Jump to content


Photo

Practical Jokes, Leg-Pulls and Stitch-Ups


  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 brucemoxon

brucemoxon
  • Member

  • 889 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 01 May 2022 - 09:22

One of the first times the Australian Touring Car Championship visited Western Australia was 1978, from memory.
Bob Morris, like some of the others from The East had never been there before. Allan Grice had, however. So Morris asked Grice for some tips about the track.
Grice went one better, taking Morris for a few laps in a road car, pointing out this and that along the way.
The next day, the first day of the actual race meeting, Bob Morris was somewhat shocked to learn that the track actually went the other way.
 
 
BRM

 



Advertisement

#2 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,543 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 01 May 2022 - 14:35

One of my favourites is the start of the Nurburgring 1000km in 1958.  Stirling Moss made a specialisation of the Le Mans start, not so much to gain track position as to be ahead of any first lap carnage.  Mike Hawthorn knew this and with excellent timing jumped the gun.  Moss followed him across the track shouting "You b***** Hawthorn!".  Apparently Mike gained no advantage as he was laughing so much that he muffed the start.  I forget my source for this: It is probably Challenge me the Race or DSJ in Motor Sport.



#3 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 75,293 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 01 May 2022 - 14:56

I'm pretty sure it was in one of Stirling's books...

 

Maybe All But My Life?



#4 brucemoxon

brucemoxon
  • Member

  • 889 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 01 May 2022 - 21:17

I'm pretty sure it was in one of Stirling's books...

 

Maybe All But My Life?

I think I might have read it there too, Ray. It's only Moss book I've read, so narrows down my chances.

 

BRM



#5 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 23,817 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 02 May 2022 - 09:29

Re the OP, my take is that maybe Bob Morris wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer if he didn't notice he was being taken round in the wrong direction.



#6 DogEarred

DogEarred
  • Member

  • 17,060 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 02 May 2022 - 15:21

Back in 1979, a mate & myself took our FF1600s from the UK to a couple of European races during the season.

 

My mate was a total mechanical dunce & needed a diagram of how to hold a spanner.

 

The first race was at Zandvoort. On the ferry over, I casually said to him, "Did you get your extra tubes welded into you chassis?"

 

"What do you mean?" he said.

 

I replied, "Zandvoort is so bumpy that most people weld in extra tubes into their chassis to stop it cracking apart."

 

He spent the rest of the trip to the circuit very quietly, mumbling things like "Nobody told me that" & "fooking hell".

 

After getting to the circuit & looking around, it gradually dawned on him that he had been had & grudgingly sniggered.

 

 

The second race was at the Nurburgring & after practice I suggested to him that it might be a good idea to empty the oil that had accumulated in his catch tank.

Unbeknown to him, I had previously dropped a couple of ball bearings into the tank. When he emptied it, he jumped back in horror, crying "fooking hell. what's that in there?"

 

Feigning concern, I said "looks like some of the main bearings from you crankshaft. I think you engine is falling apart."

 

After his predicable running round like a headless chicken, mumbling "fooking hell, how am I gonna fix that?" he again twigged it was a wind up.

 

Ever since then, you can see the double take on his face, whenever I tell him anything...   :rotfl:  :rotfl:



#7 marksixman

marksixman
  • Member

  • 59 posts
  • Joined: December 20

Posted 02 May 2022 - 16:30

In the "Stitch-Up" category, I recall reading a story somewhere about Sir Stirling  at a race at Spa, when the start / finish line was down the hill towards Eau Rouge,  past the old pits. I hope my memory is correct !!

 

During practice he deliberately "lost it" approaching the hairpin at La Source, deliberately ending up pointing up the hill away from the finish line, and therefore had to go to the end of the available space to turn round. This gave him a downhill start, and an "exit" speed from La Source much greater than he would have had from taking the corner normally. I think it netted him pole position. A bit like cutting a chicane in modern racing - you may get away with it, but only once !!

 

If I am correct one of you clever people will tell us when, what car, and the chassis number ! If I am wrong, apologies. !



#8 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 02 May 2022 - 19:09

Thought it was Thillois at Reims that Moss did that, but La Source would also make sense

#9 marksixman

marksixman
  • Member

  • 59 posts
  • Joined: December 20

Posted 02 May 2022 - 19:55

You could well be right Chris. I am very prepared to be corrected as I cannot remember/confirm exactly where I got it from.



#10 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 02 May 2022 - 20:21

I think it was probably done a hundred times at Spa. I remember reading about Keke Rosberg doing it in 1983.



#11 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 75,293 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 02 May 2022 - 22:38

Yes, it was Spa...

 

And somewhere else, maybe Syracuse, he found that he needed a little bit more room on entry to a corner after pits. But he couldn't drive over the line separating the pits, could he?

 

So he came up to the pits, arm in the air, occasionally feigning to wrest at the gearlever, but still full bore. He went a couple of feet across the pit dividing lane, waved that everything was now okay and took his faster entry into the corner.

 

I guess it gave him pole.



#12 GreenMachine

GreenMachine
  • Member

  • 2,025 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 02 May 2022 - 22:53

Who was it that saw the timing beam was beside the pit counter, broke it at the appropriate moment and got his driver pole?  :clap:



#13 brucemoxon

brucemoxon
  • Member

  • 889 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 03 May 2022 - 03:31

Who was it that saw the timing beam was beside the pit counter, broke it at the appropriate moment and got his driver pole?  :clap:

Ken Tyrrell (allegedly).

 

 

 

BRM



#14 Collombin

Collombin
  • Member

  • 6,614 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 03 May 2022 - 07:32

Robin Herd claimed to have done it at Anderstorp. Given the location of the pits there, I assume Robin was known as Mr Tickle?

#15 Nemo1965

Nemo1965
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: October 12

Posted 03 May 2022 - 08:58

I'm doing this story from my memory, so if anyone wants to correct me, feel free.

 

John Surtees was making the switch to four wheels and had a F1 or F2 test at Silverstone. He was doing well, but he felt that he could get more out of Beckets. So he called Graham Hill. 'Graham, how do you take Beckets,' he asked. 'Flat out, chum, flat out,' was the answer.

 

Surtees called Hill the next evening. 'You idiot!', he yelled, 'I tried to go flat out through Beckets and I spun about three hundred times!'  All he could hear from the other side was Hill, roaring with laughter. 'You didn't,' he managed hiccuping over and over, 'Don't tell me you actually did it!'



#16 cpbell

cpbell
  • Member

  • 6,127 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 03 May 2022 - 09:51

Thought it was Thillois at Reims that Moss did that, but La Source would also make sense

I suspect that maximum velocity was attained at Reims before the timing line even with a conventional exit from Thillois, given the distance involved.



#17 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,017 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:01

I believe the Surtees story really involved Moss and Fordwater Corner at Goodwood, when John was finding his feet in his earliest test runs with a Vanwall.  Stirl heard that Tony Vandervell was giving the motor-cycle champion experience in the cars, and when John asked him how best to tackle Fordwater, SM simply asked "Oh - have you taken it flat out yet?'.  John's perhaps gullible attempt to do so resulted in an invoice, which still survives in the Vanwall archive, from the Gray Brothers of Emsworth for repairing damage to the car's body sustained as it spun umpteen times through the adjacent field of crops...  :stoned:

 

DCN



#18 68targa

68targa
  • Member

  • 758 posts
  • Joined: October 19

Posted 03 May 2022 - 13:13

I think it was Moss (or was it Graham Hill?)  who used to prowl the grid before the off and give worrying looks at a competitor's suspension or wheel and then shake his head 'knowingly', hoping his competitor would be suitably concerned to fluff his start.



#19 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 May 2022 - 14:48

Or perhaps Colin Chapman (rather hypocritically !) ?

Edited by LittleChris, 03 May 2022 - 14:50.


Advertisement

#20 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,307 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 04 May 2022 - 06:11

In the "Stitch-Up" category, I recall reading a story somewhere about Sir Stirling  at a race at Spa, when the start / finish line was down the hill towards Eau Rouge,  past the old pits. I hope my memory is correct !!

 

During practice he deliberately "lost it" approaching the hairpin at La Source, deliberately ending up pointing up the hill away from the finish line, and therefore had to go to the end of the available space to turn round. This gave him a downhill start, and an "exit" speed from La Source much greater than he would have had from taking the corner normally. I think it netted him pole position. A bit like cutting a chicane in modern racing - you may get away with it, but only once !!

 

If I am correct one of you clever people will tell us when, what car, and the chassis number ! If I am wrong, apologies. !

I seem to recall that Keke Rosberg achieved an implausibly fast time in his early days at Williams  by pulling a similar stunt. Brazil ,was it ? 



#21 Nemo1965

Nemo1965
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: October 12

Posted 04 May 2022 - 20:23

I think this story about Rosberg is mixup. In 1982 his teammate at Williams was Derek Daly, a driver that especially in qualifying could not match Keke. At Dijon suddenly Derek was quicker in qualifying. He fessed up to his mechanic that he had missed his braking point and had shot through an exit road. He managed to overtake the car that had been driving in front of him before the incident. The mechanic or engineer said: keep your mouth shut! Especially against Keke.

Funny thing is: Keke knew. He was interviewed about Dijon several years later (he had won that race) and he immediately said the only way Derek was quicker or could be quicker there, was because he had taken the exit road.

#22 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 May 2022 - 20:31

Another tall story without attribution. Is that all TNF aspires to, these days? :rolleyes:



#23 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,307 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 05 May 2022 - 06:13

I have 100% recollection of the incident being reported in Autosport , but can't recall the exact location and date . I thought it might be worth sharing , in the hope that the more helpful members of TNF might add to my hazy memory. 

 

Sorry , once again , to fall short of your exacting standards - I must have confused a discussion forum about old racing cars with a university tutorial.    



#24 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 05 May 2022 - 06:54

This was not a response to your post, John. As for Jacarepagua, I struggle to think of a suitable place on that circuit for an incident like yours to have happened, but I do recall that Rosberg and the Williams team were sort of "sandbagging" during testing a couple of weeks before the 1983 Grand Prix: they resorted to timing on the back stretch, if I recall correctly, and Rosberg made sure to go slow enough on the rest of the circuit to record only unimpressive times at the pit counters. Come official practice, and he blew away the Turbos to claim pole position - could that be what you are remembering?



#25 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,307 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 05 May 2022 - 08:05

Could be, except I'm sure that it happened in practice, not testing .   



#26 Nemo1965

Nemo1965
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: October 12

Posted 05 May 2022 - 09:41

Another tall story without attribution. Is that all TNF aspires to, these days? :rolleyes:


Jezus Christ. I never respond to your posts because of this hostile atttiude of you. Here is the source, from Christopher Hiltons book ‘1982, the story of an astonishing Grand Prix season’. Go to your local library for a paper version to check my reseource and I hope you eat some pages and choke on them.



Daly says that in his relationship with Rosberg ‘the only thing that irritated him’ - Rosberg - ‘was that I started ahead of him on the grid at Dijon and part of the reason he won there was as a result of something I did.’
First, the hot lap. Actually that was a bo- gus time. I didn’t do it. Here’s what happened: it appeared that the Williamses were faster without the front wings so we were both run- ning in qualifying and practice without them. In the last session I tried with front wings on the car again and immediately I thought: this is a faster set-up. I’m chasing John Watson, who is maybe four seconds ahead of me. You know Dijon? You go down the front straight,
you turn right, you do down the hill through these esses. I braked too late at the top of the hill and missed the left turn. I go through this escape road, stop at the top of it and see Wat- tie coming, let him go by and drive out be- hind him. Of course when I drove up behind him I am now two seconds closer than I was. I flashed by the timing at a 1m 32. I drive in. Charlie Crichton-Stuart is first up to me.’
Crichton-Stuart: ‘Man, the car must be good.’ Daly: ‘Charlie, I didn’t do the time.’ Crichton-Stuart (looking left, looking
right, shouting into Daly’s helmet): ‘Don’t tell anybody - especially Keke. Don’t expletive tell him.’
Daly prudently said nothing to anybody except ‘the car is faster with front wings on.’
(Momentary diversion. A quarter of a century later I had this verbal exchange with Rosberg:
I’ve spoken to Derek Daly and he out- qualified you.
Rosberg (combative): ‘Where?’ Dijon.
Rosberg: ‘Yeah, using the short cut!’ So when did you find out?
Rosberg: ‘I knew it instantly’
How?
Rosberg: ‘Because he CAn’t be quicker
than me, not in Dijon. If you wait long enough, he might have got lucky and had a time which was similar, but Dijon? nooo. He cut the loop off.’

#27 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,944 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 06 May 2022 - 05:32

Here is a link to a book on Vancouver area Morgan racer G B Sterne...scroll down to page 34 for an article entitled "Racing in the Glory Days at Westwood."

 

https://www.mognw.or...terne Story.pdf

 

Vince H.



#28 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 06 May 2022 - 16:06



Jezus Christ. I never respond to your posts because of this hostile atttiude of you. Here is the source, from Christopher Hiltons book ‘1982, the story of an astonishing Grand Prix season’. Go to your local library for a paper version to check my reseource and I hope you eat some pages and choke on them.

 

 

Oh, how nice! Perhaps you should have adhered to your first sentence there...

 

What is it that makes people on the internet take any form of criticism as a personal insult, to which the only answer can be to wish death on the 'adversary'? And now also here at TNF, which rather illustrates my point in the 'offending' post. "Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live!" - I hear you, Lady Capulet, but all I did was pointing out a fact, and lamenting the overall standard of discussion. Where's the commensurability? Please, take pity, I want to live on...

 

But, thanks anyway for naming your sources (that's the way to do it! :up:), so that now everybody can evaluate the words of a former Daily Express hack (a very familiar name in the "worst ever book" thread, by the way) against the countless period reports by French, German, British or Swiss journalists (to name only the ones I remember reading, in Grand Prix International, Sport Auto, Autocourse, Motorsport aktuell etc.), who were there and tell a very different story. To say nothing of the (timing) officials, marshals and thousand s of spectators. none of whom appear to have noticed such an extraordinary piece of gamesmanship. Doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen, but I for one have no doubt Daly outqualified Rosberg in a rather more conventional way. It probably doesn't matter much to Derek or Keke, or to anyone else, to be frank - the point is, why on earth do people swallow even the most absurd stories hook, line and sinker? By all means, post the story here, on the appropriate thread, but why play the gullible fool and post as (non-attributable) fact something that is so outlandish improbable that it should ring multiple alarms. Is that how conspiracy theories originate?

 

Now that I've had had my last words, you can go ahead and execute your wish... bye1.gif



#29 brucemoxon

brucemoxon
  • Member

  • 889 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 08 May 2022 - 07:14

Here is a link to a book on Vancouver area Morgan racer G B Sterne...scroll down to page 34 for an article entitled "Racing in the Glory Days at Westwood."

 

https://www.mognw.or...terne Story.pdf

 

Vince H.

We Australians will love that the story involves a Jack Murray - we had one of those too, also a practical joker, although our Jack rarely raced in drag. 

 

 

BRM



#30 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:30

One of my favourites is the start of the Nurburgring 1000km in 1958.  Stirling Moss made a specialisation of the Le Mans start, not so much to gain track position as to be ahead of any first lap carnage.  Mike Hawthorn knew this and with excellent timing jumped the gun.  Moss followed him across the track shouting "You b***** Hawthorn!".  Apparently Mike gained no advantage as he was laughing so much that he muffed the start.  I forget my source for this: It is probably Challenge me the Race or DSJ in Motor Sport.

Champion Year.



#31 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:35

Or perhaps Colin Chapman (rather hypocritically !) ?

Isn't there film of Chapman during practice at Rouen 1968, after Jack Oliver's wing failure "warning" Bruce McLaren?



#32 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:51

In the "Stitch-Up" category, I recall reading a story somewhere about Sir Stirling  at a race at Spa, when the start / finish line was down the hill towards Eau Rouge,  past the old pits. I hope my memory is correct !!

 

During practice he deliberately "lost it" approaching the hairpin at La Source, deliberately ending up pointing up the hill away from the finish line, and therefore had to go to the end of the available space to turn round. This gave him a downhill start, and an "exit" speed from La Source much greater than he would have had from taking the corner normally. I think it netted him pole position. A bit like cutting a chicane in modern racing - you may get away with it, but only once !!

 

If I am correct one of you clever people will tell us when, what car, and the chassis number ! If I am wrong, apologies. !

Denis Jenkinson reported this, French Grand Prix 1959 - BRM Type 25. Chassis 2510, engine 2505, Friday 3rd July, evening practice. Source: Doug Nye BRM volume 1



#33 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:11

Isn't there film of Chapman during practice at Rouen 1968, after Jack Oliver's wing failure "warning" Bruce McLaren?

 

Pretty certain that's what I dragged out of my memory prior to making the post  :up:



#34 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 4,016 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:11

Denis Jenkinson reported this, French Grand Prix 1959 - BRM Type 25. Chassis 2510, engine 2505, Friday 3rd July, evening practice. Source: Doug Nye BRM volume 1

Yes that's the Thillois event remembered by LittleChris and reported in Motor Sport's French GP coverage, but we still need chapter and verse for the Spa case marksixman cited.



#35 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:49

I don't recall having read of anybody doing this at Spa.  Was there a suitable escape road at La Source?



#36 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:01

Escape road at La Source pretty much went to the circuit gate in 1958 (see from 3.30 mins )

 

Spa-Francorchamps Old F1 Circuit - onboard view in 1958 (+ Ferrari 246 F1) - YouTube



#37 marksixman

marksixman
  • Member

  • 59 posts
  • Joined: December 20

Posted 08 May 2022 - 16:35

Yes that's the Thillois event remembered by LittleChris and reported in Motor Sport's French GP coverage, but we still need chapter and verse for the Spa case marksixman cited.

Sorry Guys, as I have already said, I was ready to be corrected, and it looks like I got this wrong, and it was indeed the Thillois incident.

 

To make up (!) I am pretty sure about this story from the IROC (International Race of Champions) at Michigan 1990. Martin Brundle ( a darn foreigner rookie over there !) was on pole, and would be champion if he won. As he walked past Dale Earnhardt's car towards his own on the grid, Earnhardt said to him "don't forget the kids Martin" !! Earnhardt won and was champion. Brundle did well to finish 10th in the race, 3rd in the standings, against some "tough ol boys" !


Edited by marksixman, 08 May 2022 - 21:09.


#38 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 09 May 2022 - 12:11

Escape road at La Source pretty much went to the circuit gate in 1958 (see from 3.30 mins )

 

Spa-Francorchamps Old F1 Circuit - onboard view in 1958 (+ Ferrari 246 F1) - YouTube

Would that escape road have provided a benefit?



#39 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 09 May 2022 - 12:29

Possibly for Stirling to launch downhill at the start of a timed lap in 1958 but surely not in 1983 as by then the timing line was before La Source rather than after wasn't it ?

Edited by LittleChris, 09 May 2022 - 12:30.


Advertisement

#40 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 09 May 2022 - 15:23

No, it was still at the old pits, then. It was only relocated for the next race, in 1985.



#41 doc knutsen

doc knutsen
  • Member

  • 697 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 09 May 2022 - 18:47

Who was it that saw the timing beam was beside the pit counter, broke it at the appropriate moment and got his driver pole?  :clap:

 

 

Robin Herd claimed to have done it at Anderstorp. Given the location of the pits there, I assume Robin was known as Mr Tickle?

It was Anderstorp alright, but the perpetrator was one M. Mosley, waving the pit board across the timing beam to give an an advantage to Mr Brambilla.The pit roof at Anderstorp was a favoured viewing point, and allowed a wonderful opportunity to studying Mr Mosley at work



#42 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,422 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 09 May 2022 - 18:50

... except that the timing at Anderstorp was done nowhere near the pits!  ;)



#43 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 09 May 2022 - 19:08

... except that the timing at Anderstorp was done nowhere near the pits!  ;)


Ah, now I understand Collombins Mr Tickle comment ( I thought it was Herd too )

#44 doc knutsen

doc knutsen
  • Member

  • 697 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 11 May 2022 - 12:08

... except that the timing at Anderstorp was done nowhere near the pits!   ;)

But I was there to witness it. There was a beam across the track at the pit wall, approximately half way down the short pit straight, close to where Max Mosley energetically swung his pit board. What was unusual at Anderstorp was the fact that the pits were located at a different part of the track from the start/finish straight, with the Press grandstand situated at the left-hander leading onto the pit straight. I did assume that the electronic beam was for the official timing, What else could it have been for? I do not recall seeing it at the race, but it was there through practice.