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#1 David Beard

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 17:50

What sort of a guy was Dave Walker? Did he achieve his potential, or would he have done without the arm injury? He gave the turbine Lotus its best run?

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Edited by David Beard, 01 September 2009 - 21:51.


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#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 19:20

Denis Jenkinson, 1971:

"Dave Walker is a racing driver of the same breed as the late Paul Hawkins and, like a grizzly bear among the fawns, the deer, the antelopes and the giraffes in the "Native Park" they keep my sense of proportion right. At the moment he is in the middle of Chapman's well-known Team shambles, winning races for them in F3 in fine style, showing great promise with the turbine car, and being full of enthusiasm for this interesting new project, and when neither are available being put into a Lotus 72, so it's not surprising that he makes mistakes. Like "Catchpole" in the Autosport cartoon "I'm a Dave Walker man myself" and I hope Chapman gets him into the right slot soon and keeps him there"

#3 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 20:35

Remembering 1972, Dave Walker never seemed to be anywhere near as quick as Emmo, but then, who knows what sort of car Chunky provided him with. Lotus #2 drivers were not always treated awfully well.

Here is Dave Walker in his F.3 days.

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#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 20:56

He certainly showed a lot of promise in the early days... 1963...

He drove a Brabham FJr that was in some way attached to Scuderia Veloce. In their demonstrations at Oran Park and Catalina Park we saw David McKay leading the way in the SV 2.5 Brabham, Greg Cusack next in the 1.5 and then Dave Walker tagging along... they ran 1, 2, 3 like this and nobody was nibbling at Dave's tail even though he was the slower one.

Interesting that DSJ portrays him as somewhat gruff, as he was, but in a friendly sort of way, definitely reminiscient of Denny Hulme. I would like to catch up with him these days, but I believe he's a long way from the normal paths I travel... but an Australian F1 driver who's been virtually forgotten.

I wonder if Adam Joyce has anything to say from his father's association with him?

#5 scheivlak

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 22:48

Originally posted by David Beard
He gave the turbine Lotus it's best run?


Don't think so - but it certainly was the most hyped run...
Best run for the 56B must have the 2nd heat of the 1971 Silverstone BRDC International Trophy race when Emerson Fittipaldi finished third, slicing through the field in difficult conditions.

Dave was real winner in F3. Surprised me that he never blossomed in F1.

#6 2F-001

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 17:03

-- ''What sort of guy was Dave Walker?'' --

A busy one! Whilst browsing (in the old-fashioned sense...) I re-discovered this:

From Autosport, 15th July, 1971

-- quote --

GLTL plan to keep championship leads.

Dave Walker, very much the dominant force in Formula 3 at the moment and currently leading the Shell Super Oil Championship with the Gold Leaf Team Lotus 69-Novamotor, is having an incredibly hectic week at the moment. Last weekend he was at Croft, where he won his heat and the final; thence the car went in the transporter to Southend, where it was loaded aboard a British Air Ferries plane for France, while the transporter went on empty to London Airport. The car was flown straight to France to take part in practice on Tuesday for the mid-week Magny Cours meeting in central France, and the race itself on Wednesday.

Immediately after the race - which is a Shell Super Oil Championship round - the Lotus was to have been flown by BEA from Paris to London last night, where the GLTL transporter was waiting to load up and whisk it straight up to Silverstone for Thursday's practice (at the British Grand Prix meeting), Friday's heat and Saturday's final. Dave Walker flew back independently to spend the night at a hotel near the airport before driving to Silverstone on thursday morning.

And if that wasn't enough, straight after the Saturday F3 final the long-suffering 69 will be loaded up again and taken off to Cadwell Park for Sunday's Forward Trust F3 race there. Including heats Walker will have done six races in eight days at four different circuits!

-- quote ends --

I guess the next task is check out how he did in all those races...

#7 2F-001

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 17:10

I was at the GP meeting, and from memory I think the F3 final was won by Pierre-Francois Rousselot, so maybe the strain was telling a bit by then!

#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 19:17

Originally posted by 2F-001
I was at the GP meeting, and from memory I think the F3 final was won by Pierre-Francois Rousselot, so maybe the strain was telling a bit by then!


No - Dave Walker won it, and Cadwell the next day.

#9 jgm

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 19:47

One of Dave Walker's most memorable, though brief, races was the 1971 Dutch GP when he was given the 4WD turbine Lotus to drive in wet conditions. He started 22nd on the grid and within 5 laps had rocketed up to 10th... before falling off the road at Tarzan. What might have happened had he not crashed that day? His whole career might have been different. After the accident I think Chapman was finished with him and didn't want to know.

#10 fines

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 20:55

Originally posted by jgm
One of Dave Walker's most memorable, though brief, races was the 1971 Dutch GP when he was given the 4WD turbine Lotus to drive in wet conditions. He started 22nd on the grid and within 5 laps had rocketed up to 10th... before falling off the road at Tarzan. What might have happened had he not crashed that day? His whole career might have been different. After the accident I think Chapman was finished with him and didn't want to know.

Strange then that he offered him a contract for '72...

#11 Kpy

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 00:22

Originally posted by fines

Strange then that he offered him a contract for '72...


How right, Michael!
I think Holland was DW's only FI drive in '71. I remember him completely dominating the Monaco F3 race in '71 - impressed the locals no end.
I met him towards the end of '72, and we chatted for an hour or so. He was fed up with Chapman to the nth degree, thought he'd been given 2nd rate equipment all season and had had no fair crack of the whip.

#12 2F-001

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 00:46

Roger - thanks for that; it must be me who's showing the strain!
(I wonder what race I was thinking of, though).
All we need now is the Magny Cours result...

#13 scheivlak

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 00:54

Originally posted by jgm
One of Dave Walker's most memorable, though brief, races was the 1971 Dutch GP when he was given the 4WD turbine Lotus to drive in wet conditions. He started 22nd on the grid and within 5 laps had rocketed up to 10th... before falling off the road at Tarzan. What might have happened had he not crashed that day?


Perhaps finishing about 7th or so...
Don't forget he had the huge advantage of running on Firestones (see the result of the 1971 Dutch GP: first eight finishers on Firestones, all other finishers on Goodyears!) but was still quite something off the pace of the guys in front those five laps (more details in the thread: http://www.atlasf1.c... ZAndvoort 1971 )

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 04:24

Originally posted by Kpy
.....I met him towards the end of '72, and we chatted for an hour or so. He was fed up with Chapman to the nth degree, thought he'd been given 2nd rate equipment all season and had had no fair crack of the whip.


That's an interesting comment...

I made a remark about how the Lotus 70 was built so that the driver wouldn't over-rev the engine when he ran it at Warwick Farm. That was the end of 1970... he almost wanted to thump me when he didn't realise it was just a joke.

But his loyalty to Chapman was tremendous at that time. He raved about how great 'the old man' was and how he built good cars.

Time changes things, I guess...

#15 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 09:50

All we need now is the Magny Cours result...



http://user.tninet.s...1w/F371_E42.htm

Stefan

#16 2F-001

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 13:44

Thank you kindly, Sir!

#17 AaPee89

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 21:05

Does someone have contact with him? I'm looking it to get an autograph from Dave. Thx!

#18 Giraffe

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:41

Does someone have contact with him? I'm looking it to get an autograph from Dave. Thx!


There have been several attempts to track Dave Walker down in recent times, all without success. He dissapeared off the radar after his huge accident whilst leaving the GRD factory in his BMW in which he either lost, or nearly lost an arm. The last I heard was that he was running a boat charter business in Australia. You could ask his old team mate in F3 with Lotus, Bev Bond who posts here on TNF.


#19 Phil Rainford

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:03

One of his old cars was out at Oulton on Bank Holiday Monday..... :)

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#20 Stephen W

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:12

One of his old cars was out at Oulton on Bank Holiday Monday..... :)

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I didn't think the F3 car had front or rear wings, or is my memory playing tricks again? :confused:

#21 Giraffe

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:16

It's Albert Clements' 1971 1600cc Lotus 69 F3 that I recently pictured on the Bev Bond thread, and yes, the 1600 cars did sprout wings in period, Steve. :wave:

Edited by Giraffe, 02 September 2009 - 10:16.


#22 glyn parham

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:32

Here is Dave at the start of a 1971 F3 race at Brands, on pole as seemed usual through most of the season with Colin Vandervell and Roger Williamson alongside.

http://img168.images...35/file0267.png

Glyn

Edited by glyn parham, 02 September 2009 - 10:35.


#23 MCS

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 18:19

Wrong time, wrong place from a Formula One perspective - he was dealt a very poor hand by Lotus as number two to Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972.

But he was clearly talented. In 1971 he won the F3 race at the Monaco Grand Prix; having led from pole he also set fastest lap. Depailler, Jabouille, Coulon, etc. were all in the field... In fact he easily won most races that year - although he was challenged, in no uncertain terms by Roger Williamson on a number of occasions, especially towards the end of the season.

That year also saw him make his Grand Prix début in the two-ton Lotus 56B turbine at Zandvoort where he was the fastest guy on the track at one point apart from the rain masters Rodriguez and Ickx at the front. But he apparently made a mistake and crashed, much to Chapman's annoyance. And he probably still winces when he thinks of his season in F1 in the John Player Special.

He raced briefly in 2-litre sportscars I seem to recall - the GRD, the Toj ? His final races were in F5000 for RAM with their Chevron B28, but he was fired I think, despite a pole and a second in his last two races.

 

Edit was for punctuation change


Edited by MCS, 14 August 2014 - 06:33.


#24 beighes

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 19:17

Here's a bit of information: http://www.racingspo...Walker-AUS.html

#25 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 05:01


I belieive that in NSW Australia in the early Sixties that there were probably 20 and may be up to 40 drivers that were at least as good as David.

In saying this I take nothing away from him but my comment can be taken as tothe quality and depth of drivers at that time and place.

It may be that David got a whole lot better once he left to got to the UK. It may also be that there were that many more drivers that could have doone as well overseas if they had tried.

I could start to list the 20 that were at least as good but that is not the subject of this thread.
Besides it would bore the daylights out of all those who read this who weren´t/aren´t tapped into that era and area.

Regards

#26 F3Wrench

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:18

Interesting thread this, as I spent a lot of time with Dave during the '69 to '71 F3 era. Most memorable for me was Dave's outstanding performance in the 4-race Tourneio series in Brazil in January 1971, which was the very last time the 1-litre screamers raced in anger before the 1600cc formula arrived.

During the races at Interlagos and Porto Alegre Dave had some epic battles on track with Wilson Fittipaldi, and I think there was little love lost between them - not sure if Wilson might not have had a moan at Emerson about Dave's tactics, and whether this had any knock-on effect when Dave and Emerson were team mates in F1. I do recall some very angry words from Wilson after the last race in Porto Alegre when Dave squeezed Wilson against the pit wall at some speed to prevent an overtake on the inside.

Personally, I thought that Dave was in a league of his own; true there were many other drivers who were as quick and talented, but for sheer consitency and determination he was the most focussed driver I ever knew.

BTW, I don't think Bev would be that keen on tracking down Dave W., there was quite a bit of angst between them too as I recall during the GTL Lotus 69 days. Two hard drivers, neither wanting to give an inch - always bound to end in tears :rolleyes: ...

As a footnote, Alan Jones was out in Brazil for this F3 series, and Dave was always a lot quicker than him - but look where Alan ended up!

#27 Stephen W

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:40

As a footnote, Alan Jones was out in Brazil for this F3 series, and Dave was always a lot quicker than him - but look where Alan ended up!


Yes, but Alan Jones was never Number 2 in the Lotus F1 team!

:wave:

#28 Giraffe

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:43

Yes, but Alan Jones was never Number 2 in the Lotus F1 team!

:wave:


....For which he is probably eternally grateful!!! :lol:


#29 wiwlakow

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:40

....For which he is probably eternally grateful!!! :lol:



Hi

I am Wojtek and now I am looking for any contact to Dave Walker. Does someone can help me? Or does someone know where I can look for?

#30 David Birchall

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 14:19

I met him in Vancouver in the mid eighties but have no idea if he was visiting and for how long-I happened to have been looking at the "MotorSport" magazine with the painting of him on the cover only the day before so you can imagine my surprise!

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:33

Last I heard he was living somewhere on the North Queensland coast...

That, however, is a while ago. Steve Normoyle might know.

#32 Prototype

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:44

Peter Warr said of Walker that he had no throttle control - the AGP at Warwick Farm in 1970 was a perfect illustration of this, I remember his Lotus 70 F5000 screaming as he exited Creek Corner, clearly he was just mashing the throttle.

In 1972 as No 2 to Fittipaldi he got the classic Lotus # 2 treatment - I'm sure the car was just a start money special so no real investment was made in Walker's progress. Mid year Warr (from memory) made Walker go on a diet and get fit, then a while later Warr suspended him as he had tested a GRD without permission from the Lotus hierachy.

It could have been so much more - what he did for Lotus in F3 was phenomenal, but he was passed over when wonder kid Fittipaldi was the man to beat. Walker always complained his DFVs were not up to Fittipaldis; I am absolutely sure Walker got such a raw deal that it was impossible to resusitate his career - and a couple of bad road car accidents to boot and it was all over...what a shame.

You can see some of his F3 races on youtube.

#33 Prototype

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 22:14

Here's a youtube link...talk about Walker pulverisng the opposition, Hunt, Birrell, Beutler. www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSCDucychzA

#34 David Birchall

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 22:52

Peter Warr said of Walker that he had no throttle control - the AGP at Warwick Farm in 1970 was a perfect illustration of this, I remember his Lotus 70 F5000 screaming as he exited Creek Corner, clearly he was just mashing the throttle.


Perhaps that is why he did so well in F3 where he was dealing with minimal bhp and the emphasis is on other aspects of car control. When he had to include throttle sensitivity he had spent too much time in a situation where "mashing" the throttle was the accepted method?

#35 MarkBisset

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:23

0-EAA4-D08-EB06-4-B49-8059-95-E63-F5-E07

Great Dick Simpson shot of Dave Walker’s works Lotus 70 Ford slicing thru Warwick Farm’s Esses during the 1970 AGP weekend - Q7 and fifth in the race won by Matich’ McLaren M10B Repco Holden. The ever brave Lance Ruting is only a metre or so away

I see many have reached out to find Dave before, Michael Oliver kindly gave me an Airlie Beach number but it is no longer connected. Any clues folks, the article I have 95% done is irrelevant without his input. Hoping...mark@bisset.com.au is my email if you can assist...

Mark

#36 MarkBisset

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:13

C701-B536-E31-E-4-EC0-B10-A-9-B95-CDEE86

 

DW, Lotus 59A Ford Holbay at North Tower, Crystal Palace in October 1970- the meeting where Hunt dropped Morgan apparently (Maurice Hamilton)


Edited by MarkBisset, 28 September 2020 - 23:28.


#37 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:14

Dave Walker was my favourite F3 driver in 1970 & 71 [I was a schoolboy then], I was disappointed he didn't win the 1970 F3 Shell Motorsport title. May have been because the GLTL Loti were my favourite cars and he was always up there at or near the front.



#38 68targa

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 16:21

Here he is after practice for the 1972 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch chatting with Emerson.  He was nearly 2 secs down on Emmo so not surprising that he is looking a little thoughtful.  

 

Because he did so well in F3 I feel that many thought he could just step up and do the same in F1.  I am not sure why he did not race in european F2 races.

 

1972-Ro-C-img652.jpg



#39 airbox

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 18:36

No doubt that Emerson was given preference in 1972 with new parts, testing time, but Walker didn't help himself too much in the early part of the season.

 

In the first 5 races of the year the closest he got to Fittipaldi in qualifying was 1.9 seconds down, with one DNS due to an accident in practice. This included the non-championship events at circuits he knew such like Brands and Silverstone. There were also issues with his fitness over a full GP distance - apparently he had to be lifted out of the car after finishing at Kyalami. 

 

Bearing in mind that only the best placed car for each team was eligible for manufacturer points I doubt that there was much incentive for Lotus to divert attention away from Emerson after that.



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#40 Sterzo

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 21:08

In the first 5 races of the year the closest he got to Fittipaldi in qualifying was 1.9 seconds down, with one DNS due to an accident in practice. This included the non-championship events at circuits he knew such like Brands and Silverstone.

At Brands I remember him. driving on the rev limiter, the engine crackling in the most awful way through what is now Clark Curve. Interesting that one of the old posts early in the thread said he had no throttle control but would just "mash" the throttle. It's one of those weird things in motor racing, when someone's brilliant at one level but can't adapt to the level above.



#41 MarkBisset

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 08:40

1-DBFD3-FB-F192-4-AB5-9-BCC-9-C9-D62-EC2

 

DW and Emerson’s Lotus 72Ds being prepared in the palatial pit facilities at Clermont Ferrand in 1972. Would love to have seen a GP there (Twitter)

 

 

9115-B743-6-DB6-4118-A5-F0-9-CA0-E272714

 

DW demonstrating the delicacy of throttle control, for which he was apparently famous, at Clermont in 1972 (unattributed)


Edited by MarkBisset, 29 September 2020 - 08:45.


#42 Michael Ferner

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 09:50

DW and Emerson’s Lotus 72Ds being prepared in the palatial pit facilities at Clermont Ferrand in 1972. Would love to have seen a GP there (Twitter)


Lookit the comfy seating accommodation under the mechanic's bum! No luxury spared, I bet they even had red wine for dinner!!

#43 68targa

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 11:48

Now that's what I call a run-off area.  From the tyre marks it seems most were taking just enough but having a lot of respect for the rock face.



#44 Michael Ferner

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 13:26

Rock face, schmock face - at least, it's not a ravine!

 

Great picture, by the way! Looks all the more dramatic because you don't see that it's a hairpin bend leading to it :D



#45 MCS

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 19:42

I know we have spoken of Lotus "number twos" many times on here, but if we were to produce a list - as is seemingly the wont these days, let's face it - I wonder where he might stand in the rankings?

 

I do remember Dave having a major strop in the paddock at the 1972 Oulton Park Gold Cup following the last practice session.



#46 john winfield

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 19:44



Dave Walker was my favourite F3 driver in 1970 & 71 [I was a schoolboy then], I was disappointed he didn't win the 1970 F3 Shell Motorsport title. May have been because the GLTL Loti were my favourite cars and he was always up there at or near the front.

 

I was a schoolboy then too, not rooting for Dave, just because GLTL Loti weren't my favourite cars! But he was so good in Formula 3, calm and quick, more in control than some others around him. He didn't win any of the 1970 races I saw but I have a clear memory of his race weekend at the Silverstone GP, in 1971. He won a close-fought heat then engaged in a tight battle with four others in the final, places chopping and changing all the time. Naddeo, Rousselot , Steve Thompson and Roger Williamson, slipstreaming with Dave around the wide expanses of Silverstone, anyone could have won, but Dave did, by a tenth of a second. He'd been in control of things all the time.


Edited by john winfield, 29 September 2020 - 19:45.


#47 BRG

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 11:12

Now that's what I call a run-off area.  From the tyre marks it seems most were taking just enough but having a lot of respect for the rock face.

Built-in track limits abuse control. Run too wide, hit rock face or get puncture  TM Chris Amon


Edited by BRG, 02 October 2020 - 11:12.