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Knockhill fatalities, 1982


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#1 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 14:38

A British contributor sent a message to the Motorsport Memorial staff, about a double fatality which happened at Knockhill in 1982, resulting in the deaths of two riders.

Their names were Burkhardt and Taylor.

Nothing more is known about this accident, whether it was a sidecar or a solo race or any other racing event.

Any news?


Edited by Nanni Dietrich, 03 July 2014 - 15:45.


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#2 picblanc

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 18:40

Douglas Taylor Stewart Burkhardt killed at meeting held in reverse direction to normal, no details on whether solos or sidecars.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 18:54

There's a mention of it on the Pistonheads board: scroll to the last post on this page. Only mentions one fatality though:

 

http://www.pistonhea...Backwards&mid=0



#4 Paul Collins

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 19:09

I remember this happening, but thankfully I wasn't there, from what a friend told me at the time it was a reverse direction meeting, Dougie Taylor was the local fast guy around that time on a TZ750, he came over the brow of the hill and hit the other guy who I think was having machine problems.



#5 SMonty

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:34

Yes I can remember this incident as well. At that time the circuit did run in the reverse (anti clockwise) direction. Recall is a little cloudy but it happened either on one of the "open" practice days, or during a practice session at a race meeting. Just to add to the details provided by Paul, Dougie Taylor came over the brow of the hill on the start/finish straight and collided with Burkhardt who was exiting from pit lane.

 

It was as a direct result of this the circuit was changed to run in the current direction.



#6 Paul Collins

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 14:15

I think from memory it happened during practice at a race meeting, I had ridden there at the previous meeting (at which Dougie Taylor had won the main races) and I remember Burkhardt, he was on a TZ350 which I understand was struggling to clear its throat as it left pit lane and was therefore travelling quite slowly when Taylor came over the brow of the hill to start a flying lap pretty much airborne on his TZ750, it doesn't bear thinking about.



#7 greg1953

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 16:01

Yes I can remember this incident as well. At that time the circuit did run in the reverse (anti clockwise) direction. Recall is a little cloudy but it happened either on one of the "open" practice days, or during a practice session at a race meeting. Just to add to the details provided by Paul, Dougie Taylor came over the brow of the hill on the start/finish straight and collided with Burkhardt who was exiting from pit lane.

 

It was as a direct result of this the circuit was changed to run in the current direction.

I don't wish to be pedantic but Knockhill only ran anti - clockwise ( reverse to current direction ) on odd occasions, the normal direction was as is now. I attended several meetings in the 70s and TZ 750s used to wheelie big style over the start - finish.

  And rain was a certainty.

Greg



#8 SMonty

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 18:40

Thanks Greg,

 

As they say you learn something every day! I never realised that Knockhill ran both directions pre that fateful day. Being from Northern Ireland, I wasn't exactly a regular, but made the trip over a few times and always enjoyed it. It's the cold wind I remember more than rain.

 

Could start a new thread on circuits which have run in both directions?



#9 chdphd

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:24

Here's one which already exists: http://forums.autosp...-racing-tracks/



#10 RonnieWeir

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 15:51

i was there that day and it was during practice when Stewart Burkhardt went out onto the track just as Taylor crested the start finish at top speed. Burkhardt was killed outright while Duggie was revived with oxygen but was left brain damaged. He subsequently died of pneumonia a few months later in hospital. the track was designed to run clockwise but there was one event run anticockwise each year and it also claimed a life last year.



#11 Marticelli

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 00:11

I started out vintage racing on Drew Taylor's vintage Nortons in 1973, when Douglas Taylor was too young to race, but riding around the family smallholding, Douglas was unbeatable even at his young age. I was diagnosed diabetic and had to give up racing as the SACU introduced medicals for the 1974 season.  Douglas turned 16 in 1975 so took over riding his dad's machines, and never looked back until that fateful day.  

 

The paddock exit at Knockhill was before the crest of the main straight which had quite a rise and fall.  When the circuit was run wrong way round, the paddock exit was after a blind summit, so running the circuit wrong way round proved to be a very bad decision.  Drew passed away last year and I felt privileged to have known him as he was a remarkable man, who never really got over the death of his son.

 

Marticelli



#12 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 14:43

From the Aberdeen Press and Journal, issue of Monday, 12 July 1982, the accident occurred on Sunday, 11 July 1982 during the final practice session for the day's racing at the track.

The riders involved was John Burkhart (NOT Stewart Burkhardt) of Edinburgh, who was dead on arrival at Dunfermline Hospital, and Douglas Taylor who sustained severe head injuries and was transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. His exact date of death is still uncertain.

All the other competitors decided to carry on with the race programme and all the riders donated their prize money to the families involved.