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Only For the Dutch: on Local TV tonight


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#1 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 07:45

Hi guys,


Just, and only just in case you missed it.

Tonight on Dutch TV from 20:55 to 21:30 a documentary on one of the saddest days ever at the Zandvoort track and any race track in this world.
A documentary about an event about I am still embarrased to acknowledge that this could ever happen on a race track and happening on our beloved Zandvoort.
The death of Roger Williams in the 1973 Dutch GP.
A tragedy beyond belief and totally unnecessary. One of the featured people within the documentary will be the photographer who documentated this tragedy on the pictures that send shockwaves all over the world.

Program name: "Andere tijden" now I forgot if it was on either Nederland 2 or Nederland 3.
But the time is correct and so is the date.

I know, I should try to refer to TV programs with happy moments of racing history.
But regrettably, this is racing history as well and regrettably one of the major events in Zandvoort's history.
Fore those who are too young to recall this tragedy, be prepared for shocking footage as a result of unacceptable stupidity of people who felt themselves to be in control as race directors...
To this day I am still ashamed that this could happen at my beloved Zandvoort.



Henri Greuter

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#2 Racer.Demon

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:07

Will definitely be watching.

A Dutch TV team was at the unveiling of the Williamson statue in Donington and interviewed all the protagonists. There will be lots of original footage with the laconic Henrichs/Terlingen commentary, too.

http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=59678

#3 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:24

Thanks for the link.
Wasn't aware of that.
I'll never forget when Henk Terlingen reported back to the TV commentators and just simply said: "The driver is dead", just as if he came back from doing something innocent....

Henri

#4 Racer.Demon

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:33

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Fore those who are too young to recall this tragedy, be prepared for shocking footage as a result of unacceptable stupidity of people who felt themselves to be in control as race directors...


To this day, Ben Huisman is taking responsibility for the whole thing, so at least he accepted the blame.

#5 Lipp

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:05

"andere tijden" (different (other) times) is a very good program. They are a very thourough in their investigation about history and events that had an impact at the time but that were somehow lost in time.

#6 man

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:37

Perhaps you should have titled the thread as For those in Holland instead of Only for the Dutch ;)

Thanks for the notice, i'll certainly be watching it.

Out of curiosity, which channel will be showing the 2004 season?

#7 QdfV

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:44

SBS6 I believe

#8 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 20:46

I've just seen it, a decent documentary in my opinion. Race Director Ben Huisman until this day takes full responsility for Williamsons death.
Predictably, they had to point out that several of the drivers present at the grid of that fatal Dutch GP are no longer with us. It was suggested that "Five of them eventually died on a racetrack." So that would be Williamson, Peterson, Cevert, Revson and...? Which I think leaves Denny Hulme, who indeed died during a race, but that was quite a different story, right?
It was also mentioned that three drivers died in an airplane crash (Hill, Purley Pace) and one in a road accident (Hailwood)
Shame they had to add such a moralistic last sentence: "They are all trillseekers and who searches for danger will eventuelly find it somewhere." Hmmmm :

#9 QdfV

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 20:59

I saw it too. Indeed a decent documentary, with all sides able to speak and tell how they experienced that day. The last remark I did not interpret as moralistic to be honest, more like an observation and to put Williamson's death a bit in perspective. It was stated that one of the reasons this tragedy received a lot of attention in a sport where fatal accidents where occurring regularly was that it was so horrible and in front of a camera. The power of the camera and the tragedy, initiating more stringent safety regulations.

#10 scheivlak

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 21:11

Originally posted by Mischa Bijenhof
a moralistic last sentence: "They are all trillseekers and who searches for danger will eventuelly find it somewhere." Hmmmm :

That sentence wasn't meant to be moralistic, if you listened to way it was spoken you could hear the wry ironic intention ("People will think that...") - typical of the program's tongue-in-cheek style of presentation. And it wasn't the last sentence - IIRC the next sentence was something like: "Yet, it has been ten years ago now that somebody died in F1 - the late Ayrton Senna."

And yes, it was a very decent documentary - with images that are still as cruel and haunting today as they were then.

#11 dosco

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 21:16

IIRC this footage was in the documentary "The Quick and the Dead" as narrated by Stacy Keach.

I watched that movie in 1992.....horrifying indeed. What stuck with me was other drivers stopping and attempting to extricate him from the burning wreckage....just awful.

I'm glad that safety standards are what they are today.

#12 mat1

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 21:20

yes, it was a decent documentary, although I would have preferred the footage of the accident and the aftermath with interruption.

What I didn't see then (I turned off the tv set after the death of Williamson was confirmed) was the way the news was broken to Gijs van Lennep.

mat1

#13 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 21:33

As many other drivers, Van Lennep thought that Purley was the driver who had managed to get out of the burning wreckage. When told that it was Williamson and that he was dead, he reacted "Echt? Dat is echt kloten" (Really? Now that really sucks)
I guess I missed the tongue-in-cheek-tone in which the item was finalised.

#14 Racer.Demon

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 22:32

I thought it was a decent documentary with no obvious errors or unnecessary dramatisation - unlike the recent BBC programme on Ferrari. The only thing I spotted - but told by the people interviewed so you can't blame the makers - was that thing about Purley being "a close friend" of Roger's whereas he really wasn't. That's something of a perpetuated myth.

And I felt the closing commentary was spot-on, as it stayed away from judging the events with 21st-century standards, correctly put it into the historical context of the time (the first Grand Prix death live on TV, which is why there was such a huge public backlash) and didn't pass any judgement. The thrillseeker comment directly followed the mention of David Purley's stunt-flying death off the coast at Bognor - and you can't deny that Purley was something of a thrillseeker.

I was especially glad to see the post-race footage with Purley and Van Lennep.

Also, I guess it could have been expected that Nando Boers was responsible for the programme's research, as he had already done a 10-page article on July 29, 1973 for the Dutch Formule 1 magazine (Mischa's rival magazine ;) ).

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 22:42

Who really were the race marshals at the scene of Roger's accident...???? Did they appear in this programme???...

DCN

#16 Racer.Demon

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 23:06

Yes, one of them did.

It was the same man who appeared in Boers' article mentioned above. Afterwards he refused to ever go near that place again as a marshal.

He claimed he was poorly equipped and had to hold on to the first rule that was imprinted into him by Ben Huisman during the pre-race briefing - "Always take care of yourself first." In the article he also claimed his main job was to prevent the oncoming traffic from racing into the wreckage, as there was no-one else to wave the yellow flag. In the footage he is the guy you see walking away from the scene to start waving his flag.

To me the whole string of events have a distinct Titanic feel about it, as also expressed by Huisman at the start of the programme. "We'd resurfaced and widened the track, we'd put up the crash barriers, we'd built a control tower. We had done serious hard work during 1972 and were proud of the result, proud too that the Grand Prix was returning to Zandvoort. We all started the weekend on a high, convinced that nothing could go wrong."

#17 scheivlak

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 23:07

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Who really were the race marshals at the scene of Roger's accident...???? Did they appear in this programme???...

DCN

It was a strange lot around the burning wreckage - including some kind of police officer who clearly had more experience in controlling the beach traffic than helping to rescue a F1 driver. As we all know, it was agonizing amateurism to the nth degree. The marshalls didn't have any protective clothing - that's an excuse, but what did they do anyway besides trying to push Purley away? Why did it have to be David who used that -insufficient- fire extinguisher?
What was new to me was the fact that Roger still must have talked (screamed?) to David from his burning wreck. It send a shiver to my spine, as they say....

The documentary clearly highlighted that track communication was hopeless. There was no TV in the new control tower, so everybody at home or in the paddock with a TV set knew more about what was happening than the race officials themselves.

There was one race marshall interviewed in the documentary - I think it was him who told that their most important instruction was "to avoid getting hurt yourself" or something like that. He admitted that he'd never wanted to be a marshall again in that area....

The documentary will be retransmitted this Saturday 12:30 on 'Nederland 3' BTW.

#18 Svend

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 02:50

Originally posted by scheivlak

The documentary will be retransmitted this Saturday 12:30 on 'Nederland 3' BTW.


Thanks for the heads up. I was unable to watch the documentary because I had to work.

Concerning the memorial, various letters have been sent out, the most important one being the letter to the owner/operator of the golf course. Work on the website is also well underway, the url will be http://www.purley-williamson.net

I'll keep you posted .

#19 Henri Greuter

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 07:45

About the comments of Gijs van Lennep after the race,

I am not sure but I got the feeling that this was not transmitted right after the race. Since they alos did a brief fragment of Gijs' wife with Ruud ter Wijden (and he was with the program (Avro's Sportpanorama") I think that the after race comments were also within a separate program, aired by the AVRO while the GP itself was with NOS (or was it still NTS at that time?)

Other than that, it was indeed a very decent documentary.

Denny Hulme did indeed die in a racing car but the reports were he had a herart attack that causen him to crash.
Was kind of surprised that they didn't mention Niki Lauda surviving a near similar fiery crash.
(But then: strictly spoken: Peterson didn't...)

I dived into Heinz Pruller's Grand Prix Story '73 after that TV to read what he wrote...
The sad part of it was the for a stunning low amount of money the German ONS rescue cars could have been hiere and stationed on the track, Stewart even recommanded them to the race organizers.
Pity.



Henri Greuter

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#20 Frank de Jong

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 08:38

I'm positive about the documentary too; concerning the ONS cars Henri mentioned, as I wrote in another thread, Zandvoort was not the only one to blame that the deal did not work out - there were some difficulties with the ONS. As you may guess, at the next international meeting (the August Zandvoort Trophy) 5 ONS safety cars were hired...

#21 mat1

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 08:48

Originally posted by Henri Greuter

The sad part of it was the for a stunning low amount of money the German ONS rescue cars could have been hiere and stationed on the track, Stewart even recommanded them to the race organizers.


How was it elsewhere? The claim was: Zandvoort was no exception, if it had happened somewhere else, the same would have happened. To what extent is this true?

mat1

#22 WACKO

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 09:02

Originally posted by mat1


How was it elsewhere? The claim was: Zandvoort was no exception, if it had happened somewhere else, the same would have happened. To what extent is this true?

mat1


It depended strongly on the circuit, but most European tracks compared. Remember that circuits like the Nordschleiffe, the nowadays Nurburgring, was so long (22km) that it was impossible to have a safe system. That situation would stand until Lauda's accident in '76. The same for Monza and Spa, which weren't as safe either. However the bad thing for Zandvoort was, that it had just completed some track renewal and had explicitly confirmed it safe.

#23 Henri Greuter

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 09:07

Perhaps off topic but think about this for the sponsors of Williamson: STP
This also relates with to what Huisman said about safety cars heading against the traffic.


Two months before at Indianapolis (Now, talk about the most disastrous Indy 500 ever and many will pick '73) one of the STP Pattrick drivers crashed and was heavily injured (Swede Savage) only to die a few weeks later. (Savage is reported to have been saying `Holy Christ what a mess' while crashing)
In the aftermath of the crash a firetruck located at the end of the pittlane rushed to the scene of the accident, the near entry of the pittlane, driving in the opposite direction! (For those who saw the documentary: Remember Huisman's worda about such an occurrance)
One mechanic was hit by the fire truck, needless to say, an STP Pattrick mechanic. Hie died afterwards...
The race itself, redflagged on several occasions already because of accidents and rain and already on the third day of trying was 133 laps old when it rained again and was redflagged again but also stopped from then on: Gordon Johncock, the surviving Pattrick STP driver declared the winner.

If my memory is correct, Savage had just about died at the time of Zandvoort.
With all this Indy misery, then the Williamson tragedy, near miraculous that STP remained in racing for such a long period of time!


Henri Greuter

#24 WACKO

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 09:21

It would have been insane to drive in the opposite direction as the traffic. If you really wanted to mess up, that's what they should have done. But it wouldn't have been necessary had they just stopped the race. But they lacked completely on communication. The race director didn't even know what was going on on the other side of the track. No television, bad, primitive and scarse phone arrangements.

#25 Svend

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:34

Originally posted by Frank de Jong
I'm positive about the documentary too; concerning the ONS cars Henri mentioned, as I wrote in another thread, Zandvoort was not the only one to blame that the deal did not work out - there were some difficulties with the ONS.


Could you maybe elaborate a bit more on this. As far as I know the ONS did send a proposal to the Zandvoort circuit and was quite persistant that they should come over.


> Wacko

In case of a Red Flag all cars would immediately pull into the pits ot be stopped at the start finish straight. This would have cleared the track within a minute, which is considerably shorter than the reported 4 minutes it took the other fire truck to get there.

If only, if only.. too much went wrong that day. I mean, no tv screen in the control tower, come on. What I'm also wondering about are the claims that most people thought it was Purley (or simply the driver) who was trying to save his chassis. How does that relate to the undamaged, abandoned car which was in the grass some 50 metres before the wreck. It could even be seen on tv. There must ring a bell somewhere..

#26 QdfV

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:55

Svend; Gijs van Lennep was shown when he came out of his car. He was told about the accident and very clearly and honestly stated that he thought the driver was standing next to the car, I do not recall his exact wording, but it was obvious he was really thinking so. He was also interviewed now, 30 years later, and he explained that the drivers where passing that area within a few seconds and just could not really see what was happening, with all the smoke and such. I guess the abandoned car 50 meters earlier does not really automatically relate to a driver next to the burning car. That excuse is probably only really valid for the other drivers though.

#27 Racer.Demon

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 14:33

Originally posted by mat1
How was it elsewhere? The claim was: Zandvoort was no exception, if it had happened somewhere else, the same would have happened. To what extent is this true?


I think it's fair to say that's true. Earlier that year it needed Mike Hailwood to save Clay Regazzoni - the marshals didn't have any fire-proof clothing there either, as far as I know. And didn't Jo Siffert die in a similar way at Brands two years earlier?

The Williamson tragedy caused such as uproar because it was aired live for millions to see - they all watched the agonizing minutes (that seemed like hours) in which the drama unfolded and which painfully highlighted the obvious ineptitude of the organizers and the marshals' lack of equipment and communication means. The uncut truth was just too much for many to stomach.

#28 mat1

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 17:09

Originally posted by Racer.Demon


I think it's fair to say that's true. Earlier that year it needed Mike Hailwood to save Clay Regazzoni - the marshals didn't have any fire-proof clothing there either, as far as I know. And didn't Jo Siffert die in a similar way at Brands two years earlier?


yes, that is right. Ans of course Courage at Zandvoort in 1970. But the availability of the ONS suggests it could be better.

In retrospect it is difficult to understand why more firefighting capabilities were not standard, because this kind of disaster was rather common (Schlesser, Courage, Siffert, Regazzoni, and that is only F1). And it is difficult to understand why they not as standard procedure stop the race in this kind of situation, exactly because it was difficult to know what was happening. But "better safe than sorry" was not the approach in those days.

Originally posted by Racer.Demon



The Williamson tragedy caused such as uproar because it was aired live for millions to see - they all watched the agonizing minutes (that seemed like hours) in which the drama unfolded and which painfully highlighted the obvious ineptitude of the organizers and the marshals' lack of equipment and communication means. The uncut truth was just too much for many to stomach.


Yes. It was too much for me, back then.

mat1

#29 dolomite

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 17:24

I thought there were supposed to have been moves to improve firefighting facilities after the Bandini accident at Monaco in 1967 which was also widely shown on TV.

#30 Marcel Visbeen

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 17:29

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
About the comments of Gijs van Lennep after the race,

I am not sure but I got the feeling that this was not transmitted right after the race. Since they alos did a brief fragment of Gijs' wife with Ruud ter Wijden (and he was with the program (Avro's Sportpanorama") I think that the after race comments were also within a separate program, aired by the AVRO while the GP itself was with NOS (or was it still NTS at that time?)


You are completely correct, just incidentally Ruud ter Weijden was filming Gijs van Lennep for a portrait that was aired five days later in AVRO's Sportpanorama. The shots of Gijs' wife and the shots of Gijs getting out of the car where taken from that portrait.

#31 Frank de Jong

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 19:45

Originally posted by Svend

Could you maybe elaborate a bit more on this. As far as I know the ONS did send a proposal to the Zandvoort circuit and was quite persistant that they should come over.


Sport-Auto (Germany) 9/73 said in his ETCC report of Zandvoort: "Die bewährte Staffel kam mit 5 fahrzeugen. Sie wären auch zum GP für 2500 DM gekommen, aber da lief einiges schief woran auch der veranstalter nicht alle schuld trug."
In english something like "the ONS came with 5 cars. They would have come for 2500 DM (1250 Euro) to the GP, but a few things went wrong which was not only the fault of the organiser".

#32 No27

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 21:38

For those, like me, who missed it; the programm can be watched with RealPlayer, in broadband and smallband.

If these links don't work, check out the programm's website and find out yourself.

#33 scheivlak

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 22:35

Originally posted by No27
If these links don't work, check out the programm's website and find out yourself.


Also on the website: that quite extensive and very good article in Dutch (from the 'Formule 1' magazine) by Nando Boers: http://www.vpro.nl/g...557030 16660430
Bit too long to translate.....

#34 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 08:06

Maybe a little late with my reaction on this documentary (which I found quite clarifying after seeing only the hectic shots through the years). However I was still wondering on some things.

Like about a thing Huisman (clerk of the course) said. After the race he went inside Graham Hill caravan and after sitting down, Hill looked at Ben and said: "Not so good Ben, not so good." Now this can be interpreted in many ways. Huisman took it as a point of criticism on the race organiser, but it might also have been that Hill meant it was not so good in general and the sport in particular. Of course Hill had experienced more of such bad situations.

Being a good documentary I found something was omitted: the fact that at least one driver had been gesticulating to the clerks of the course to stop the race, especially Hulme (then the president of GPDA). Possibly only due to the fact that visability was low on the track (as many drivers had seen a driver around the wreck and thought all was OK). Why wasnt there a response to that?

The interview with Purley was quite a revelation. On the day after the race (possibly the next morning looking at Purley freshly coombed hairs) and on the site where it happened. In some writing it was said that Purley suffered from a nervous break down. He looked better than that and in a way (may I say) somewhat relieved. Which might confirm also that Purley wasn't a close friend to Williamson as stated in so many cases.

The documentary said little about the cause of the accident. However being it a puncture or a suspension failure, the impact was violent (200 kmph at 45 degrees into the barriers). The car was catapulted in the air and hit the track upside down. This makes me to believe that the statement that Purley could talk with Williamson not very likely. Maybe it should be said that Purley could hear Williamson if he was concious at all.

I think the memorial errected at Donington is a true piece of art.

#35 Svend

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 00:13

According to R.D (I don't know his exact source) Roger was unhurt, apart from the inuries sustained from the fire. I'm pretty sure I read several acounts that Williamson was consious and screaming for help.

#36 Racer.Demon

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 00:29

My source is the Dutch Panorama magazine which had an interview with David Purley in 1980. Sitting behind the desk of his Lec office, he recounted the following (roughly translated) :

"I'm still haunted by the sound of Roger screaming while he burnt alive. I can see him now, desperately trying to unbuckle his belt and push himself out of the warped cockpit that was keeping him prisoner."

#37 SEdward

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 13:42

I've just watched the documentary. I speak German, but I don't speak Dutch. I was able to pick up some of what was said, but far from all.

I think that, like most accidents, Williamson's death was due to a collection of circumstances (poorly secured armco, inadequately equipped marshalls, lack of communications between race control and the field, insufficient fire marshalling, and so on). I cannot recall many races being stopped at that time. Maybe this one shoud have been.

What, however, is not acceptable, is that the lessons had not been learned from previous accidents, Bandini's being the most famous (also broadcast live in Globovision).

I remain sceptical about Purley's claim to have spoken with, or at least heard, Roger. He spent very little time close to the car. The ambient noise must have been loud, with cars passing by just a few yards away. He was wearing a helmet and so was Roger.

Edward.

#38 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 14:55

Originally posted by Mischa Bijenhof
As many other drivers, Van Lennep thought that Purley was the driver who had managed to get out of the burning wreckage. When told that it was Williamson and that he was dead, he reacted "Echt? Dat is echt kloten" (Really? Now that really sucks)
I guess I missed the tongue-in-cheek-tone in which the item was finalised.


Sorry, can you help me to translate well the words of Van Lennep? I don't understand if he said an idiomatic phrase: was he irreverent? or inappropriate? was he superficial or simply he didn't understand the importance of the fact?
Thanks.

I was at Imola circuit in 1989 when Gerhard was saved from flames in twenty seconds by "CEA Lyons". They arrived immediately from their place near the boxes to the Tamburello wall in two fast fire-cars (if I remember well an Alfa Romeo and a Maserati!!!). Probably if they had to go in the opposite direction of the race they spent more and more time... :rolleyes:

#39 Racer.Demon

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 15:11

Mischa's translation is the best you'll get. 'Kloten' means balls (you'll know which ones) and it is an irreverent but heartfelt term to express disappointment and disillusion. The more appropriate wording would be 'Really? That's really terrible'.

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#40 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 15:21

Ok R.D., thanks!

#41 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 16:10

Nanni, I recall that the ambulance went all the way with Gerhard inside! Wasnt uplifting and I feared the worst. However the relieve was great.

#42 Kiers

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 19:00

Dear Forum,

Today I sent my translation to Anton in Slovakia who has a great website about Roger Williamson. http://www.asag.sk/bio/zand.htm I offered him to translate an article published in a Duth magazine one year ago that now was used as raw material or starting point for a broadcast on Dutch television about Roger Williamson http://www.vpro.nl/g...916757 16557030 The article I mean is in fact in Dutch written down on this website.

To Nanni: in my translation I translate the words of Gijs van Lennep with "Goddamned!". That is what he means. He litterally says "Echt? Dat is echt kloten" and it is very difficult to translate. If I translate it litterally he says "Really? That is really balls", but this would not be a correct translation.

The feeling Gijs expresses here is of utmost and devastating disappointment. When I look at his expression and what he says and his intonation I would say he just can't believe it. He almost has no words for this tragedy, he is looking for a proper way to respond. He was not inappropriate at all. He is looking for a way to handle his sad feelings.

Today I sent this email to Anton at asag@asag.sk

Anton,

I shortened the article a bit after Tom Weathcroft is in Haarlem to identify. The article in this Dutch magazine continues here with facts about Ben Huisman and Herman Brammer. Things that do not really belong to Roger Williamson and facts that are not of any more value to this case.

On the other hand I added a bit more objective notes. I watched the video closely and for example added to this article that Purley needs assistance how to use the fire extinguisher. That is mentioned nowhere in the article but it is a crucial fact. What if not David Purley used the fire equipment but the fireman?

Please let me know what you will do with this translated article. Freely use my name.

Kind regards,

Ed Kiers

--------------------------------------------------------------

Death on the track

Ben Huisman jumps into his yellow Porsche 911 in Zandvoort, The Netherlands. It is early Sunday morning 29th of July 1973. Ben drives from his home on the southern Zandvoort boulevard to the Zandvoort racetrack. It is a ride of less than two kilometers. Ben's wife and his kids, who later become race car drivers Patrick and Duncan Huisman, take their seats on the main grandstand near Start/Finish. Huisman drives on to the pit area and parks his Porsche. Ben Huisman joins track director Johan Beerepoot. This is going to be their day.

For months the two men have been busy putting Zandvoort on the Grand Prix calendar again. In 1972 no Formula One cars were racing through the dunes. The track had grown old, bushes were on the track. In 1972 the FIA and the drivers did not come to the Zandvoort raceway along the coast; too dangerous. The city of Zandvoort wanted to close the track. The local Labour Party and 13 citizens of Zandvoort signed against the racetrack. Formula One is not very popular in these days anyway. These were the first anti-racetrack activities to be followed by many more deep into the 90's.

Johan Beerepoot, who was the secretary of the Nederlandse Autorensport Vereniging (NAV) at that moment, and Ben Huisman - the financial man - put their heads together in 1972. No Grand Prix at Zandvoort, that just could not be the case! There should be a race and therefore they established CENAV which was going to exploit the Zandvoort racetrack. Johan Beerepoot will be president.

They start raising funds (they are looking for money 'everywhere and nowhere') and invest 2,5 million Guilders (1,1 million Euros). A new surface suits the racetrack, rundown areas are broadened, guardrails are placed everywhere around the track, old armco barriers are replaced with new ones. New pitboxes are built and a new controltower is built. Ben Huisman is extremely busy these days and decides to move with his family to a summer house during spring 1973. His paper business in Elburg almost goes bankrupt but Huisman is a dedicated man. He puts a lot of energy in a safer Zandvoort racetrack and his paper business must do without him for a while.

Huisman and Beerepoot meet that 29th of July at the controltower. They decide to make a ride on a motorbike on the track first. During their bikeride they see how great everything looks. The trackside looks neat, flags are waving, the sun is shining and music comes out of the soundsystem. Spectators are pouring in and look for places on top of the dunes or seated places near Start/Finish. Eightythousand people in total and they cause traffic jams. Today Dutch NOS live television is present for the first time in history. Henk Terlingen and Frans Henrichs will be the presentators and of course Dutchman Gijs van Lennep is one of the Grand Prix drivers. The morning of 29th of July is a good one, everything looks shiny.

While Huisman and Beerepoot ride their motorbike around the track it is Herman Brammer who collects his lunchbox, an apple and a bottle of softdrink. It is his reward for a day volunteering as a marshal on the track at post #10 near Tunnel Oost. This is Brammer's second day as a marshal while he can not get a day off as a teacher on a grammar school on Friday. Brammer has been marshal since 1967 and therefore a member of the Officials Club Automobielsport (OCA). In 1970 he saw Piers Courage burn to death. Brammer was at trackpost #10. "I remember I was waving two yellow flags because there was hardly any sight. The black smoke was blowing right over the track." Back then it was Ben Huisman who was the race director assistant who had to tell the bad news to teamboss Frank Williams. Huisman, "It was exceptionally tragic, poor Frankieboy".

Piers Courage's death does not prevent Brammer from coming to Zandvoort as a track official. Nobody is surprised these days when a race driver crashes fatally. Schlesser in 1968, Mitter in 1969, Courage, Rindt and Bruce Mc Laren in 1970. During five years after Zandvoort 1973 it is Francois Cevert, Helmutt Koinigg, Mark Donohue, Tom Pryce and Ronnie Peterson who die. "Drivers who were in Formula One five years or longer had a chance of 66% to crash fatally", says Jackie Stewart. "I once calculated this with my wife Helen. During my active years I lost 75 people in racing."

Brammer realizes that death belongs to the sport. It is not a nice part of racing but it is like it is. On the other hand he is crazy about motorsports and he can not pay for racing himself. His work as a track official is the closest he can get to racing. That is why he comes to Zandvoort this Sunday morning. He wears his regular cloths and his black & white checkered OCA shirt on top of that. No helmet, no fireproof cloths, no equipment.

Around the same time photographer Poppe de Boer, then 32 years old, leaves from Haarlem. Poppes' father Cees de Boer runs a photopraphers agency and he has been a regular visitor of the Zandvoort Grand Prix since 1960. Poppe will start his day of photographing at Hunserug and intends to walk around the track during the race. He knows he should take some pictures of the leaders of the race and of course Dutchman Gijs van Lennep.

Gijs van Lennep, who competed in a Grand Prix (Zandvoort 1971) before, received a telephone call from Marlboro a few weeks prior to the Grand Prix. The tabacco company wants to let him drive for the ISO-Marlboro-team owned by Frank Williams. In order to get some more spectators to the Grand Prix on the renovated racetrack.

Van Lennep is the defending 1972 European Champion Formula 5000 and faces an unstable season in 1973 so far. He wins the 1973 Targa Florio but in Formula 5000 he is not able to score. The winner of the 1971 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans seems not able to collect 400,000 Guilders (181,000 Euros) to drive for the Formula One team of Surtees. Van Lennep, "to be honest I had deleted Formula One from my mind."

"Just a few Formula One races a year would be nice", van Lennep thinks when he hangs up the phone after talking to Marlboro. In a way he still is keen on Formula One although he is a better long distance and sportscar driver. "Long distance demands 90% from you. Formula One is much heavier, that claims 100%. It is one of my mancos. Since my heavy crash in Spa 1967 I have always been on the edge of too little physical condition." Marlboro however thinks Van Lennep is a great driver and Frank Williams has to accept the deal. Gijs van Lennep agrees. "But Williams did not mean a thing those days. He did not have money, he did not have anything."

During the Grand Prix Van Lennep feels he is being used by Frank Williams. Only at the end of the last qualifying session he gets a good set of tires. "Of course, Williams was used by Marlboro as well", Van Lennep says thirty years later in 2003. "But what a tough man this Frank Williams is. He still owes me money." Van Lennep qualifies 20th, two places behind Roger Williamson and one place in front of David Purley. Front row is Ronnie Peterson (Lotus), François Cevert (Tyrrell) and Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell). Peterson and Cevert are rising stars as fast as they are wild. Jacky Stewart was the World Champion in 1969 and 1971 and is the big man these days. Only a few months earlier he was at Zandvoort as a representative for the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GDPA).

Ben Huisman picked up Jacky Stewart from Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam in a orange BMW 2002. With a speed of only 50 kilometers an hour (32 mph) they drove to Zandvoort. Stewart did not want Huisman to drive too quickly and therefore race director Huisman drove even slower just to tease. "We weren't really talkative. Our personalities did not really fit."

Huisman gets along very well with Graham Hill whom he visited at home and vice versa. And playboy James Hunt. In 1972 Huisman and Hunt have dinner with Roger Williamson in Hilversum. "That serious Stewart, that is a different piece of cake." Huisman, Stewart, Beerepoot and constructor Smallegange walk around the recently renovated racetrack. This is an important meeting because the GPDA has a lot of power and Stewart is a personality. Stewart has questions and remarks. Stewart remembers, "The back part of the track was interesting. Very demanding with all these hills and sanddunes and there needs to be done a lot more to the track." After Huisman brings back Stewart to the airport Huisman realizes nothing can hold back the Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Back to Sunday 29th of July 1973. Around two o'clock Huisman instructs the drivers to the track. He tells them to hurry up otherwise he will close the pitlane. "Nobody was in a hurry". When all cars are out on the track Huisman and Beerepoot congratulate eachother. They have done it. The cars drive a warming up lap and then slowly drive to the main straight. The drivers get out of their cars on the starting grid. Van Lennep talks to Roger Williamson on the grid. "Williamson was a nice chap".

On the second floor of the controltower Huisman informs himself about timekeeping. They are ready. The fire brigade is ready and he checks if the OCA on the first floor made contact with all posts around the track. Everything seems to be OK. As agreed the ladder stands against the tower wall. In case Huisman can not hear timekeeping he is now able to run up against the ladder to get close to them. "These guys were my eyes and my ears." Accordingly he climbs on a small platform at the beginning of the pitlane near Start/Finish, the drivers get into their cars and start their engines. All spectators get up their feet and Huisman waves the Dutch flag. The race has started!

Twentythree cars dive into the Tarzan turn. Peterson in front of Stewart, Pace and Cevert. After seven laps Peterson still leads. Van Lennep is driving a great race and is 12th after a good start. Right behind him on 13th place is Roger Williamson with David Purley behind. One and a half minute later Van Lennep laps for the 8th time post #10 near Tunnel Oost. Full throttle, full speed.

"Tunnel Oost is a very nice turn, it is a real turn", Van Lennep says. "It is a difficult turn. One has grip but when you come out of the turn there is no space. It is a few meters grass, a guardrail and a steep dune and on top of that the woods. A very tight turn. There you need to do it exactly right. There is not a lot space for error, not a lot of space for compensation. When on the inside of the turn, if only a bit too far from the inside edge of the track, you would miss a lot on the outside. Tunnel Oost was a matter of centimeters. A bit like Blanchimont at Spa or the 130R at Suzuka. The car needs to be neutral, it all listens very closely at 260-270 kilometers an hour (165 mph). I always felt happy when I passed Tunnel Oost clearly. I always have been very aware of that turn. When coming through Scheivlak I always thought 'two more curves...'".

Sometimes I thought 'is it me or is it the car?'. I saw someone passing by like Cevert or so and I watched them slam and slide their car and run six meters away from me. I thought I should not have too much overtsteer here and looked at the black skidmarks they left on the track. Amazing! When you make one little mistake, time stands still. You just do not have time and space to correct."

A few seconds after Van Lennep passes post #10 Brammer hears a loud bang. Metal hitting metal and the sound echoes through the guardrail. Brammer turns his head. One of the cars has a burst tyre, front left and hits the guardrail. It is the red March 721 of Roger Williamson. The car gets catapulted by the guardrail, flies through the air and bounces back on the track. The car turns around it axes and slides upside down over a distance of 200 meters to a standstill opposite post #10. The cockpit fire extinguisher goes off. Brammer is scared to death and thinks of Piers Courage, "Oh no, not another one". The March lies on its rollbar with Roger Williamson still inside the car. Brammer feels adrenaline, runs to the trackside and starts to wave the yellow flag immediately to warn the other drivers.

David Purley is driving his 3rd Grand Prix and sees just in front of him Williamson being catapulted by the guardrail. Without hesitation he parks his March on the left side of the track and that is the outside part of the track. Graham Hill passes next and drives by. The other cars follow. Williamson's wrecked car is on the inside part of the Tunnel Oost turn, exactly on the ideal line, on fire already. Former paratrooper David Purley gets out of his car and crosses the track to run to Williamson. Purley tries to turn over the car by pushing the right front wheel but the car is too heavy. Brammer's colleague Hans Rens and another OCA track official cross the track and run to Williamson to assist Purley. Both men are unable to push the car because it is burning heavily and they lack protective clothing.

Then a fireman with a fire extinguisher comes to the track. Purley crosses the track for a second time and runs to the fireman. We see a 'nervous' Purley who grabs the fire extinguisher from the fireman and runs back to Williamson. On video it is clear that Purley does not know how to operate the fire extinguisher and gets assistance from the fireman. Purley sprays the fire extinguisher till it is empty. The question is if he uses the fire extinguisher properly.

When the fire extinguisher is empty Purley tries to push the car one more time and fails again to turn it over. OCA track officials try to push as well but are unable to get close to the burning car. Then Purley waves spectators to come and cross the track to assist. A second fire extinguisher arrives near the now heavily burning car. The second fire extinguisher is not able either to extinguish the fire.

Filmed by live television millions of people watch the tragedy happen but in the controltower at the Zandvoort track there is no television. At post #10 a marshal must call the controltower but now, thirty years later in 2003, nobody knows who this man was. Herman Brammer and Hans Rens were not the man in any case. The unknown man has an impossible mission because it must have been 1973 according to Brammer that the telephone cable was torn from the hook. The important message "Post #10, crash, fire", never reaches race director Ben Huisman. The race is not being stopped by a lack of information.

Stewart is chasing Ronnie Peterson when he sees waving flags in lap 9 for the first time. He sees smoke and he knows this is a big accident. "A bad news story". Who is it? No idea, there is a lot of debris on the track and Stewart must decide in a split second how fast he still can go and where to pass the wreck. "I was looking for marshals", Stewart says. "They could inform me. In a car you see the accident completely different from what spectators see. And do not forget, this is a fast part of the track. When you lower speed you must be careful no one hits you in the back. So you take a good look in your mirrors. Your mind has taken on a different zone."

"We drove by at a foot-pace", Van Lennep remembers. "Except mister Peterson who just screamed by. On a certain moment I noticed a driver next to the crashed car. After the race that appeared to have been Purley but when it happened I thought 'oh, the guy just rolls from under his car.'"

David Purley after the race: "I just couldn't turn it over. I could see he was alive and I could hear him shouting, but I couldn't get the car over. I was trying to get people to help me, and if I could have turned the car over he would have been alright, we could have got him out." Later, when the immediate grief had receded, he admitted, "I didn't even think about the heroism or any of that rubbish. I just did what comes naturally to a trained soldier who sees a fellow in trouble."

At Hunserug photographer Poppe de Boer sees smoke. He does not hesitate and grabs his equipment and starts running through the dunes. He guesses it took him around five minutes to reach the area of the accident. He only sees smoke, misery and disaster. De Boer photographes the smouldering car. He does not have a clue if someone is still in the car, he just registers with his camera.

Meanwhile Brammer gets frustrated. He sees everything but he has the yellow flag and has to wave. The situation changes all the time. People are still running across the track. At this moment race director Ben Huisman notices the black smoke as well. But no message from post #10 is received in the controltower. "It could not have happened on the track", Huisman thinks, "..because laptimes remain the same." Maybe some spectators set fire to some tires. Huisman goes up the ladder. Timekeeping does not know a thing. It must be false alarm. Besides this, didn't they build a safe track? What could happen here at Zandvoort? Later we knew something had happened but the message we received was: accident, driver OK. He is standing next to his car.

After 20 laps Huisman realizes something is terribly wrong. "Naive? Absolutely. But things are happening during races all the time and I am not a person who panics quickly. None of the drivers came into the pits to let us know something was going on." After the race Dennis Hulme tells Huisman, "Bullshit, I have let you known something was going on."

Then from the Gerlach turn a firetruck enters the track with 500 liters of water onboard. Slowly the truck creeps up Hunserug. Not faster than 40 km/h (25 mph) Huisman guesses. It takes a long time before the old red Bedford arrives at Tunnel Oost. It is too late for Williamson as the official report says. Roger Williamson died of breathing hot gasses. When the fire is completely extinguished by the firetruck the car is turned over and a white sheet is put over the car.

“I do not know. It gets serious when a firetruck enters the track. But the message: 'he is dead'.... I really do not know when that came in. It even might have been my own conclusion. It took a long time before we knew for certain. The story grows”, Huisman says.

Huisman ends the race after 72 laps. Jackie Stewart wins. Roger Williamson's body is transported to the hospital of Haarlem. Huisman sees the bad weather coming. Dutch driver Gijs van Lennep scored a nice result, he finishes 6th and deserves one World Championship point. Dutch television reporter Frans Henrichs does not want to talk about this one point. "Goddamned!", Van Lennep swears when the reporter tells him what exactly happened at Tunnel Oost. "I have seen him getting out of his car!", Van Lennep says. But Henrichs tells him that he has seen Purley and that Williamson burned. Williamson's fiancee, Jacqui Hamilton, is being escorted from the track. Purley, a mental wreck, leaves to his hotel in Bloemendaal where he stayed with Williamson. Photographer Poppe de Boer is in his lab developing his negatives. Ronnie Peterson, who does not finish, drives with his roadcar to Tunnel Oost.

Ben Huisman realizes some hot hours are waiting for him and therefore he first wants to speak to the OCA track officials of post #10. When Brammer has told Huisman about the accident he signs a document not to talk about this outside these four walls. "After 30 years we might have reached the term of limitation and therefore I speak about this for the first time", Brammer says in 2003.

Near the controltower everybody with an opinion or a question flocks together. Drivers, journalists, teambosses and of course the race directors. It is a kind of 'press conference' in a tent. Huisman sits at a table and a wild scene unfolds. "It scared me", Huisman syas. "Everybody ran in and out, heated discussions, people were calling eachother names. I thought 'where the hell am I?'. Everybody was shouting about Williamson but the only one who knew him was me. Last year I had dinner with him in Hilversum. Dennis Hulme who called me nasty names never met Williamson."

The critics are all over. Peter Revson (McLaren) says Williamson would have had a chance if the race directors had responded faster and accurately. The race should have been stopped. Mike Hailwood says he will feel guilty all of his life because he did not stop to help Purley. Earlier that year Hailwood stopped to free Clay Regazzoni from his burning car risking his own life. Williamson's teamboss Max Mosley (president of the FIA in 2003) talks about a '****-up'. If intelligent people would have been in charge, this would not have happened he says. Besides this the trackofficials were cowards, he concludes. Jackie Stewart does not agree. The winner of the race doubts if Williamson could have survived the accident and a fire of this magnitude. The race stopped? "I do not think so if that was necessary", he says 30 years later at the Malaisian Grand Prix 2003. "Today the safetycar would enter the track. Today's drivers do not understand how things were 30 years ago. We had to live with the knowledge anything fatal could happen any time."

After one hour the meeting at Zandvoort dies out. "It felt like a cold shower", Ben Huisman says. Huisman leaves to Graham Hill's camper and they drink a glass of beer. The driver and the race director. Both tired. "Not so good Ben", says Hill. "This is not so good, Ben." After a few minutes Huisman gets up and leaves to Tunnel Oost, the place of the accident, and then back to the summerhouse on the boulevard next to the beach.

Tom Wheatcroft, Williamson's sponsor and owner of the Donington racetrack, is being asked to come to Haarlem to identify the body. He can not do it and he asks BRM-boss Louis Stanley to go with him. "The mortuary was a simple building. Inside it felt like a church", Stanley writes in his book Behind the Scenes. "Instead of an altar there was a coffin. I had a key to open the coffin. If there has been any reprehensible picture of motor racing this was it. Roger Williamson in his affected fireproof overall, both his arms and hands for his face like he had tried to protect himself for his approaching death."

Sources

'Andere Tijden'
2 maart 2004
VPRO television
The Netherlands

Interviewed

Ben Huisman, race director GP Zandvoort 1973
Herman Brammer, track official Post #10
Gijs van Lennep, driver at Grand Prix Zandvoort 1973
Jacqui Hamilton, fiancee Roger Williamson
Kim Stevenson, childhood friend
Ian Phillips, journalist Autosport
Cor Mooij, photographer, winner World Press Photo 1974

Literature
Formule 1, nr 14 / 2003
Autosport (oa jaargang 1973)
Motorsport
Haarlems Dagblad,
Het Parool,
De Telegraaf,
Algemeen Dagblad,
Strictly off the record - Louis T. Stanley
Behind the scenes - Louis T. Stanley
Jackie Stewart - Karl Ludvigsen
A man called Mike - Christopher Hilton
To hell and back - Niki Lauda
Ronnie Peterson - Alan Henry
James Hunt - Gerald Donaldson
Speed with Style, the autobiography of Peter Revson - Leon Mandel
Frank Williams - Maurice Hamilton
Grand Prix Requiem - Williams Court
30 jaar circuit Zandvoort - Hans Hugenholtz
100 jaar autosport, 50 jaar circuit Zandvoort -Dirk Buwalda e.a.
The Autobiography of Formula One - Edited by Gerald Donaldson
Grand Prix Story 1973 - Heinz Prüller
Grand Prix Story 1974 - Heinz Prüller

Links

www.pitreport.nl
www.f1today.nl
www.asag.sk

#43 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 08:20

About Gijs van Lennep’s use of rude language back in 1973 already (because referring to men’s genitals with slang language was still rude at that time) ….

The magazine Auto 2000 published a Column by Van Lennep. (Any other Dutch members ever heard about this magazine, was it Dutch or perhaps Belgian? It was gone so all of a sudden.)
Regrettably, I can’t give the exact date of publication because I tore the pages out of the magazine as a kid of barely 12 or so years old. But the article mentioned that Van Lennep was about to leave for the Italian GP of 1973 so ut is an late Summer early Fall edition.
Van Lennep wrote about his plans for the future and the season so far. But he ended the column as follows.

Tot slot wil ik u een telefoontje van een lieve mevrouw, dat ik na de Grand Prix op Zandvoort kreeg niet onthouden. Haar woorden luidden als volgt: “Ik hoop dat uw collega’s in geval dat u op een circuit komt te overlijden niet alleen maar zullen volstaan met de opmerking kloten, wat u voor de televisie meende te moeten opmerken bij het vernemen van Williamson’s dood.”
Ik hoop het met haar. Maar wil hier toch nog wel even aan toevoegen dat ik, toen het allemaal pas goed tot mij was doorgedrongen nog heel wat meer heb gezegd. Aanmerkelijk eerbiediger en stijlvoller dan kloten. Maar dat is helaas niet uitgezonden. Vandaar dat ik nu in deze kolommen mijn kans grijp om u hierop te attenderen.

Summary in English: Van Lennep had received a phone call from a woman who told him that she hoped that if he ever was to die on a track that his colleagues would say something more that “that sucks” (if we accept this translation as the most appropriate) as was shown on TV. Van Lennep explains that when he realized what had happened with Williamson he had said some more things in better language and more respectful but that this part regrettably wasn’t shown on TV. So that’s why he used the opportunity to use his column to inform the readers about this.

I hope this is of interest for some readers.

Henri Greuter

#44 Paul Taylor

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 01:01

I just watched this on the internet.

I didn't really understand too much of what was being said, but I could make out the odd word.

Fairly interesting programme, but it really makes me think negative things about the marshalls.

I won't talk about it because I don't need to.

#45 Felix

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 11:18

Am I the only one cried at this utterly shameful waste of sublime talent, and, more importantly, precious life?

#46 MCS

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 19:48

Kiers

I found your translated article interesting - thanks.

It still leaves questions unanswered though.

I find it very difficult to believe that the "telephone cable was torn from the hook" and I find it even more difficult to believe that even Huisman was stupid enough to believe that the smoke was not coming from the track.

It all still beggars belief.

I wrote this in another similar thread recently about the programme......

I’ve watched the video – I wish I hadn’t.

Something has always bothered me though. Not far away, just three years earlier, Piers Courage crashed his De Tomaso in the Dutch Grand Prix and was left by the marshals to burn to death. Nobody went to help the Englishman. Nobody. Fact.

So, my question is: were any of the same marshals at the scene of the Williamson accident in 1973?

The lack of willingness to help, the total inaction, incompetence and sheer, indefensible cowardice sickens me to this day. One of the individuals concerned actually tried to hinder David Purley in his efforts to save Williamson. So what’s the likelihood that the same people were present?

Unless I’m badly mistaken, I’m sure DCN asked in this thread if the “marshals” at the scene had been interviewed in the programme – but this contribution seems to have been removed. Why?

I would be interested to know what happened to those who stood by and watched that day in 1973.

Thirty years on I haven’t forgotten and I find the laughing, smiling demeanour of Ben Huisman in the TV programme absolutely unforgivable.

A memorial for Roger I wholeheartedly support – I still have treasured signed photographs of him (and of David Purley for that matter).

But what about a memorial to Piers Courage, who surely died an equally unnecessary and tragic death just three years earlier due to the incompetence of the likes of Huisman and his ilk?


I will never accept that the individuals involved have still not been named, except of course for the despicable Huisman.

MCS

#47 Catalina Park

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 09:55

It was said that Piers died from head injuries and not from fire so I would not go blaming the marshals. His front wheel knocked his helmet off and the helmet was laying on the side of the track. The De Tomaso had a lot of magnesium in the chassis and I don't think that the marshals could have done much about it with the equipment that they had at the time.
Just two years before Piers died we lost Jo Schlesser at Rouen in a fire and then Jo Siffert in 1971.
The lessons took a long while to sink in.

#48 Svend

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 04:19

Originally posted by MCS

Unless I’m badly mistaken, I’m sure DCN asked in this thread if the “marshals” at the scene had been interviewed in the programme – but this contribution seems to have been removed. Why?

I would be interested to know what happened to those who stood by and watched that day in 1973.
MCS


I think it has been answered before, but one of the marhalls was present in the documentary. It's the guy standing on the track waving the yellow flag. He also featured in an interview in an interview with Formule 1 (dutch magazine) IIRC.

#49 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 11:47

I apologize for dragging this one up another time.

This is for the Dutch only I'm affraid
I just got back from the local bookshop.

The magazine "Autovisie" which appeared in the shops today (22 April 2004) has an extended article about the tragedy, including some of the award winning pictures made.

I went trough it briefly but after reading some pieces (about what spectators could hear coming out of the wreckage) and seeing some of the pictures of the wreck when the fire was gone, I had to put the magazine away. Only to find out that, when I stood outside again, that I had forgotten to look through the article I was interested to begin with.
Now I don't know what that says about me to all of you.
But it made me think when I walked back.....

So for those who can take a distance from it and/or have strong enough stomachs, you know where to look for.

There are days when you are confronted with events that you really wonder what it is that you like about this sport and (at least in my case) makes me feel bad that I do so.
I had one such day back in '73, I feel close to have another one again today.

No matter who had an accident like this happen to him, either a rookie or a celebrity at that time like Cevert, Stewart, Fittipaldi, Ickx, what a waste of human live.
And all because of sticking to some rules, misunderstandings and ill preparation for an event like a GP.
God what a waste.
I am still embarrased about the fact that anything like this could happen in my country. I know, times were different then versus now. But still....


I mentioned, that having to put that magazine aside prematurely made me think.
One of these thoughts was this.
In a different thread, someone indicated that remembering Roland Ratzenberger extensively during the Imola GP weekend would be overdoing it compared with the attention Senna deserved because of Senna's more impressive career and results while Roland's career was only 2 GP's long.
Roland died on worldwide TV, for everyone to see.
So did Roger.
And Roger had even one GP less behind his name that Roland.
So must I pay even less thoughts about Roger because of that? Because his career in F1 was even shorter than that of Roland?



Rest In Peace Roger Williamson. You were not a much heralded F1 star yet, but we who saw you lose your live won't forget you.

Henri Greuter

#50 Racer.Demon

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 13:03

FYI: the documentary will see two reruns this week, first tonight at 20.55, with a second rerun on Saturday at 12.30.

For those abroad wanting to catch up - it's being aired on Nederland 3, the third Dutch public channel.

And there will always be these RealMedia streams:

http://cgi.omroep.nl...2.rm?title=Dood op het circuit 2 maart 2004 (broadband)

http://cgi.omroep.nl...2.rm?title=Dood op het circuit 2 maart 2004 (narrow band)