European F-2 Championship events could only accept up to 6 entries from graded drivers. During the 1970s appearances of graded drivers in F-2 became more sporadic and before the end of the decade had totally disappeared. The series then seemed to take on more of the appearance of an F-1 feeder series, more akin to the current GP2.

But were graded drivers ever specifically banned from participating in the series or was their demise and disappearance due to natural causes?


I think it was common sense. The F2 constructors were chasing the F2 titles and as a 'graded driver' was not allowed to score for the team or himself it was pointless having one in your 'works' car!

I do remember Derek Bell turning up at an HSCC meeting at Donington Park and driving an Alfa Romeo whilst under contract to Porsche! I suspect he just got a slapped wrist from the powers that be.

:wave:

#31 doc knutsen

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:06

Originally posted by FLB
[B]
For sportscars, 1985 was close to being an equivalent of what 1994 was for F1. As well as the two fatalities, there was a typhoon at Fuji, a tornado at Monza, a major pit fire at Hockenheim, a Sauber flipping at Le Mans and a few big ones for Jonathan Palmer. Add Jo Gartner's death at Le Mans the following year and Group C begins to look a bit iffy safety-wise (the inclement weather can't be blamed on anyone, although the cars were still raced).]

Not sure I follow...the weather at Fuji and Monza hardly reflects safety levels in Gr C, and as for the pit fire and Superjohn's somersault at Le Mans, neither resulted in serious injuries. Gartner's fatal accident was due to a gearbox problem, with two gears engaging at the same time when he was going from 4th to 5th on the Mulsanne....hard to blame that on Gr C safety. Remember Win Percy suffering a puncture on the Mulsanne in 87, and walking away unscathed despite the very high speeds? It is worth noting that all the three Gr C fatalities occured in sheet aluminium monocoques while most constructors had changed to honeycomb reinforced tubs by 1987, with excellent safety records throughout the remaining Gr C era despite some "big ones" Excepting the Enjolras accident in testing, racing has been very safe at La Sarthe during the last 20 years. Yes it has been 20 years since we lost Jo Gartner :(

#32 Herbert

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:21

Jordan driver Ralf Schumacher did one FIA GT race with AMG-Mercedes in 1997 to learn the track at Spa. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella had a one-off race in the Belgian Touring car Championship with Peugeot for the same reason.

In 1993 Ferrari driver Jean Alesi made some starts in the French touring car series with Alfa. In 1994 Jordan-F1-driver Eddie Irvine finsihed second in Le Mans.

And didn't Franck Montagny race at Le Mans this year?

#33 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 11:57

Originally posted by jonpollak
You know...
I really think a true Drivers World Championship should consist of a few rounds each of the different disciplines in motor racing.

F1
Sports Cars
Rally Cars
Indy Cars
Stock Cars
Dragsters
etc.

....and then I woke up.

Jp


While not quite as broad as that, there was a period in the USA during which the USAC National Championship was contested over a variety of paved ovals, dirt tracks, road courses, and even a hill climb.

The whole notion of drivers participating in a variety of series with varied venues is a bit more complex than can be done justice within the limits of this format, but the issue of drivers being able to participate in events sanctioned by different sanctioning bodies has long been a problem in the USA -- AAA, IMCA, USAC, SCCA, NASCAR, and forth and so on all being diffcult concerning this subjext at various times.

As also mentioned, in recent times there have been financial considerations which have led some in the upper echelons to restrict their participation. Interesting that here in America that there are still a sizable number of drivers jumping into cockpits here and there at every opportunity. Ken Schrader is one example that immediately springs to mind, but there are others as well.

Also, there seem to be definite Euro and American views on this, as should be expected.

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 13:01

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps

Ken Schrader is one example that immediately springs to mind, but there are others as well.

Also, there seem to be definite Euro and American views on this, as should be expected.


Boris Said always struck me as the arch-enthusiast these days, there rarely seems to be a weekend during the season in which he's not in the cockpit.

I admire the way some of the 'more mature' drivers pick and choose their races across the world - Stefan Johansson for example has managed to do GP Masters, Le Mans, LMS, ALMS and Grand-Am (for several teams!) this year. Then again I think sports car drivers just get better as they get older...;)

Sports car and GT racing these days is big enough at international/serious national level to allow good drivers to do a lot of globe-trotting to fit in interesting drives, especially if the Gods of Zuffenhausen smile upon you ;)

#35 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 13:14

I have a dream that one the FIA will wake up and realise that it needs to promote motorsport as a whole, not just F1: thus they will bring in a requirement that a driver can only qualify for a superlicence if during the previous calendar year they have competed in at least five races outside of F1 in at least two different series.

This would force the manufacturers to farm out their drivers. (McLaren-Mercedes drivers doing guest appearences in the DTM, BMW-Sauber drivers appearing in the WTCC, etc). This might then in turn invigorate the wider populations interest in motorsport outside of F1.

#36 FLB

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 13:19

Originally posted by doc knutsen


Not sure I follow...the weather at Fuji and Monza hardly reflects safety levels in Gr C, and as for the pit fire and Superjohn's somersault at Le Mans, neither resulted in serious injuries. Gartner's fatal accident was due to a gearbox problem, with two gears engaging at the same time when he was going from 4th to 5th on the Mulsanne....hard to blame that on Gr C safety. Remember Win Percy suffering a puncture on the Mulsanne in 87, and walking away unscathed despite the very high speeds? It is worth noting that all the three Gr C fatalities occured in sheet aluminium monocoques while most constructors had changed to honeycomb reinforced tubs by 1987, with excellent safety records throughout the remaining Gr C era despite some "big ones" Excepting the Enjolras accident in testing, racing has been very safe at La Sarthe during the last 20 years. Yes it has been 20 years since we lost Jo Gartner :(

Every single time a driver steps into a racing car, he (or she) is taking a risk. To accept a risk, there has to be a reward at the end. In theory at least, when an F1 driver does something else, the reward will not go to his F1 team owner or his partners. I very much think that we have to understand who takes the risk and who takes the reward to understand how drivers can do what they do.

In fairness, I should have mentioned that in Stefan Bellof's case, one could argue that his entry in F1 in 1984 was made possible because it kept him in Group C. IIRC, Porsche paid Tyrrell for his drive that year. The risk was for Porsche.

Every time a racing driver comes back from a race in one piece, it's a bonus, no matter how safe the racing or the cars themselves might be. There are always unpredictable elements involved (such as weather).

#37 MonzaDriver

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 13:27

Originally posted by RTH
The start of the downwards slope 1968 with the appearance of wings and sponsorship all over the cars.


Yes !!!
and after that , a lot of team manager sold their soul to the devil.
And when you sell your soul to the devil, then you dance with the music HE decide to put on.
I think we all know here who the devil is.

This thread is heart-warming.

MonzaDriver.

#38 Mallory Dan

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 13:30

Originally posted by Twin Window
I thought at the time, and still do, that it was a cynical move because he killed-off Formula 2 with just one aim in mind; to create a marketplace for the [suddenly] obsolete 'atmo' F1 engines and chassis.

That was - and still is - my view, and also that of my colleagues of the time (for what it's worth).

:)


Sorry Twinny, I don't agree at all, though I concede you were far closer to the action than I. F2 was pretty dead by mid-83 due to the Honda dominance, and completely finished by 84.

For the first 4-5 years F3000 was excellent and much better than the last few F2 years. Why it appeared to dip into the early 90s is another point; Europe-wide recession, costs rising, Reynard dominating, any more ideas ??

#39 petefenelon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:07

Originally posted by Mallory Dan


Sorry Twinny, I don't agree at all, though I concede you were far closer to the action than I. F2 was pretty dead by mid-83 due to the Honda dominance, and completely finished by 84.

For the first 4-5 years F3000 was excellent and much better than the last few F2 years. Why it appeared to dip into the early 90s is another point; Europe-wide recession, costs rising, Reynard dominating, any more ideas ??


The first few years of F3000 were pretty odd stuff, I think the formula only really came of age and started looking 'respectable' when Reynard came in. The early Marches and Ralts weren't much more than F2s with DFVs; Lola's first car was scarily awful and their early proper 3000s were the class of a not particularly classy field...

The mid-90s decline can also be attributed to the availability of Agip jungle-juice F1 fuel to some of the Italian teams - a lot of fairly mediocre drivers were pushed 10-15 places up the grid by virtue of having 10-15bhp more than their competitors....

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#40 petefenelon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:09

Originally posted by FLB

Every single time a driver steps into a racing car, he (or she) is taking a risk. To accept a risk, there has to be a reward at the end.


Wouldn't it be nice if there were more drivers who thought that stepping into the racing car was the reward?

#41 FLB

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:20

Originally posted by petefenelon


Wouldn't it be nice if there were more drivers who thought that stepping into the racing car was the reward?

Thre are some who do :) Tony Stewart is a current example. He's the second coming of AJ Foyt, both for the good and the bad.

On a somewhat-related note, I've just watched this superb Bellof tribute on YouTube:



Be warned though. It's very tastefully done. There are no ghoulish images. The video simply fosuses on the driver.

#42 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:26

The start of the downwards slope 1968 with the appearance of wings and sponsorship all over the cars.


Yes !!!
and after that , a lot of team manager sold their soul to the devil.
And when you sell your soul to the devil, then you dance with the music HE decide to put on.
I think we all know here who the devil is.

This thread is heart-warming.[/B]


I think that is way too simplistic and generally reflects the prism through which things are viewed rather than what may be the reality.

Was the rise of commercial interests in racing a factor? Of course, but the significance of that depends upon whether or not you are narrowly viewing the scene through a lens that sees things from a small island off the coast of Europe or focused on a nation that stretches between two oceans.

It is certainly a matter of perspective.

#43 doc knutsen

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:40

Originally posted by petefenelon


Wouldn't it be nice if there were more drivers who thought that stepping into the racing car was the reward?


I have done a fair bit of racing myself, and worked with some semi-professional drivers over the years. Your comment is spot on. To most of those who take part, certainly those at amateur/enthusiast level, being able to take part is the main reward. And it certainly holds true for some luminaries too....wee Jimmy being a prime example.

#44 MCS

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 14:49

Originally posted by Twin Window
I thought at the time, and still do, that it was a cynical move because he killed-off Formula 2 with just one aim in mind; to create a marketplace for the [suddenly] obsolete 'atmo' F1 engines and chassis.

That was - and still is - my view, and also that of my colleagues of the time (for what it's worth).

:)


I totally concur.

Ecclestone has a hell of a lot to answer for (in my opinion).

#45 Bob Riebe

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 15:23

Originally posted by petefenelon
The mid-90s decline can also be attributed to the availability of Agip jungle-juice F1 fuel to some of the Italian teams - a lot of fairly mediocre drivers were pushed 10-15 places up the grid by virtue of having 10-15bhp more than their competitors....


That is an odd statement. They get increased horse power because now they have fuel equal to the top teams, and there is something wrong with their higher qualifying positions?

Hmm, give the supposed "top" drivers the lessor fuel and see where they would then qualify.

Or would you say they only qualified lower because they did not have fuel up to their superior level.


Bob

#46 petefenelon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 17:08

Originally posted by Bob Riebe


That is an odd statement. They get increased horse power because now they have fuel equal to the top teams, and there is something wrong with their higher qualifying positions?

Hmm, give the supposed "top" drivers the lessor fuel and see where they would then qualify.

Or would you say they only qualified lower because they did not have fuel up to their superior level.


Bob


No, I'm saying that some of the Italian F3000 teams started getting AGIP F1 fuel, worth a good 10-15bhp (Autocourse 1991 even claims 20bhp, which is nearly 5% in F3000...) over the slop the rest of the grid was running, and some very ordinary drivers suddenly started to show up in places way above their ability (Naspetti, driving for Forti, for example, did approximately nothing in his first couple of F3000 seasons then suddenly started to look very good indeed...). Elf started to counter-escalate, but the FIA thankfully jumped on this and instituted 'control' fuel for 1992. And quite rightly so - a second-level formula should be about drivers and good solid customer cars, not 'invisible' advantages like fuel or tyres.

#47 Tmeranda

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 20:06

Originally posted by MCS


I totally concur.

Ecclestone has a hell of a lot to answer for (in my opinion).


And just will he answer to? Not you or I. IMHO BE is the worst thing that has ever happen to F1 if not all motor racing. He replaced the walet for the heart.

#48 MonzaDriver

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 07:53

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps




I think that is way too simplistic and generally reflects the prism through which things are viewed rather than what may be the reality.

Was the rise of commercial interests in racing a factor? Of course, but the significance of that depends upon whether or not you are narrowly viewing the scene through a lens that sees things from a small island off the coast of Europe or focused on a nation that stretches between two oceans.

It is certainly a matter of perspective.


The prism or the lens, you talk about, from witch our vision is so narrow or unreal is called SPORT.
And the things we are searching are called sport values. In our unreal term " The art of driving"
Even if I am Italian, I am sure that if you want to look at some real race today you have to search inside that " small island" the homeland of motorsport. Surely not at the Forth Worth oval.

About perspective our ( I think RTH agree here) start from the heart and the passion,
I am afraid your start from the money bank account and the calculator. Not a very deep perspective if you think about it. Our vision is toward the Parabolica bend.
And because the devil is also lucky, it's not a matter of being a businness man, a team manager, people who think " five years ahead" or a journalist that change his mind twice a day.............
the real fortune for all this illuminated people is named " television"

MonzaDriver

#49 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 13:45

Your passion is very admirable, but I am unmoved by it as means of analysis.

That small island off France has made itself the "homeland of motorsport" because of a very hard-nosed, bare-knuckled, no-holds barred commercial effort to deliberately overwhelm -- and often destroy or severely cripple -- the domestic racing car industries in a large number of countries, another form of colonialism if you will. "Sport" had precious little to do with it, it was business. Plus, the island was a relative late-comer to the major players in the game -- despite decades of various efforts, but once it got into the game as the major layer, it ensured that it would be nearly impossible to kick it out.

Plus, as the winners, the islanders have generally controlled the history and shaped the perspectives.

#50 FLB

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 14:28

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps

That small island off France has made itself the "homeland of motorsport" because of a very hard-nosed, bare-knuckled, no-holds barred commercial effort to deliberately overwhelm -- and often destroy or severely cripple -- the domestic racing car industries in a large number of countries, another form of colonialism if you will. "Sport" had precious little to do with it, it was business. Plus, the island was a relative late-comer to the major players in the game -- despite decades of various efforts, but once it got into the game as the major layer, it ensured that it would be nearly impossible to kick it out.

As I wrote earlier, why did Clark, Brabham, McLaren, Hulme et al. run other categories?

Answer:

Because Lotus, Cooper, Brabham, McLaren et al. had customer cars to sell.

Don, I completely agree there is a continental divide at work here, or at the very least there is a difference of culture. Ken Schrader is another example of someone who'll race anything, anywhere, just for the sheer pleasure of it.