Jump to content


Photo

Roger Williamson 1949~1973 (merged)


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 ShadowDN1

ShadowDN1
  • New Member

  • 16 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:55

Please take a minute today to remember Roger Williamson , Who so cruelly lost his life 40 years ago today a victim of one the darkest days in motorsport, A true Racer RIP

Advertisement

#2 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 5,525 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:44

Purley's attempts to rescue his friend were shown again on the BBC recently and it's still quite shocking to see his obvious anguish as he unable to right the car.

At least something good came out of it as Motor Sport stopped attacking Stewart for his safety campaign and everyone started to take the issue seriously.

#3 MMS

MMS
  • New Member

  • 2 posts
  • Joined: July 13

Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:02

Purley's attempts to rescue his friend were shown again on the BBC recently and it's still quite shocking to see his obvious anguish as he unable to right the car.

At least something good came out of it as Motor Sport stopped attacking Stewart for his safety campaign and everyone started to take the issue seriously.


A recent article in Motor Sport about Lorenzo Bandini and his horrific accident at Monaco in 1967 implied that after that televised scene "like something from Hades" measures were taken to ensure that such horror did not happen again. Between Bandini (1967) and Williamson (1973) surely there was Schlesser (1968), Hawkins (1969), Courage (1970), Rodriguez (1971), Siffert (1971), Savage (1973) as the most high-profile drivers to die immediately or as a direct consequence of a fiery accident. As ever in this world, surely it was the 'commercial imperative', and the highly negative PR consequences of a televised inferno through which a sponsor's name was clearly visible, that provided the stimulus for greater safety measures? Fortunately, there was the sterling work that Stewart had done to build upon.

But yes, remember Roger today and offer up a silent thank you that such is not likely to happen again.

Michael

#4 byrkus

byrkus
  • Member

  • 1,011 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:35

This morning, I put THIS photo on my Facebook profile for the remembrance of one of the most unfortunate accident in GP history; and still one of the most chilling images I've ever witness. And, who would've guessed, several FB friends -even those aged 20 or below- know, what's it all about.

There are same dates and things, which I remember from year to year. July 29th is no exception. It was just terrible.

Edit: it seems that the above url leads nowhere. Hope this does the trick: http://www.asag.sk/bio/8.jpg

Edited by byrkus, 29 July 2013 - 12:36.


#5 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,120 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 29 July 2013 - 16:48

Nice tribute, DN1.

RIP Roger, not fair. :cry:

#6 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,402 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 29 July 2013 - 17:52

I met him once a real gentleman and a future F1 Champion IMO. RIP Roger.

#7 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,704 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 29 July 2013 - 18:03

Roger will never be forgotten. RIP.

#8 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,261 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 29 July 2013 - 21:02

FORTY years! I remember that terrible day so vividly...

DCN

#9 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,997 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 29 July 2013 - 21:07

Roger will never be forgotten. RIP.



Indeed...

Posted Image

Posted Image

#10 jj2728

jj2728
  • Member

  • 2,966 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 29 July 2013 - 22:01

RIP Roger.
I too remember that day all too clearly.

#11 ShadowDN1

ShadowDN1
  • New Member

  • 16 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:22

Lovely Photographs David , the one with Roger and Pete Briggs (March Team Manager) reminds me about 5 years ago at a Silverstone F3 meeting in conversation with him I mentioned the said photo had been posted on the TNF site, He had said he had seen it on here and that he was keen to get a copy, He went on to tell me he quit the sport that very day at Zandvoort for 2 years after having to deal with aftermath of the tragedy then on reflecting on Roger he suddenly paused then waved his hand and said to me sorry the memory of that day still haunts me....I must say it still does with me

#12 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 15,190 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:54

Purley's attempts to rescue his friend were shown again on the BBC recently and it's still quite shocking to see his obvious anguish as he unable to right the car.


I wrote to Purley shortly after the German GP and arranged to meet him at Oulton Park Gold Cup. He was still very much saddened by the Zandvoort incident and he said that he very nearly gave up racing. David was a very tough guy but this tragic incident really did upset him for some time.

#13 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,997 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:41

Lovely Photographs David , the one with Roger and Pete Briggs (March Team Manager) reminds me about 5 years ago at a Silverstone F3 meeting in conversation with him I mentioned the said photo had been posted on the TNF site, He had said he had seen it on here and that he was keen to get a copy, He went on to tell me he quit the sport that very day at Zandvoort for 2 years after having to deal with aftermath of the tragedy then on reflecting on Roger he suddenly paused then waved his hand and said to me sorry the memory of that day still haunts me....I must say it still does with me


Yes I was in contact with Pete after I originally posted the photo on TNF. For years I had no idea who I had photographed with Roger.

#14 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 24,311 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:00

Pete posted here for a while (as briggsy) in 2007/08 but doesn't appear to have checked in since then.

#15 symmy47

symmy47
  • New Member

  • 1 posts
  • Joined: July 13

Posted 30 July 2013 - 17:11

Good evening

As it was the 40th anniversary of Roger Williamson's death at Zandvoort yesterday, has anyone seen that new documentary The Lost Generation based on David Treymayne's book. Had he lived Roger would have driven a Wheatcroft Mclaren for the 1974 season and would have given Emerson Fittapaldi a run for his money. To see the film footage of his death though always make me sad, if only David Purley had had the strength of the incredible hulk that day.

#16 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 3,110 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 30 July 2013 - 20:07

Or if only the cowardly marshals had helped Purls out a little. Or if only the other drivers, including the famous 'Safety Campaigners' had stopped to see what they could do. This was at time and remains to this day the biggest Racing tragedy/shameful incident of my time.

40 years on it still Winds me up properly.

#17 BarryJohnson

BarryJohnson
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 30 July 2013 - 20:54

It is the same for me I am afraid. I knew him to talk to and used to see him about in Leicester.

An absolutely super lad who had a terrific career in front of him and I was pleased he escaped from the
Silverstone carnage pretty much unscathed. Little did I know fate had something even more horrific in store
for him.

I have the Lost Generation book but still cannot bring myself to read the section relating to Roger's accident
and somehow I don't think I ever will be able to. The way the incident was handled was utterly shameful.

#18 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,917 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 30 July 2013 - 21:21

I have the Lost Generation book but still cannot bring myself to read the section relating to Roger's accident
and somehow I don't think I ever will be able to. The way the incident was handled was utterly shameful.



I have had the book for a good few years...started reading it and put it down never to pick it up again. Such a sorry and sad affair the whole book.

#19 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,626 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 30 July 2013 - 22:13

It's a shame: The Lost Generation is well written, but when you start to read it you know the sad endings to the stories. When I was given it I read it right through, but have not wanted to re-read it.

Advertisement

#20 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,917 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:42

Yes Duncan, such a pity we cannot change the ending. Tony was a very local lad to us and they belonged to the local motor club too.

#21 Paul Hurdsfield

Paul Hurdsfield
  • Member

  • 9,238 posts
  • Joined: August 08

Posted 31 July 2013 - 13:16

This was at time and remains to this day the biggest Racing tragedy/shameful incident of my time.

40 years on it still Winds me up properly.


Me too Dan.
Why do they have to keep digging up that clip of Rogers final moments and Purley's futile heroic efforts?
It ties my stomach in knots and I have to look away :cry:
How Purley ever got over that I'll never know.

#22 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,302 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 31 July 2013 - 13:50

Or if only the cowardly marshals had helped Purls out a little. Or if only the other drivers, including the famous 'Safety Campaigners' had stopped to see what they could do. This was at time and remains to this day the biggest Racing tragedy/shameful incident of my time.

40 years on it still Winds me up properly.


Bit harsh on the marshals Dan………..I would suggest they were totally unprepared to deal with such an incident, not cowards

I know it was a different era and all that; but what appals me when I see the film is how avoidable the tragedy was

With regards to the drivers stopping; was it the not the fallout from this incident that caused virtually every driver to stop at the Cevert crash at Watkins Glen?

PAR

#23 sprite

sprite
  • New Member

  • 26 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 31 July 2013 - 21:15

Bit harsh on the marshals Dan………..I would suggest they were totally unprepared to deal with such an incident, not cowards

I know it was a different era and all that; but what appals me when I see the film is how avoidable the tragedy was

With regards to the drivers stopping; was it the not the fallout from this incident that caused virtually every driver to stop at the Cevert crash at Watkins Glen?

PAR


I remember reading that some of the drivers said when they saw David Purley beside the upturned March they assumed it was his car and he was safely out of it.

#24 Nemo1965

Nemo1965
  • Member

  • 7,406 posts
  • Joined: October 12

Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:05

I remember reading that some of the drivers said when they saw David Purley beside the upturned March they assumed it was his car and he was safely out of it.


That what is what Niki Lauda said. In one of his autobiographies he tells that he was wondering when he was passing the place: 'Why are you so upset about your car burning?'

Then about the marshalls: they did not have fire proof clothing. (I struggle to think if there was any track on which the marshalls had those). Recently, one of the marshalls was interviewed. He told he got burns on his arms by standing ten feet away from the car, such was depth and reach of the flames. The fire truck was not far away but it could not drive against the traffic (nor can it today), so it had to drive the full lap.

It was an accident that could have happened anywhere on the world, becaus on most of the tracks the safety measures where the same, meaning: not sufficient.


Edited by Nemo1965, 31 July 2013 - 22:09.


#25 Jeroen Brink

Jeroen Brink
  • Member

  • 171 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 03 August 2013 - 21:54

On August 30th a memorial will be unveiled in Zandvoort to commemorate Roger Williamson and Piers Courage. Facilitated by Frank Williams and local journalist Allard Kalff.

#26 TecnoRacing

TecnoRacing
  • Member

  • 1,720 posts
  • Joined: September 01

Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:43

Bit harsh on the marshals Dan………..I would suggest they were totally unprepared to deal with such an incident, not cowards


I'd be inclined towards more sympathy for the marshals had there been any sort of urgency (even of the directionless, ineffective 'chicken without head' kind) by some of them - way too many people seemingly just casually milling around, moving in slow motion...

#27 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 24,311 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 04 February 2023 - 09:32

There’s a new documentary on Roger on Youtube:

https://youtu.be/KaUBbS3sOVY

It’s in Italian, which my very limited Italian can’t cope with, but it’s full of fascinating photos including many of Roger as a child. Well worth a watch.

The person responsible for the film, Antonio di Giacomo, was obviously in contact with Roger’s family while making the film, and has posted on Facebook (also in the documentary) that Roger was born on 2nd February 1949. This contradicts most sources, including David Tremayne’s book The Lost Generation and our own ReWind’s birthday listings, which give the year as 1948.

I’m hoping someone who can access UK birth records can confirm Roger’s birth year, one way or the other.

#28 jbbugatti

jbbugatti
  • New Member

  • 14 posts
  • Joined: September 22

Posted 04 February 2023 - 09:50

Per Richard Jenkins’ WATN site Roger Williamson was born on 4th February 1949 at Ashby de la Zouch.

I have a copy of his birth certificate.



#29 Collombin

Collombin
  • Member

  • 7,424 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 04 February 2023 - 09:56

I have his medical certificate and blood group card. Both say 4th Feb 1949. Wow, had never picked up on that before!

#30 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 3,227 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 04 February 2023 - 10:32

... most sources, including David Tremayne’s book The Lost Generation and our own ReWind’s birthday listings, ... give the year as 1948.

Pity the book author who cannot easily correct the error - like I did just a moment ago.



#31 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,430 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 04 February 2023 - 17:56

Or if only the cowardly marshals had helped Purls out a little. Or if only the other drivers, including the famous 'Safety Campaigners' had stopped to see what they could do. This was at time and remains to this day the biggest Racing tragedy/shameful incident of my time.

40 years on it still Winds me up properly.

  It was an appalling  tragedy agreed -  two friends were there that awful day , both RAF lads and trained in dealing with emergencies . They tried to help and were prevented from getting near by zealous officials - possibly the police. But the biggest disgrace wasn't even the amateurish and cowardly marshals but the twenty or so  men wearing helmets , Nomex balaclavas and overalls wo either were in denial or decided to do nothing , except for the one driver who did do something -Purley .  How many times have we heard of drivers  astonishing power of observation - such as noticing the crowd reacting to an unseen drama? But they choose to ignore what was unfolding in front of them - a car on fire and  one of their number trying in desperation to help. I have never believed for a second that only one of them realised Williamson' ghastly plight. And they ignored it . It was utterly shameful . 


Edited by john aston, 04 February 2023 - 17:58.


#32 Parkesi

Parkesi
  • Member

  • 204 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 04 February 2023 - 22:01

I was there as well, 19 years old. Saw it all: the crash into the guardrail to the final upside-down position at the next corner.

I still remember the absolute silence during the accident. No noise of the other racing cars, no loudspeaker, no other spectators.

In such circumstances your mind is playing tricks. I was so occupied watching something completely unexpected and terrifying 

that all other senses went into "stand by" - a strange experience.

 

On the outside of the track, on top of the dunes, there were several rows of fences, some with barbed wire on top.

In between the fences there were guards with dogs to prevent people from moving closer during the race.

Therefore there was no chance for the spectators to help.

 

Regarding the other drivers - until today I am in no position to judge if they understood what happened on the trackside.

Even Mike Hailwood (of Regazzoni/Kyalami 1973 fame) passed by and raced on until his retirement (lap 55).

Stewart/Cevert slowed down and put up their arms each and every lap after the accident.

Ronnie Petersen (1th pos.) drove by faster and faster with each lap and came closer and closer to the wreck in order to stay ahead.

The dead driver was still in the car, covered by a tarpaulin and only retrieved after the race.

This was something Petersen could not know but from the side of the track his behaviour did not look good at all.

 

The old fire bridage with/without Dutch marshals came only after a couple of minutes, much too late of course.

After the race the place was cleared up and I remember Tom Wheatcroft, carrying the helmet of Roger and walking back to the spot

where the crash had started - maybe to understand what happened, maybe to be on his own in this dreadful scenario.

 

For me the biggest scandal was the fact that the Dutch organizer refused the offer of the ONS Sicherheitsstaffel/Herbert Linge to support the Dutch GP.

One of the cars with special fire-fighting equipment and a trained crew was supposed to be positioned in exactly this very corner.

For them it would have been possible to do the right things in order to stop the fire and to free the driver.

Three years after the Courage accident (almost at the same spot) the organizer did nothing to prevent a repeat - pure ignorance.

 

Purley`s body language illustrated the sheer drama: from absolute determination to help to helpless resignation - so sad to remember, even 50 years later.   



#33 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 59,036 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 04 February 2023 - 22:29

How many times have we heard of drivers  astonishing power of observation - such as noticing the crowd reacting to an unseen drama? But they choose to ignore what was unfolding in front of them - a car on fire and  one of their number trying in desperation to help. I have never believed for a second that only one of them realised Williamson' ghastly plight. And they ignored it . It was utterly shameful . 

Purley was following Williamson so saw what happened.  One of the drivers afterwards (Stewart?) said that he saw a driver by the car and assumed it was the driver OF the car. 

 

There were some behind Williamson and Purls who could have stopped but had they properly understood what was happening?  The brain does not necessarily process what should not be there.  You know that video where you have to count the basketballs?  It's possible that drivers just sort of noted some sort of obstacle but did not process it because they had their minds on so many other things.  It's similar to that idiot who serially invaded tracks - some drivers barely noticed him despite him being right there in front of them for several seconds.



#34 opplock

opplock
  • Member

  • 884 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 04 February 2023 - 23:04

Denny Hulme's recollection:

 

"I certainly never knew that anyone was still in the burning car until after I had retired at the pits. When I came past the first time, I saw the car on fire and David Purley brushing flames off himself and my initial reaction was that he had crashed and managed to get out of the car OK...." 

 

From Memories of the Bear, Eoin Young



#35 SamoanAttorney

SamoanAttorney
  • Member

  • 353 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 05 February 2023 - 07:59

  It was an appalling  tragedy agreed -  two friends were there that awful day , both RAF lads and trained in dealing with emergencies . They tried to help and were prevented from getting near by zealous officials - possibly the police. But the biggest disgrace wasn't even the amateurish and cowardly marshals but the twenty or so  men wearing helmets , Nomex balaclavas and overalls wo either were in denial or decided to do nothing , except for the one driver who did do something -Purley .  How many times have we heard of drivers  astonishing power of observation - such as noticing the crowd reacting to an unseen drama? But they choose to ignore what was unfolding in front of them - a car on fire and  one of their number trying in desperation to help. I have never believed for a second that only one of them realised Williamson' ghastly plight. And they ignored it . It was utterly shameful . 

In Alan Henry's final book, Last Train from Yokkaichi, is this passage.

 

"A couple of years later, Mike Hailwood, that fine man who became a living legend on two wheels as well as four, told me that he lived every day in shame because he had failed to stop his Surtees TS14 and go to the help of David Purley, who was the only man who risked his life in an effort to save the hapless Williamson."

 

Followed a few pages later by this.....

 

"That year (1973) also saw him deservedly being awarded the George Medal for bravery when he rescued Clay Regazzoni from his blazing BRM at Kyalami, an act of heroism which Mike modestly brushed aside."

 

Clearly the drivers took on board the lessons of that awful day at Zandvoort, hence Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger and Harald Ertl saving Niki Lauda at the Nürburgring a couple of years later.

 

It was a different time and I would not be too hard on the drivers who were still risking their lives every time they left the safety of the pit lane.



#36 chr1s

chr1s
  • Member

  • 415 posts
  • Joined: December 12

Posted 05 February 2023 - 20:26

   But the biggest disgrace wasn't even the amateurish and cowardly marshals but the twenty or so  men wearing helmets , Nomex balaclavas and overalls wo either were in denial or decided to do nothing , except for the one driver who did do something -Purley .  How many times have we heard of drivers  astonishing power of observation - such as noticing the crowd reacting to an unseen drama? But they choose to ignore what was unfolding in front of them - a car on fire and  one of their number trying in desperation to help. I have never believed for a second that only one of them realised Williamson' ghastly plight. And they ignored it . It was utterly shameful . 

Exactly!  A not dissimilar view to one David himself once expressed to my late father, although he was enough of a gentlemen to give the other drivers the benefit of the doubt.  For what it's worth, my own personal view has always been that the only positive  you can take from the whole sorry episode, is that David Purley's actions that day probably contributed far more to actually changing the attitude towards safety in the sport than a certain other driver claims to have done, yet on this occasion chose to drive by, lap after lap, albeit with his arm in the air....



#37 Sterzo

Sterzo
  • Member

  • 3,887 posts
  • Joined: September 11

Posted 05 February 2023 - 21:53

It was a different time and I would not be too hard on the drivers who were still risking their lives every time they left the safety of the pit lane.

Quite so. Also, we do not know what each driver saw / thought / understood, other than one or two who believed Purley was the driver from the burning car.

 

And why would you assume when driving past the first time that the marshals were inadequately equipped and were not intervening? Driving past lap after lap is neither here nor there. If you don't stop immediately then it's too late anyway.

 

It's too easy to judge others.



#38 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,430 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 06 February 2023 - 07:32

Sorry , but on this occasion I do choose to judge others, but  I don't do so lightly . I have never believed for a second that drivers didn't know what was happening , as they drove past lap after lap . It was a different time , of course , and we were all complicit , to some extent , in a culture which accepted death and injury as a norm - look at the nonsense DSJ spouted about JYS' safety campaign .But Zandvoort was an utterly shameful day and not only the circuit's organisation  was to blame .  



#39 Henri Greuter

Henri Greuter
  • Member

  • 12,294 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 07 February 2023 - 16:12

Denny Hulme's recollection:

 

"I certainly never knew that anyone was still in the burning car until after I had retired at the pits. When I came past the first time, I saw the car on fire and David Purley brushing flames off himself and my initial reaction was that he had crashed and managed to get out of the car OK...." 

 

From Memories of the Bear, Eoin Young

There is also footage existing of Gijs van Lennep arriving in the pitlane after the race, getting out of the car and while talking about what he had seen makes it entirely clear that he never had any idea that a driver was still in the wreck but assumed that the driver trying to tilt over the car was the actual driver.

In shock he utters a forbidden word.

This was shown on Dutch TV

 

In typical Dutch style, Gijs was then condemned for having said that forbidden word by, what I think to be some very strict religious people of what we in the Netherlands call the "Black Stockings" scene.

Gijs reacted on that in his column within a Dutch car magazine with explaining that it had not be shown on TV what he had said afterwards, in much more cultivated words when he fully understood what had really happened and that dropping  a forbidden word was an expression and approval of the shock blow of the moment when he found out about it at last.



Advertisement

#40 doc knutsen

doc knutsen
  • Member

  • 728 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 07 February 2023 - 18:14

Sorry , but on this occasion I do choose to judge others, but  I don't do so lightly . I have never believed for a second that drivers didn't know what was happening , as they drove past lap after lap . It was a different time , of course , and we were all complicit , to some extent , in a culture which accepted death and injury as a norm - look at the nonsense DSJ spouted about JYS' safety campaign .But Zandvoort was an utterly shameful day and not only the circuit's organisation  was to blame .  

Many years ago, when Brands Hatch held the British Grand Prix, I spent several hours in the company of the Chief Medical Officer at that circuit. I was there to study circuit safety arrangements in my position as Medical Officer to the Bilsportforbundet, the FIA's representative in Norway.

When discussing recents accidents, my colleague underlined how the very worst thing to deal with for him and the circuit marshals, was any highly strung adrenaline-fuelled racing driver who  stopped to "help", taking it upon himself to direct the emergency operations at an accident site, causing confusion and trouble for the marshals who were trained to do that job. In fact,he went so far as to suggest that in the case of an accident, any racing driver who was in that race, should be banned from entering the accident scene

.

Now, we all realise that by 1985 or 1986, the standard of marshalling and emergency services  at racing circuits in the UK was very much better than at Zandvoort thirteen years previously (one of the marshals at the scene of the Williamson accident was wearing a plastic mac!), but the concept of fellow drivers rescuing a colleague in an accident may not be as black or white as many seem to imagine.


Edited by doc knutsen, 07 February 2023 - 18:15.


#41 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,430 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 08 February 2023 - 07:26

Of course it would be inappropriate now  and I was not suggesting drivers should always** stop and help in the modern era . But Zandvoort was about very special  circumstances - a criminally incompetent marshalling team and  a driver trapped in a burning car while the rest of the field either ignored it or developed an unusual degree of myopia - maybe it was the sea air ?    

 

** Sometimes they should . In 2018 I was at an historic FF1600 race at Cadwell Park where a driver was rescued from his inverted car ,which was also on fire and was rescued by another driver and spectators 



#42 2F-001

2F-001
  • Member

  • 4,173 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 08 February 2023 - 08:31

I've never been too sure what to think about the Williamson episode, other than utter sadness; he was, at the time, our 'Local Hero' in Leicester.
Given that the marshals were clearly ill-prepared and ill-equipped, we possibly couldn't expect more of them on a personal level, with the system around and above them more to blame.

 

But the drivers... if they thought it was Purley attending his own car, what did they think he was doing trying to overturn it in that state of conflagration? Even the most impoverished team or driver wouldn't be risking life and limb to save an unoccupied car from that, would they? Still, I wasn't there, I wasn't driving past the scene; as I say, I can't imagine what I'd be thinking; but possibly something other my prospects in the race.

 

I guess the prevailing culture was more conducive to a 'race on' attitude. But would the teams and drivers, particularly in mind of what happened there in 1970, have been aware of the situation re. race organisation and marshalling beforehand?

 

 

That race at Cadwell, John? Was it really that long ago - gosh!  I'd been thinking it was one of those meetings during the first easing of Covid-lockdown restrictions, were marshals seemed to be thinner on the ground and attempting to socially-distance. Mind you, in the wake of the Pandemonium, everything seems to have happened two years longer ago than I imagine! That was indeed a most unusual rescue. I think, though, there is difference between a driver helping out and a driver attempting to supervise or browbeat the marshals.

 

(Edited for clarification.)


Edited by 2F-001, 08 February 2023 - 09:13.


#43 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 3,110 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 08 February 2023 - 09:04

I've not changed my mind. The drivers SHOULD have stopped. OTOH some of them drove round 2 or 3 laps seeing what Purley was trying to do. Shameful. 



#44 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,443 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 08 February 2023 - 10:33

I read Niki Lauda's report of the accident in "To Hell and back" the other day. Lauda's version is that unlike David Purley who saw the accident occur, he didn't see the crashed car for half a lap and that he was unaware that Roger Williamson was trapped in the wreckage. I think that drivers suffered from cognitive dissonance during and after the race. On a rational basis, drivers should have realised that a driver who had escaped from a crashed burning car would not be trying to upright it, but the event was not part of their race so they didn't think it through or blocked out what happened. 

 

I think I was lucky to have never seen film of the accident when I was growing up because it might have destroyed my enthusiasm for the sport. When it is a bit less muddy, I'll walk over the meadows to Braunstone where Roger and his dad raced a kart around a field.



#45 nmansellfan

nmansellfan
  • Member

  • 398 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 08 February 2023 - 14:24

A dozen or so years ago when I was racing 2-stroke 100cc karts, we turned up for a meeting and were shown some on-board video in the drivers briefing of the previous round at Clay Pigeon, from the 'lightweight' class; the series being split into separate meetings for jockey sized drivers and people like me who aspire to get back to a 32-inch waist one day!  The video showed a multiple kart accident on the back straight, where one driver was ejected onto the track with his kart barrel rolling further down.  There were a few expletives of shock uttered from the drivers, including myself.  But another heavyweight class driver next to me, with a dead straight face, said to no-one in particular 'why was everyone stopping?  There was a kart width between the guy lying on the track and the grass, I wouldn't have even lifted'.  I had been racing against him on track only for the previous season up to that point, but the way he drove on track left me in no doubt he was being serious.

 

My point is, not everyone thinks the same.  It doesn't answer whether the drivers should have stopped, but I guess out of those on track that day at Zandvoort, some genuinely didn't think or know that there was a driver still trapped in the car.  Some knew or thought it, but didn't think they should stop - either they thought it wasn't their job or they wouldn't be able to help.  Some knew what was happening and were never going to stop unless the race was red flagged.  And one saw it (the only one racing that saw it happen?) and knew he had to stop to help, with every last ounce of his strength and courage.



#46 Nick Planas

Nick Planas
  • Member

  • 324 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 08 February 2023 - 15:25

Of course it would be inappropriate now  and I was not suggesting drivers should always** stop and help in the modern era . But Zandvoort was about very special  circumstances - a criminally incompetent marshalling team and  a driver trapped in a burning car while the rest of the field either ignored it or developed an unusual degree of myopia - maybe it was the sea air ?    

 

** Sometimes they should . In 2018 I was at an historic FF1600 race at Cadwell Park where a driver was rescued from his inverted car ,which was also on fire and was rescued by another driver and spectators 

What impressed me about George Russell at last year's BGP is he immediately ran to Zhou's inverted Alfa to check if he was OK. Impressive simply because you don't often see that nowadays.

 

Shame that as a direct result of that he couldn't restart his car and was hence unable to take the restart. 



#47 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,626 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 08 February 2023 - 16:47

I still don't know what to make of this. 

At the Goodwood Revival a Lotus went off in front of me and hit the tyre wall hard.  The Marshalls were quickly on the scene and were cutting the driver free.  They even erected a screen.  This operation  lasted for some time.   But the commentator said the driver was OK and being taken to hospital for a check up. 

Period authenticity - or what?


Edited by D-Type, 08 February 2023 - 16:49.


#48 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,430 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 08 February 2023 - 18:03

What impressed me about George Russell at last year's BGP is he immediately ran to Zhou's inverted Alfa to check if he was OK. Impressive simply because you don't often see that nowadays.

 

Shame that as a direct result of that he couldn't restart his car and was hence unable to take the restart. 

 Me too. It nearly made up for the time he took Bottas and himself off at huge speed at Imola. . What a gent I thought , as he ran over to Bottas'  car . I changed my  mind when he smacked him on the helmet as , obviously, the innocent Finn was to blame . Proof that you can take the man out of Wisbech but ....     



#49 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,261 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 08 February 2023 - 20:11

Aaaaahhhh...yes, of course, that never occurred to me - but that might explain it...

 

DCN