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Never seen a crash like this.


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#1 Clatter

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:01

http://www.shooshtim...deo.php?id=3812

Anyone know when/where this crash took place?

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:07

Formula Dream, Suzuka GP, 2002

#3 100cc

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:07

Formula dream in Suzuka. Support race for F1.

#4 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:10

The driver, I can't remember his name for the moment, broke his neck in the accident IIRC. I don't think it was fatal however.

Certainly a bad shunt.

#5 Tuxy

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:11

Man :eek: ..where's the footage from that camera!?!?!

#6 100cc

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:12

Not only did ross beat me by a few seconds... he was also more accurate.

Border: I remember that i read something about a fractured spine or something... don't remember a broken neck.

#7 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:23

Originally posted by 100cc
Not only did ross beat me by a few seconds... he was also more accurate.

Border: I remember that i read something about a fractured spine or something... don't remember a broken neck.


It's most probably me being wrong then, I remember something fairly important was broken.

#8 Clatter

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:23

Cheers guys,

Here's another one.

http://www.shooshtim...deo.php?id=3750

Cant believe these guys could be this stupid.

#9 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:25

Is that the Willy T Ribbs incident?

#10 100cc

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:26

here's something i found....

"Although he was badly hurt the 22-year-old from Tokyo lived to tell the tale which was an amazing thing."

from http://www.grandprix...gt/gt00232.html

border... it could just as well be me who is wrong.

#11 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:28

Not having seen the clip (crappy slow ISDN connection, dl'ing now) but having read the moron comments, it sounds a lot like Jeff Krosnoff's fatal accident, which also killed a marshall. Not very nice at all, and that people are having a good laugh at it is seriously ****ed up, (If it is the Krosnoff accident).

#12 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:30

Sorry, rant off, it's not Krosnoff, Ross is right, I think it's the Willy T Ribbs incident in Vancouver. . . .

#13 Rob G

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:55

Originally posted by BorderReiver
Sorry, rant off, it's not Krosnoff, Ross is right, I think it's the Willy T Ribbs incident in Vancouver. . . .

It does seem to be the Ribbs Vancouver incident, although I have never seen video of it before. If I'm not mistaken one of the marshals was killed. My guess is it was the last one to get hit.

#14 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:57

Originally posted by Rob G

It does seem to be the Ribbs Vancouver incident, although I have never seen video of it before. If I'm not mistaken one of the marshals was killed. My guess is it was the last one to get hit.


Not to be flippant, but it would have to be. The other two guys get up.

#15 StickShift

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:58

That is the Willy T Ribbs incident. The marshall was killed pretty much instantly.

Can we stop posting fatal / nearly fatal crashes now?

#16 Dino G

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 17:16

Originally posted by BorderReiver
Sorry, rant off, it's not Krosnoff, Ross is right, I think it's the Willy T Ribbs incident in Vancouver. . . .


I think he died in that one, the guy in Vancouver?

#17 Rob G

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 17:22

Originally posted by BorderReiver


Not to be flippant, but it would have to be. The other two guys get up.

Ahh, I saw one guy get up but didn't notice the other one rise in back.

#18 MrSlow

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 19:40

Originally posted by StickShift
Can we stop posting fatal / nearly fatal crashes now?

Yes, please! It is sick. Even worse when reading the comments on that site.

It should not be allowed to post things llike that without warnings, there is absolutely no need for people to see things like that. Titled " Crazy ass crash.."

#19 Buford

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 20:52

At the time the corner workers got hit they were still running serious accidents over and over on replays. It was after the Krosnoff accident when they zoomed right in on the car and his lifeless body and showed it multiple times, that they began the policy of not zooming in on a bad appearing accident and not showing replays unless the driver is at least moving or they have a report from the scene it is not fatal.

It was quite clear the man was dead in the corner worker - Ribbs accident. But it seemed Paul Page the announcer broadcasting live that day, either did not look at the accident closely, had a very small monitor that didn't show much detail, or the sun was shining on it or something, because he never seemed to recognize the magnitude of what was shown on the screen multiple times. At the end of the show he anounced he was happy to report no serious injuries. I was thinking at the time, "What the hell are you talking about?" No way that guy isn't dead." Later on the news it was announced of course that he was.

It was this accident that changed the course of Champ Car racing when it came to full course yellows. While Willie T Ribbs was no way to blame since he was slowed down and they ran into him, the corner workers were furious the drivers had stopped honoring stationary yellow flags. The insurance companies demanded full course yellows if people had to go onto the track, and the racing was damaged from then on. For those of you who complain how Champ Car puts out a full course yellow for every little thing, you just saw why. That's what caused it.

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#20 Clatter

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 21:08

At times when you see how fast the F1 cars go past accidents under the yellow flag you cannot help thinking that it is only a matter of time before a similar incident occurs. They have come mighty close, Brazil a couple of years ago springs to mind.

What I couldnt understand was why they all ran into the path of the oncoming cars. Was there an explanation for that?

#21 McLarenFormula1

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 21:22

Originally posted by Clatter
At times when you see how fast the F1 cars go past accidents under the yellow flag you cannot help thinking that it is only a matter of time before a similar incident occurs. They have come mighty close, Brazil a couple of years ago springs to mind.

What I couldnt understand was why they all ran into the path of the oncoming cars. Was there an explanation for that?


It looked to me as if they had no clue that there were cars there. I imagine they were pushing a stalled car, and he got it started, and they ran off the track to get out of the way of everyone else. All of them are looking back at the previously stopped vehicle and not at Ribbs' car. The engine of the car they were pushing must have drowned out the sounds of approaching vehicles.

#22 Rene

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 21:26

Originally posted by Buford
At the time the corner workers got hit they were still running serious accidents over and over on replays. It was after the Krosnoff accident when they zoomed right in on the car and his lifeless body and showed it multiple times, that they began the policy of not zooming in on a bad appearing accident and not showing replays unless the driver is at least moving or they have a report from the scene it is not fatal.

It was quite clear the man was dead in the corner worker - Ribbs accident. But it seemed Paul Page the announcer broadcasting live that day, either did not look at the accident closely, had a very small monitor that didn't show much detail, or the sun was shining on it or something, because he never seemed to recognize the magnitude of what was shown on the screen multiple times. At the end of the show he anounced he was happy to report no serious injuries. I was thinking at the time, "What the hell are you talking about?" No way that guy isn't dead." Later on the news it was announced of course that he was.

It was this accident that changed the course of Champ Car racing when it came to full course yellows. While Willie T Ribbs was no way to blame since he was slowed down and they ran into him, the corner workers were furious the drivers had stopped honoring stationary yellow flags. The insurance companies demanded full course yellows if people had to go onto the track, and the racing was damaged from then on. For those of you who complain how Champ Car puts out a full course yellow for every little thing, you just saw why. That's what caused it.


Thanks for the background :up: :up: :up:

#23 Megatron

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 21:32

Gordon Smiley's crash on pole day at Indy has to be one of, if not the, the worst accident ever, at least that I have seen.

#24 Buford

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 22:45

Originally posted by Clatter
At times when you see how fast the F1 cars go past accidents under the yellow flag you cannot help thinking that it is only a matter of time before a similar incident occurs. They have come mighty close, Brazil a couple of years ago springs to mind.

What I couldnt understand was why they all ran into the path of the oncoming cars. Was there an explanation for that?


Just human error. They were focused on pushing the car and when it started they all had brain fade with their "mission accomplished" feeling and turned to their right without looking.

Yes the Gordon Smiley crash was the worst single car crash of all time. Nothing of the car left bigger than a bread box other than the engine that seperated and Smiley's body flattened and dragged along the track. They showed that time and time again and did for years on ABC. I also have it from several other angles than the two ABC had from the local Indy stations who all had cameras around the track in those days. That is an accident they would never replay today. It was like a plane crash with a debris field all the way from turn 3 to turn 4, and the reactions of the crash crew who arrived in seconds and the way they threw their hands into the air in hopelessness when they saw what they saw.

#25 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 22:52

Originally posted by Buford


Just human error. They were focused on pushing the car and when it started they all had brain fade with their "mission accomplished" feeling and turned to their right without looking.

Yes the Gordon Smiley crash was the worst single car crash of all time. Nothing of the car left bigger than a bread box other than the engine that seperated and Smiley's body flattened and dragged along the track. They showed that time and time again and did for years on ABC. I also have it from several other angles than the two ABC had from the local Indy stations who all had cameras around the track in those days. That is an accident they would never replay today. It was like a plane crash with a debris field all the way from turn 3 to turn 4, and the reactions of the crash crew who arrived in seconds and the way they threw their hands into the air in hopelessness when they saw what they saw.


Gordon Smiley's shunt was appalling, a total disintigration, utterly horrific.

However the Indy accident that upsets me most is Swede Savage's in 73, another total disintigration. There is a picture of poor Savage trying to stand up in the midst of what used to be his car (the largest visible component of which is still strapped to his back), it is a heart-wrending image. IIRC Savage died a few weeks later in hospital.

As someone infinately better qualified than me once said.

"Unfortunately Motor-Racing is also this."

#26 Buford

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:07

Yeah - they showed that on ABC with the camera zoomed in on Savage flopping around with his legs bent back under what was left of the chassis behind him and flames totally enveloping him and the car. I remember Jim Mackay shouting. "Oh my God he's alive!!! Swede Savage is alive in that burning car!!!" Savage radioed back to his crew while in the flames, "Christ what a mess." Another one they would never show in replay today. Fortunately though, we do not have as many of those types of accidents today. The fire problem has been pretty much solved.

Had it not been for the burns, despite horrible bone injuries all over his body, Savage would probably have survived. He fought the good fight, but his body finally shut down from the magnitude of all the injuries and the infections that come from burns. At the same time that happened his crewman was killed on pit road by a fire truck racing the wrong way down the pit lane. Earlier in the month our family friend Art Pollard had been killed in a horrendous pole day flip and fire, and at the start of the race Salt Walther was horribly burned in the starting line crash that also threw burning fuel into the grandstands and burned about 14 spectators and lesser injuries to dozens more.

It was a tough time to be a racer and a race fan in 1973. People everywhere were questioning our sanity. An aura of doom permeated the racing scene and that is not hyperbole. My brother won the best article of the year award from the American Race Writers and Broadcasting Association for an article he wrote titled “The Watergate of Auto Racing.” Racing used to be a tough place for tough people. It was a blood sport for a blood cult. It wasn't sane at all.

#27 fifi

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:08

Originally posted by StickShift
Can we stop posting fatal / nearly fatal crashes now?

i agree

#28 BorderReiver

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:26

I've put up the pictures of the Savage incident below, not out of any desire to be ghoulish, but rather as a reminder of just how far we have thankfully come. I appreciate that a great many people find images like the ones below (and above) upsetting, and for that reason I've attached an advisory and not thumbnailed them. However I think this, admittedly awful, side of motorsport is every bit as valid a part of it's history as the good side.

I guess it's just a reminder that we should never take safety in motor-racing, even in this day an age, for granted. It's just a tragic facet of that sport that incident's like Savage's should have to occur before appropriate action was taken to kerb them. It really makes you appreciate what people liek Jackie Stewart have done for racing driver's up and down the performance ladder.

Warning. These are images of a fatal accident. Discretion Advised.

Savage's car hits the infield wall

Savage in the wreckage

Savage in the wreckage (very upsetting)

#29 Spunout

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:49

Indeed the way TV stations show fatal crashes has changed a lot. I started to watch F1 casually since late 70s and regularly since early 80s (Keke!!!) so my knowledge of past TV footage is more or less limited, but the shots from 60s I have seen made it pretty clear things were different back then. Currently Finnish TV is ready to show some fatal crashes (some time ago Gilles Villeneuve crash and poor man receiving CPR from doctors, etc) but _usually_ not really appalling ones. Some historical documents qualify as exceptions. Then again if you watch pretty much any news channel and latest reports from Iraq (assuming you aren´t watching American channels heh), you have to ask are F1 crashes really any worse...?

I suppose Francois Cevert and Helmut Koinigg crashes at Watkins Glen were among the worst ones, too. I have never seen the latter one and the only footage of Cevert crash I have seen were some rather blurry pictures. They looked pretty bad and I can only imagine how the audience will react if something similar happens in the future. After all, despite of safer cars and run-off areas all you need is a freak accident and some poor chap will fly to the wall at 350 kph. It can happen - as long as you travel at high speeds, F1 can never be totally safe.

BTW I checked out the source where the links were from (shooshtime or whatever). Seems to be some kind of filth site where they publish all sorts of garbage for juveniles with access to dad´s computer. It is not surprising the level of comments is what it is.



Re: Gordon Smiley :(

I have pics of the accident but due the graphic nature of them I have choosed not to share them here.

#30 Spunout

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:00

"It really makes you appreciate what people liek Jackie Stewart have done for racing driver's up and down the performance ladder."

Yep, not only the cars and tracks are safer, but there are no more shameful incidents comparable to eg Roger Williamson and his unnecessary death.

#31 rosemeyer

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:26

lets just stop this therad this is like replaying Tom Pryce's accident

#32 BorderReiver

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:28

Originally posted by rosemeyer
lets just stop this therad this is like replaying Tom Pryce's accident


I beg your pardon, but nobody is asking you to read it.

#33 rosemeyer

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:42

posted by BorderReiver

I beg your pardon, but nobody is asking you to read it.

You would a great roman citizen at the colliseum

#34 ehagar

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:46

Originally posted by Clatter
At times when you see how fast the F1 cars go past accidents under the yellow flag you cannot help thinking that it is only a matter of time before a similar incident occurs. They have come mighty close, Brazil a couple of years ago springs to mind.

What I couldnt understand was why they all ran into the path of the oncoming cars. Was there an explanation for that?


Monaco comes to mind with me... those Monaco marshals are quite agressive.

#35 BorderReiver

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:48

Originally posted by rosemeyer
posted by BorderReiver

I beg your pardon, but nobody is asking you to read it.

You would a great roman citizen at the colliseum


Can you point to anything remotely distasteful I've done on this thread? In what might very well be a valid historic discussion (admittedly about the less palatable side to motorsport), you've just waded in and tarred everyone with the ghoul brush.

I realise that we are dealing with some deeply unpleasant things, but they are facets of the sport.

I'd pretty much expect someone who lists their activities and interests as being "vintage racing" to appreciate that. Spunout, Buford and myself all have race track experience and have some idea of the risks and incidents we are discussing. Don't be so quick to judge.

#36 Megatron

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 00:52

Originally posted by Buford


Just human error. They were focused on pushing the car and when it started they all had brain fade with their "mission accomplished" feeling and turned to their right without looking.

Yes the Gordon Smiley crash was the worst single car crash of all time. Nothing of the car left bigger than a bread box other than the engine that seperated and Smiley's body flattened and dragged along the track. They showed that time and time again and did for years on ABC. I also have it from several other angles than the two ABC had from the local Indy stations who all had cameras around the track in those days. That is an accident they would never replay today. It was like a plane crash with a debris field all the way from turn 3 to turn 4, and the reactions of the crash crew who arrived in seconds and the way they threw their hands into the air in hopelessness when they saw what they saw.


I heard Smiley's widdow lost a life insurance policy because Gordon had put the wrong date of birth on the contract and she never got anything.

This isn't going to be a chearing wonderful thread but the reality of auto racing is that when ever there is speed, there is danger, and that danger has deadly realites. We should mourn those that are lost, and feel better that our heros that lived through terrible accidents did.

There is a difference between goulish threads and threads that simply tell it like it is. There are bad things that happen when you go extremely fast.

I never have raced a car, proabably never will. I did race bicycles for a short time. There was this hill where the road was narrow and the drop off was about a 30 foot drop on one side and mountain rock on the other. I used to have a speedometer on the bike, I used to hit 60 MPH going down the hill. I never thought about the danger while I was going down the hill, but when I reached the bottom, I would look back up and think to myself "You do know that was crazy". But it didnt' stop me from going back again and again. I think the racer's mind in cars is similar.

#37 Spunout

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 01:10

BorderReiver - I have to say my feeble experience is no way comparable to you and Buford...

Anyway. Rosemeyer - I too find it strange why you compare BorderReiver (or anyone participating this thread) to Colosseum audience - I can assure you no one here enjoys fatal crashes. But the fact is motor sports is dangerous and before safety improvements especially during 80s and 90s fatal crashes were far from uncommon. And why do you think safety was improved? It wasn´t just the drivers and F1 bosses who campaigned for safety, it was the audience as well. People had less and less tolerance for drivers left to burning cars (for reference I think everyone should research Roger Williamson case to find out how things should NOT be). But if crashes - and yes, even or should I say especially the fatal ones - cannot be discussed, do you really think it will have positive effect on appreciation of safety? Before Imola 1994 F1 lots of fans had forgotten past crashes and in a way the entire F1 community was lulled to a false sense of security. Lots of people seemed to believe some kind of miracle was always going to save the drivers. Even when Roland Ratzenberger crashed to a wall in a speed way higher than human body can withstand some poeple thought it was some kind of freak accident that would not happen again. Now we know it DID happen again. I am not claiming our little discussion here will make any difference, but in general I truly believe appreciation of history is very, very important - even if some of the things may be painful to remember.

Before I start sounding like a preacher (which is not my intention), let me ask a question - if you watch a document of WWII, or news report of plane crash/war/terrorist attack, does that make you a blood-thirsty Roman?

#38 BorderReiver

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 01:17

Originally posted by Spunout
BorderReiver - I have to say my feeble experience is no way comparable to you and Buford...


Not to turn this into a racer's love in, but compared to Buford and Ross I hardly rate either.

#39 Jodum5

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 01:18

Originally posted by rosemeyer
posted by BorderReiver

I beg your pardon, but nobody is asking you to read it.

You would a great roman citizen at the colliseum


Using your logic, history shows showing the carnage of war should be censored or even banned because of their content. WE arent talking about "WOW cool bloody carnage of racing! If it only were like this these days, Brazil 03 and hockenheim 04 sure woulda been cool to see!" We are more or less highlighting the low points of racing and how far we have come today.

If you cant deal with this rosemeyer YOU should stay away from posts regarding crashes and the dark side of motorsport. simple as that.

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#40 Buford

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 03:03

I think the young fans SHOULD see these things and know about where we came from in this sport. It will remove a lot of this "my time is the only time" crap and "today's drivers are so much better than ever before because they have strong neck muscles" baloney and perhaps give the perceptive ones some perspective. Racing was not always a sport for pampered rich boys with manicures. It used to be a pissing contest among madmen.

Every advance in safety we know today was paved in blood and burned corpses. Formula One and Indy cars used to have nearly a 50% mortality rate over a five year period. Just about every one of my childhood heroes got killed and I started racing with four other guys and they ALL got killed and that was in the 1970s! What you are seeing today isn’t even the same sport. It is a sanitized, made for TV and commercial sales version of the real thing. The body count has been reduced to nearly nothing, but so have the chills and thrills. Overall it is good we no longer eat our young. But not every aspect of today’s sandbox racing is good IMO. With the danger went the aura we are seeing super humans risking the ultimate and living on the outer edge of human experience.

There aren’t many places left in this world where crazy people can thrill themselves and their fans with the ultimate life and death game. Racing used to be that place. No margin for error, no safety net, no prisoners, no surrender. I am glad I got my piece of the action, and survived. I am sorry though so many of my heroes and personal friends did not make it through to the other side.

#41 Twin Window

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 08:26

Originally posted by Buford

Yes the Gordon Smiley crash was the worst single car crash of all time.

I think it must be. Like you say, a plane crash... I remember hearing at the time that Al Unser had taken Gordon to one side a few days earlier and warned him that if he continued getting the car sideways he'd end up hurting himself. Then we got the film from the day in the (Autosport) office and there he was, down on the apron applying a little opposite lock on every photo...

Savage's accident was extremely violent too, but I've always found the worst part of that debacle was the death of one of the mechanics. To be hit by a fire truck going the wrong way down pit lane is just terrible. (BTW, he was on McRae's sister car, I think you'll find.) And Savage had not long regained fitness following another massive F5000 shunt in the Questor GP at Ontario MS in 1971, hadn't he?

The Krosnoff shunt was of course awful, but also enormously unlucky. My friend's dad was the Chief Steward and said that the gigantic tree which inflicted all the damage was the only one in such close proximity to the debris fencing throughout the entire length of the track.

Originally posted by Buford
I think the young fans SHOULD see these things and know about where we came from in this sport. It will remove a lot of this "my time is the only time" crap and "today's drivers are so much better than ever before because they have strong neck muscles" baloney [...] With the danger went the aura we are seeing super humans risking the ultimate and living on the outer edge of human experience. [...] Racing used to be that place. No margin for error, no safety net, no prisoners, no surrender.

I couldn't agree more. Well put, Buford... :up:

And - before anyone asks - I too have done my time competing in circuit racing, in rallying (which I still teach) and been through the trauma of losing friends as well as heroes.

#42 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 09:13

I still disagree. Danger is a mental challenge, driving is an actual challenge.

#43 BorderReiver

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 10:23

And Race Driving can be dangerous. . .

Ergo, it's both.

Which isn't a very satisfactory reply, so I'll shut up now.

#44 Buford

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 11:05

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
I still disagree. Danger is a mental challenge, driving is an actual challenge.


And driving and even more important, RACING (which they actually used to do) while in mortal danger too, is the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE. Going fast in a sandbox is one thing. Going fast through open trees or ditches and earth banks or street poles, in a tub full of fuel, with your body surrounded in fuel tanks that are an explosion waiting to happen, well that kind of thing separated the men from the imposters pretty fast. But few imposters had the balls to crawl into one of those things in the first place.

Racing didn't always need the mother's milk of cigarette money, TV ratings, and people with sweaters tied around their shoulders and sunglasses propped on their heads. At one time it mainly required BIG BALLS and huge car control skills to control unwieldy beasts that had minds of their own and wouldn't get buried in sand if they got away from you, but would incinerate you in an instant or shred you into a thousand pieces and spew you along a few hundred feet of roadway. Racing didn't used to be a game primarily for rich dilatants though there were some around. But they didn't live long unless they had the skill to stay on the track. Staying on the track today has lost a great deal of importance. Mistakes are no longer punished so there are a whole lot of mistakes. But it is better today if you don’t like funerals… and who does?

To say we were all ghouls and the fans were Romans at a Coliseum is unfair. But to say we weren’t madmen is wrong too. We were. We didn’t know racing could be safe, nor did we even want it to be too safe. Just a little safer than it currently was and eventually that got the job done.

#45 Megatron

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 11:30

I have heard people say that if Smiley had let the car spin instead of trying to correct it that the car most likely would have just done the usual crash instead of just destroying itself against the fence. and sliding down. I don't know but that was a horrible accident.

I think when the marshalls got there it was sort of "Well, what do we do?". Anyone who was there knew that poor Gordon had been killed on impact or milliseconds after. This is when tehy used to pack them in for pole day, the crowd was horrified and quite frankly witnessed some things that no one should.

Originally posted by Twin Window
I think it must be. Like you say, a plane cash... I remember hearing at the time that Al Unser had taken Gordon to one side a few days earlier and warned him that if he continued getting the car sideways he'd end up hurting himself. Then we got the film from the day in the (Autosport) office and there he was, down on the apron applying a little opposite lock on every photo...

Savage's accident was extremely violent too, but I've always found the worst part of that debacle was the death of one of the mechanics. To be hit by a fire truck going the wrong way down pit lane is just terrible. (BTW, he was on McRae's sister car, I think you'll find.) And Savage had not long regained fitness following another massive F5000 shunt in the Questor GP at Ontario MS in 1971, hadn't he?

The Krosnoff shunt was of course awful, but also enormously unlucky. My friend's dad was the Chief Steward and said that the gigantic tree which inflicted all the damage was the only one in such close proximity to the debris fencing throughout the entire length of the track. I couldn't agree more. Well put, Buford... :up:

And - before anyone asks - I too have done my time competing in circuit racing, in rallying (which I still teach) and been through the trauma of losing friends as well as heroes.



#46 Spunout

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 12:19

Well, I am with Ross here. To me racing is fist and foremost a test of skill and talent.

Anyone can go to a track and remove the seatbelt - easy. Then racing will once again be dangerous and most likely any impact means you will be impaled to the steering wheel. But does that make anyone better racer in terms of skill, talent and car control? I don´t think so.

"Racing didn't used to be a game primarily for rich dilatants though there were some around."

How many of the current drivers you would consider rich dilitants? A list of names, please...

"But they didn't live long unless they had the skill to stay on the track. Staying on the track today has lost a great deal of importance. Mistakes are no longer punished so there are a whole lot of mistakes. But it is better today if you don’t like funerals… and who does?"

Let me put it this way - with 50s or 60s safety all the current F1 drivers would have been dead long time ago. But if you planted Nuvolari, Clark, Lauda and all the other past greats to current cars it would be no different. The fact is these days risking a crash for 1-2 tenths per lap is well worth it - as a result you may stuff it once or twice, miss some apexes, lock some wheels, and so on. It isn´t pretty but it works. No way this kind of style would have won races 30 years ago, even with Grim Reaper as a best friend. But then again the style of Nuvolari, Clark and Lauda would not win races today. Whether you like the "go flat out all the time" racing (no taking care of the equipment etc) is another matter. The current drivers are responding to the challenges of our era, and I´d like to think MS, KR, JPM and several others are doing it rather well.

#47 Arrow

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 14:30

Is the gordon smiley crash one that happened a few years ago when the car was flung into a fence and disintergrated leaving just the driver in the cell?
I think it was IRL.

Greg moores crash is the worst ive seen Btw.
You just knew he was a goner.

#48 Clatter

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 14:38

Originally posted by Arrow
Greg moores crash is the worst ive seen Btw.
You just knew he was a goner.


Thats the worse that I have seen live as well.

The thing that I still cant get over is that it was only a short time before, that someone else had already gone off there in an almost identical way, and they got away with it.

#49 Rob G

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 14:57

Originally posted by Arrow
Is the gordon smiley crash one that happened a few years ago when the car was flung into a fence and disintergrated leaving just the driver in the cell?
I think it was IRL.

No, that was Kenny Brack. Smiley overcorrected a slide and piled head-on into the wall so hard that the entire car disintegrated. There was no cockpit or anything else left.

Danny Ongais and Stan Fox also had horrendous head-on accidents at the Speedway, but fortunately both drivers survived their ordeals. Ongais' crash in 1981 left him with shattered legs, but amazingly he would race again. Fox hit the wall in 1995 (I think) and was left, like Ongais, sitting completely exposed at the very front of the remains of the car. The fact that Fox had no broken bones speaks volumes for how much safety had progressed in less than 15 years. He did have a severe head injury, though, which makes me wonder what the outcome would have been had the HANS device existed back then.

#50 Arrow

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 15:10

Can anyone post the pics of the gordon smiley accident?