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1971 Brands Victory Race & the Siffert accident


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#1 Boniver

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 08:12

Victory Race
24 october 1971
Brands Hatch
40 r 10.96 miles

race stopped after 14 laps – fatal accident on lap 15 – Jo Siffert

1 Peter Gethin – BRM
2 Emerson Fittipaldi – Lotus
3 Jackie Stewart – Tyrrell
4 Jo Siffert – BRM
5 Tim Schenken – Brabham
6 John Surtees - Surtees



Who have more info of this race,


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#2 jarama

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 09:01

Hi, Boniver,

Race name: World Championships Victory Race

Starters: 27 (14 F1 + 13 F5000)

Starting Grid:

Seppi Siffert, BRMP160/02, 1'22"8
Peter Gethin, BRM P160/01, 1´22"8
Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus Ford 72/R5, 1´23"6

Ronnie Peterson, March Ford 711-06, 1'23"6
Mike Hailwood, Surtees Ford TS9/002, 1'23"8

Jackie Stewart, Tyrrell Ford 003, 1´23"8
Tim Schenken, Brabham Ford BT33/3, 1´23"8
Howden Ganley, BRM P160/04, 1´24"2

Jackie Oliver, McLaren Ford M19A/2, 1'24"6
John Surtees, Surtees Ford TS9/004, 1´24"6

Carlos Reutemann, Brabham Ford BT33/1, 1´24"6
Graham Hill, Brabham Ford BT34/1, 1'24"8
François Cevert 002, Tyrrell Ford, 1'25"0

Frank Gardner, Lola T300 Chevrolet-Smith, 1'25"8
Henri Pescarolo, March Ford 711-03, 1'26"2

also starting,
Alan Rollinson, Surtees TS8 Chevrolet-Morand
Mike Walker, Lola T192 Chevrolet-Smith
Prophet, McLaren M10B Chevrolet-Prophet
Pilette, McLaren M10B Chevrolet-Morand
Spice, McLaren M10B Chevrolet-Kitchiner
Alle, McLaren M10B Chevrolet-Morand/Smith
Reine Wisell, McLaren M18 Chevrolet






#3 Boniver

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 11:41

jarama,


Thanks :D :) :D

Boniver

#4 Darren Galpin

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 12:06

Victory Race
24 October 1971, Brands Hatch, England, 40 laps
Lap Distance=2.65 miles. Race Distance=105.96 miles.

1 Peter Gethin BRM P160 '160-03' 19m54.4, 111.82mph, 14 laps
2 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72 'R5' 19m54.6
3 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 003 14 laps
4 Jo Siffert BRM P160 '160-02' 14 laps
5 Tim Schenken Brabham-Cosworth BT33 '3' 14 laps
6 John Surtees Surtees-Cosworth TS9 '002' 14 laps

Race stopped after Jo Siffert had a fatal accident on lap 15. Results
declared after 14 laps.

Fastest Lap: Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus-Cosworth 72), 1:24.0, 113.57mph
Pole Position: Jo Siffert (BRM P160), 1:22.8


#5 TonyKaye

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 16:12

That was a terrible day.

I was spectating at the entry to Paddock Bend where I had a wonderful view of a large part of the Club circuit. Everything seemed normal until the cars suddenly stopped coming round. The public address system went off the air and the whole of Brands Hatch was plunged into an awful silence. There wasn't a car to be seen (as they had been stopped just before the scene of the accident) and then we saw black smoke rising above the trees beyond Druids. Everyone in that huge crowd new that something bad had happened, but without the PA nobody new who it was and what had happened. I had been keeping a lap chart and was probably one of very few who new it was Siffert, because he had failed to come round on the last lap.

I don't remember anything else about that day, just that terrible silence when there should have been the roar of the cars. To this day a silent race track always seems eerie to me, that's not how they are meant to be.

#6 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 16:31

The Victory Race was held to in effect celebrate Jackie Stewart's World Championship. Despite taking pole position Siffert made a poor start and dropped back to 10th. He had worked his way back to 4th place when he crashed. The accident happened just before the braking point for Hawthorn's Bend. The BRM suddenly turned left at 180mph, hit the protective bank head on,turned over, slid for some 200 yards on its back, cartwheeled over the heads of the marshalls, landing upside down and burst in to flames. Jo Siffert was killed instantly. The accident was caused by a rose joint holding a rear radius rod breaking, causing rear wheel steering - and at that speed he had no hope of controlling it. As Tony Kaye said, it was indeed a terrible day.

#7 Marcor

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 17:18

7- Cevert Tyrrel Ford 002
8- Hill Brabham Ford BT34-1
9- Reutemann Brabham Ford BT33-1
10- Rollinson Surtees TS8 Chevrolet-Morand F5000
11- Gardner Lola T300 Chevrolet-Smith F5000
12- Walker Lola T192 Chevrolet-Smith F5000
...

DNF:
Hailwood Surtees Ford TS9-002
Ganley BRM P160-04
Peterson March Ford 711-06
Pescarolo March Ford 711-03
...

#8 jmcgavin

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 17:50

Are you sure about the details of Sifferts accident. The investigation details outlined in Louis Stanleys book differ quite a bit. According to that Sifferent hit an uunprotected earthbank rather than a guardrail, the flints in this earth ripped open the fuel tank causing the fire.

This was one of the tragic deaths of the late 60s early 70s made even more so because it should never have happened, the post mortum concluded Siffert only suffered a broken ankle in the impact, however the fire protection was totally inadequete, the fire extinguisher of the first marshall on the scene failed to work, and as he was inadequete protected against fire he was then beaten back by the heat. By the time the fire was out it was too late, Siffert had died from asphexia due to the smoke.





#9 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 18:52

You say the accounts differ quite a bit but I can't see what exactly you are referring to. I never said he hit a guard rail. I said he hit a protective bank - you said he hit an unprotected earthbank. I believe we are talking about the same thing. "Protective bank" in this instance would describe an earthen bank protecting the cars from going in to the spectator enclosure. The fact that the earthen bank itself was unprotected by a guard rail I suppose makes it an "unprotected earthbank." Same thing I believe. I am unclear as to what else differs so much. Since reading your post I looked up Louis Stanley's account in "The Legendary Years." Other than mentioning that Peterson clouted Siffert at the start - which explains more about him falling from pole to 10th on the first lap - I find nothing that different from my account. On the other hand you may be referring to one of Stanley's other books which may contain some details not included in the one I have on hand. In any case I would be interested to know where you feel we differ so greatly. Thanks.

#10 jmcgavin

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 09:30

Hi Mike

I don't think we differ too much here, sorry about the earthbank part i guess i misinterpreted that bit.
The Stanley book I was referring to was Off The Record, however I believe the latest version has been updated and partially rewritten. The earlier copy I've had wasn't in the large format edition that it seems to be now, also quite a few of the pictures have been changed.

Unfortunately quite a lot of the Siffert details are amongst those that have fallen by the wayside. Stanley includes quite a bit of details and evidence from the inquest, including the testimony of the marshall who was first on the scene and whose extinguisher failed to operate, also some fairly horrific details about his view of the crash site with Siffert still in the car which is why it still is so vivid.

Stanleys view and and the enquiries was that Siffert would have survived with no more than a broken ankle if the safety and curcuit facilities had been properly prepared and equipped.

Sorry if the tone of my post came across as dismissing your post Mike, that wasn't intended at all, if there is any difference, its that even though the car hit the bank and caught fire as you described according to the reports I've read Siffert should never have perished in the accident






#11 Boniver

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 14:57

Marcor,

Thanks,

:) :) :)
Boniver

#12 Gary C

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Posted 29 June 2001 - 20:12

I know someone out there will help me out. I need the full results / retirements from the Victory Race at Brands Hatch on 23rd October 1971. Yes, the race where Jo Siffert had his accident.
Anyone help me?

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2001 - 21:39

Quintin Cloud has a result on his site, but it doesn't look complete to me:

http://www.fortuneci...80nc/1971vr.htm

#14 Kpy

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Posted 30 June 2001 - 00:41

[list=1]
[*]Peter Gethin - BRM P160 - 19' 54.4 - 111.82 mph
[*]Emerson Fittipaldi - Lotus 72 D-Ford - 19' 54.6"
[*]Jackie Stewart - Tyrrell-Ford - 19' 59.8"
[*]Jo Siffert - BRM P160 - 20' 07.2
[*]Tim Shenken - Brabham BT33-Ford - 20' 10.0"
[*]John Surtees - Surtees TS9-Ford - 20' 10.4"
[*]François Cevert - Tyrrell-Ford - 20' 19.2"
[*]Graham Hill Brabham BT34-Ford - 20' 26.0
[*]Carlos Reutemann - Brabham BT33-Ford - 20' 27.8"
[*]Ronnie Peterson - March 711-Ford - 21' 10.2"
[/list=1]

All completed 14 laps. Race stopped due to Siffert's fatal accident on lap 15.

Retirements:

[list=1]
[*]Jacky Oliver - McLaren M19A-Ford 13 laps - brakes
[*]Howden Ganley - BRM P160 - 5 laps - engine
[*]Mike Hailwood - Surtees TS9-Ford - 3 laps - suspension
[*]Henri Pescarolo - March 711-Ford - 1 lap - Accident
[/list=1]

Fastest Lap: Fittipaldi - 1' 24.0 - 113.57 mph

#15 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 01 July 2001 - 03:35

This is the grid for the 1971 Rothmans World Championship Victory Race as published in Motoring News.

1, 5 Siffert, BRM P160, 1m 22.8s
2, 6 Gethin, BRM P160, 1m 22.8s
3, 8 Fittipaldi, Lotus 72, 1m 23.6s
4, 4 Peterson, March 711, 1m 23.6s
5, 17 Hailwood, Surtees TS9, 1m 23.8s
6, 1 Stewart, Tyrrell, 1m 23.8s
7, 12 Schenken, Brabham BT33, 1m 23.8s
8, 7 Ganley, BRM P160, 1m 24.2s
9, 10 Oliver, McLaren M19, 1m 24.6s
10, 16 Surtees, Surtees TS9, 1m 24.6s
11, 14 Reutemann, Brabham BT33, 1m 24.6s
12, 11 Hill, Brabham BT34, 1m 24.8s
13, 2 Cevert, Tyrrell, 1m 25.0s
14, 23 Gardner, Lola T300, 1m 25.8s
15, 15 Pescarolo, March 711, 1m 26.2s
16, 77 Walker, Lola T192, 1m 227.0s
17, 26 Rollinson, Surtees TS8, 1m 27.0s
18, 12 Wisell, McLaren M10B, 1m 27.0s
19, 25 Holland, McLaren M10B, 1m 27.6s
20, 44 Spice, McLaren M10B, 1m 28.2s
21, 28 Allen, McLaren M10B, 1m 28.4s
22, 33 Pilette, McLaren M10B, 1m 28.4s
23, 41 Taylor, Leda LT25, 1m 29.2s
24, 40 Ashley, Lola T190, 1m 29.6s
25, 27 Prophet, McLaren M10B, 1m 30.6s
26, 24 Edwards, McLren M10B, 1m 31.0s
27, 66 Saunders, Crossle 15F, 1m 32.2s

Other results not shown above

11, Gardner, 20m 51.0s
12, Walker, 20m 52.4s
13, Spice, 21m 4.6s
14, Pilette, 21m 5.8s
15, Holland, 21m 6.6s
16, Peterson, 21m 10.2s

then follows "etc" so there must have been more finishers

Fastest F5000 lap
Rollinson and Walker 1m 27.6s (108.90 mph)

#16 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 July 2001 - 06:46

THe "etc" from milan's result:

17 Ray Allan (McLaren/moreland-Smith-Chevrolet M10B) 13 laps
18 Ian Ashley (Lola/Griffiths-Chevrolet T190 Mk 1) 13 laps
19 David Prophet (McLaren/Prophet-Chevrolet M10B) 13 laps
20 Guy Edwards (McLaren/Bartz-Smith=Chevrolet 12 laps

#17 Gary C

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Posted 01 July 2001 - 22:18

thank you indeed lads, I think that'll do me!

#18 quintin cloud

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 08:10

one problem Ronnie Peterson is list in 16th in Milan's result and 10th in Kpy's result, which is correct :confused:

#19 Danny1

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 08:28

Hoi Here I send my first Info
I hope I do wel

A bout the result of Ronnyie Peterson
In the book of A.Pritchard =Ronnie Peterson 16th.
With a time of 21min10.2sec
Ihope that I done wel to help you

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#20 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 09:10

I think the problem is that KPY's results only give the F1 finishers without the F5000 cars.

Alan Rollinson finished tenth in his Surtees in 20m 50.8s and was the winner of the F5000 section of the race. 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th were all F5000 cars and then came Peterson in 16th overall but tenth in the F1 section of the race.

#21 Kpy

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 09:13

Originally posted by quintin cloud
one problem Ronnie Peterson is list in 16th in Milan's result and 10th in Kpy's result, which is correct :confused:


My results were taken from AUTOCOURSE 1971/72. They ignored the F3000 cars which also competed.

Sorry to confuse you all, as, although I was there, I'd lost the F3000s in the mists of memory.

#22 quintin cloud

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 09:13

so result is as follows

1.Peter Gethin - BRM P160 - 19' 54.4 - 111.82 mph
2.Emerson Fittipaldi - Lotus 72 D-Ford - 19' 54.6"
3.Jackie Stewart - Tyrrell-Ford - 19' 59.8"
4.Jo Siffert - BRM P160 - 20' 07.2
5.Tim Shenken - Brabham BT33-Ford - 20' 10.0"
6.John Surtees - Surtees TS9-Ford - 20' 10.4"
7.François Cevert - Tyrrell-Ford - 20' 19.2"
8.Graham Hill Brabham BT34-Ford - 20' 26.0
9.Carlos Reutemann - Brabham BT33-Ford - 20' 27.8"
10 ?????????
11, Gardner, 20m 51.0s
12, Walker, 20m 52.4s
13, Spice, 21m 4.6s
14, Pilette, 21m 5.8s
15, Holland, 21m 6.6s
16, Peterson, 21m 10.2s
17 Ray Allan, 13 laps
18 Ian Ashley, 13 laps
19 David Prophet, 13 laps
20 Guy Edwards, 12 laps

but who was 10th :confused:

#23 Kpy

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 09:50

Originally posted by quintin cloud


but who was 10th :confused:


Allan Rollinson 20' 50.8"

#24 Mickey

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 09:38

I've noticed this in a thread in another forum:

24.10.1971 Jo was killed at Brands Hatch at the wheel of his BRM. The sadest day here in Switzerland for all racing fans.

This weekend here in the Jo's town in Switzerland (Fribourg) there will be an exposition with +/- 15 of his racing cars : Porsche 917 (of course), the Rob Walker Lotus 49, his last BRM...



#25 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 11:08

A sad day :cry:

#26 byrkus

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 11:39

I believe, that day marked the end of an era of BRM excellent machinery and success... Indeed, tragic year for both BRM and Porsche (remember, Pedro Rodriguez died just weeks before Jo...). I wish, I could see the BRM in action, but not on some old tapes.

Yes, sad... :cry:

#27 David M. Kane

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 12:23

I saw a photo of P160 on Gary Critcher's Yesterdays site. There is one still running in England. I suggest you go check that site
out.

I feel blessed that I got to see Seppi race several times at
Watkins Glen. He was a very, very smooth driver. He seemed very
pleasant, had a lovely wife and kept a low profile.

In my mind, the P160 is one of the prettiest grand prix car ever,
particularly in Yardley colors.

#28 Keir

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 17:33

Seppi always had one wheel in the dirt and the hearts of his fans in his hand.

GO JO

#29 cjpani

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 18:50

Originally posted by byrkus
I believe, that day marked the end of an era of BRM excellent machinery and success... Indeed, tragic year for both BRM and Porsche (remember, Pedro Rodriguez died just weeks before Jo...). I wish, I could see the BRM in action, but not on some old tapes.

Yes, sad... :cry:


Actually, Pedro died on July, 11th, 1971, so it´s more months than weeks. Nevertheless, Seppi´s death shook the motor racing world back then.

Pedro and the swiss were not the fondest of friends, but I´m sure Pedro would have cried his eyes out if he lived to see the moment.

:cry: :cry:

Viva Seppi!!!

cj

#30 Dave Ware

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 19:03

Jo Siffert was one of my favorite drivers. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the determination and resoursefulness he employed to get himself involved in motor racing. He was not born into a wealthy family - quite the opposite, and he worked very hard to achieve his dream.

Remember, for a while in the '70s, at each Grand Prix, there was a "Rouge et Blanc" prize, awarded to the driver who most exemplified Siffert's hard-charging style of driving.

Now a question. His name was Joseph, but where did "Seppi" come from?

Thanks for starting this thread...

Dave

#31 Simon Bundi

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 19:44

In german, we say "Sepp" for Joseph. "Seppi" comes from "Sepp".



As a Swiss, today I can only say:


SEPPI LIVES!!!!!!!!

#32 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 21:04

Dear old Seppi - one of the true racers... it's also 25 years to the day James Hunt won the 1976 World Championship!

#33 bobbo

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 23:55

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

One of the great unsung heroes of the "Good Old Days" and truly missed.

I remember reading of his win at the British G. P. in Rob Walker's Lotus 49. A great day for Independents.

Bobbo

#34 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 22:15

Peter, Roger and myself were doing our usual 'all-day-Saturday - all-day-Sunday' stint on the Connew when, that particular Sunday, we packed up early to rush around to someone's house to see the BBC recording of the race.

We settled down in front of the t.v, all expectant, only to be informed of the tragedy about which, due to having been working in the garage all day, we knew nothing.

A very sad and sombre moment for all race fans.

#35 Udo K.

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 22:26

Yes, I remember this day very well (as it happened to be the date of my birthday). I was shocked to hear the news from Brands Hatch, especially as I was lucky enough to see Jo Siffert many times at the Nürburgring, testing and racing for Porsche (see www.motorsportphotos.de - 1000 KM 68 and 69), or racing the Formula 2 BMW in the 1967 Eifelrennen (hope to find the time to post pics of him from that event soon). He was one of my heroes at that time.

#36 uwe_sautter

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:22

Hi guys,
can anybody give me more information about the Jo Siffert accident Brands Hatch 1971.
Where are the correct location about the crash?
Was it the same as the Johnny Herbert F3000 crash under the bridge?
Many thanks for help.
Uwe

#37 Mark Bennett

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:29

From an Interview at AtlasF1...(!)

http://www.atlasf1.c...nes-tytler.html

" The only fatal accident at Brands Hatch came in 1971 when Jo Siffert crashed his BRM P160 during the end-of-season Victory Race. Siffert went off the track and hit a bank at Hawthorn's Bend after a suspension failure. His BRM caught fire in front of BBC cameras during a rare live television broadcast. Siffert died from smoke inhalation"

#38 SEdward

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 13:08

The only fatal accident at Brands Hatch came in 1971 when Jo Siffert crashed his BRM P160 during the end-of-season Victory Race



This is simply untrue. The Memorial site mentions 11 fatalities at Brands Hatch.

Edward.

#39 Pedro 917

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 13:18

I've read an interview once with Jo's son who visited Brands Hatch to see the location where his father died. He said it was raining all over the track except for the place of the accident (indeed Hawthorn bend in the back of the circuit) where a sunbeam came peeping through the clouds. All of a sudden, he saw a fox staring him right in the eyes. When the fox disappeared, it started to rain again.

You can find a lot of information about the Siffert accident in Louis Stanley's book "Behind the scenes". Although some of you may find it a bit biased, it says a lot about the security standards at that time. The marshals who got to the burning wreck first, saw their fire extinguishers fail and when a decent one was found, it was all over for Jo...

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#40 Mark Bennett

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 13:36

The reference to "only fatality" was I think meaning that year (the quote fragment alters the meaning somewhat!)

#41 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 13:46

Originally posted by SEdward


This is simply untrue. The Memorial site mentions 11 fatalities at Brands Hatch.

Edward.


Edward: the quote is slightly out of context, in that the original refers only to fatalities in then-current F1 cars. In that respect, counting only one fatality at Brands as against two at Silverstone (Schell and Anderson) is correct (although I would count it as a rather dubious marketing ploy).

#42 SEdward

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 13:54

I was in fact an eye witness of this accident. It was a long time ago and it's all rather blurred, but it left an indelible mark on me.

Edward.

#43 Paul Taylor

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 14:48

There was a fatality at Brands on Sunday I think, of last week.

#44 BorderReiver

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 15:13

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
There was a fatality at Brands on Sunday I think, of last week.


I thought that was at Cadwell?

#45 Paul Taylor

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 15:17

Check the Speed's Ultimate Price thread. I just posted the info from a news item.

#46 Muzza

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 15:43

One of the aspects that moved me to start the Motorsport Memorial project is the fact that accounts about racing fatalities are often incomplete, incorrect or distorted. This happens because of a number of reasons - amongst them, the way the specialized and the non-specialized media approach this tough subject, the interests involved (from racing promoters, sanctioning bodies, sponsors, etc.), the reaction from the public in general, and, of course, the sheer, unavoidable nature of the fact someone has died (and the emotions that such an event unleashes). Not rare the most popular account of a fatal accident is, unfortunately, quite far from the real events - the death of Giulio Cabianca is an example and, in my opinion, the accident that killed Jo Siffert is another one.

The most published cause attributed to Siffert's accident is "rear suspension failure", but I believe that, instead, it was a gearbox failure that pitched the car to disaster. Surtees, who was following Siffert, told Emerson Fittipaldi that he saw "pieces of the gearbox flying from the car right before it suddenly changed direction, even though it was travelling in a straight line". Also, the BRM driven by Siffert had both rear wheels blocked before the first impact (as shown by the marks left on the tarmac and on the grass), what is compatible with a gearbox lock-up. Additionally, that the crash happened at a point where the drivers were changing gears, bringing them down in the approach to Hawthorn. Finally, Tim Schenken also reported that "Siffert's car seemed to have a problem with the 4th or 5th gear" - exactly those that the drivers used at the point of the track where the accident occurred.

In any case, following a mechanical failure at the descent of Pilgrim's Drop, the BRM veered sharply to the left and hit the embankment that surrounded the track at more than 220 km/h. The car was launched up and rolled several times after the initial impact. It only stopped two hundred meters further down, at the first part of Hawthorn, upside down and engulfed in flames (the BRM had then some 60 liters of fuel in its tanks). The fire was horrible, and a wall of fire blocked the track.

Another aspect which is rather controversial is the cause of Siffert's death. Officially he perished of asfixiation, as the oxygen was quickly consumed by the flames, but many drivers (Emerson Fittipaldi included) and witnesses believe that it was possible/likely/certain (depending on who you talk with) that the Swiss was burned to death. I suspect (I have no elements to prove it) that listing the cause as asfixiation was more palatable to the public opinion than yet another burning fatality in a race track - awfully common in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. About three years ago I talked to a gentleman (a Brit living in the United States) that witnessed the accident and the rescue to Siffert from close range, and he was "sure that the poor man was burned to death" (his words).

There were other facts surrounding the accident that are seldom commented nowadays. Jackie Stewart had complained before the race that "Brands Hatch is an unsafe circuit; there is not a single guard-rail along the whole track". Had guard-rails been installed at Pilgrim's Drop it is quite possible that Siffert's car would have crashed violently, sure, but not rolled - and the chances of a fire would be much minimized. But at the time there were only tall grassy banks arround the track.

Another "detail" that was lost in time is that BRM management made remarks that clearly hinted to a driver error as cause of the crash - including misplacing the event, "moving" the point of first impact from Pilgrim's Drop to Hawthorn, which is untrue.

I hope other Atlas F1 members will add more information about Siffert's fatal crash. I was two-year old when Siffert died, so all that I know is the result of investigation instead of first-hand knowledge, but there are members that were in Brands Hatch and they may know details that seldom go reported.

A final, ironic point: Siffert died on 24 October 1971, the same date the Mexican GP was schedule to happen, a race that was cancelled "in respect for the death of Pedro Rodriguez" (at least this was the official explanation from the Mexican organizers: actually it was dropped from the calendar because the organization of the 1970 Mexican GP was terrible). Being the relationship between Seppi and Pedro such a tumultuous one, with highs and lows, this is odd...

Regards,


Muzza

#47 FLB

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 16:17

Originally posted by Muzza
Another aspect which is rather controversial is the cause of Siffert's death. Officially he perished of asfixiation, as the oxygen was quickly consumed by the flames, but many drivers (Emerson Fittipaldi included) and witnesses believe that it was possible/likely/certain (depending on who you talk with) that the Swiss was burned to death. I suspect (I have no elements to prove it) that listing the cause as asfixiation was more palatable to the public opinion than yet another burning fatality in a race track - awfully common in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. About three years ago I talked to a gentleman (a Brit living in the United States) that witnessed the accident and the rescue to Siffert from close range, and he was "sure that the poor man was burned to death" (his words).


There is another case where this is exactly what happened. According to the coroner's report, Roger Williamson died from "inhaling hot gases", which made his alveolea (his lungs) explode about 30 seconds after the fire started.

#48 bigears

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 17:45

Originally posted by Mark Bennett
From an Interview at AtlasF1...(!)

http://www.atlasf1.c...nes-tytler.html

" The only fatal accident at Brands Hatch came in 1971 when Jo Siffert crashed his BRM P160 during the end-of-season Victory Race. Siffert went off the track and hit a bank at Hawthorn's Bend after a suspension failure. His BRM caught fire in front of BBC cameras during a rare live television broadcast. Siffert died from smoke inhalation"


The aftermath of the accident is only recorded. I don't recall anyone having footage of the actual impact on the earth bank.

#49 Twin Window

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 19:08

Originally posted by Mark Bennett
From an Interview at AtlasF1...(!)

http://www.atlasf1.c...nes-tytler.html

"His BRM caught fire in front of BBC cameras during a rare live television broadcast..."


Whilst the race was televised, it certainly wasn't live. I recall waiting excitedly for the programme (or slot) to begin, only to be greeted by a solomn Raymond Baxter. You just knew something was wrong... Baxter, with tears in his eyes, then said something along the lines of "Today's meeting at Brands Hatch should have been a day for celebration, but instead it has proved to be a day of tragedy..."

You know, I'm not even sure if the Beeb showed any of the race at all. Oddly, I seem to recall seeing the Escort Mexico race. That could be me, as I was quite blown away by the news that the second of my heros had gone just a couple of months after the other; his team mate Rodriguez.

Incidentally, I have it on good authority that the chassis still exists. As I think that's meant to be a well-guarded secret, I'd better not say any more...

BTW the fatality at Brands last Sunday was in the British Superstock race, which was started in heavy rain. As the field sped down (ironically) Pilgrim's drop, two riders touched and went down with several more ploughing into the wreckage. I gather that all one could see were bike components flying out of a mass of spray. The race was stopped instantly and I understand the entire medical staff in attendance at the track - some 28 of them - were needed at the scene, with at least two riders having emergancy operations performed on them at the trackside.

The rider who sadly succumbed on Sunday night was Darren Mitchell from Huddersfield, while Jamie Morely (sadly, seemingly in the worst shape) and Mark Heckles are in a serious condition plus Dean Johnson and Paul Mooijman are also in hospital.

All in all, it sounds like a truly horrific affair.

#50 Pedro 917

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 21:37

A couple of years ago, I taped some images of 1971 from a Sports retrospective on Belgian TV. They showed images of the Spa 1000 kms race and both crashes of Rodriguez and Siffert. The impact of Pedro's crash was out of the camera's angle but the car slides into the image, already on fire. The images of Siffert's crash start with black smoke in the distance and a lot of cars lined up on Pilgrim's drop, some drivers out of their cars. Also images of the burning car. IIRC, Paris Match had some horrible pictures of Seppi's crash. In Louis Stanley's "Behind the scenes", there's a picture of the remains of Seppi's BRM in a Brands Hatch garage.