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Peter-RB
14th Jun 2016, 09:30
I have just watched ( from recorded) the early films of the open racers from the 1960's, I find it so hard to believe that I and my pals of that era, stood within 8 feet of Jim Clark and many others flying off the humps at the German race tracks, as well as being able to wander at will round any of the pits or prep areas prior to races starting....... to me then it was very exciting and seemed normal Fan behaviour...... I loved that closeness , the smells of Castrol R and tyres being tortured.. I am certain I saw our small group near to where Jackie Stewart was going through the air landing with a crump and storming onward to win.....:D

Looking back, I feel we too were active fans, taking just as many risks as the actual racers..what were we thinking of standing so close to that full bore action without any sort of protection....how time's change Eh..! :ok:

Still, I did get my other kicks, Potholing and climbing up and down Malham Cove..:eek:

PLovett
14th Jun 2016, 11:09
I think it was Jack Brabham, who in an interview, commented that he had lost over 30 friends and acquaintances in racing crashes and that it was the death of Bruce McLaren in 1970 that prompted his family to increase their efforts to get him to retire, something he did at the end of that year.

In another interview, the name of the driver escapes me for the present, he commented that there was a death every month (it was in sports cars in the 1970s') and that he always thought the next one would be him.

In 1975 I was a spectator at the Australian Grand Prix (non-championship then) at Longford in Tasmania, a circuit that made Spa look tame in comparison. Not 300 metres from where I was standing a competitor ran off the track, lost control and collected a photographer in the process. The driver also died. The previous year Tim Mayer, brother of Teddy Mayer of Team McLaren fame, was killed in practice when his Cooper hit a tree and split apart. The circuit had the reputation of being the fastest in the Southern Hemisphere and the lap record there stood as the fastest in Australia until the AGP moved to Albert Park in 1996, it was an average 122 mph in a P4 Ferrari sports car.

Longford Circuit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longford_Circuit)

watch?v=wAbR9jxrnVQ

G-CPTN
14th Jun 2016, 13:25
I have just watched ( from recorded) the early films of the open racers from the 1960's, I find it so hard to believe that I and my pals of that era, stood within 8 feet of Jim Clark and many others flying off the humps at the German race tracks, as well as being able to wander at will round any of the pits or prep areas prior to races starting....... to me then it was very exciting and seemed normal Fan behaviour...... I loved that closeness , the smells of Castrol R and tyres being tortured.. I am certain I saw our small group near to where Jackie Stewart was going through the air landing with a crump and storming onward to win.....:D

Looking back, I feel we too were active fans, taking just as many risks as the actual racers..what were we thinking of standing so close to that full bore action without any sort of protection....how time's change Eh..! :ok:
Been there - done that . . . :ok:

what's more I can claim to have 'rubbed shoulders' with Clark and Hill.

Effluent Man
14th Jun 2016, 15:42
It wasn't just F1. As a teenager a load of people near me, one of whom was a farmer, just decided to do stock car racing in a field. Within a year the meeting were attracting a couple of thousand spectators on a Friday night. One of my friends decided to improve the traction of his car by removing the radiator and substituting a water tank bolted to the floor behind the drivers seat. Over the course of the meeting the tank heated up until in the final event he was racing with about twenty gallons of near boiling water sitting just behind him.

Finally the traffic problems reached such a level in this small Suffolk village that a halt had to be called to the racing. I don't think anybody was ever injured. Probably more by luck than judgement.

tdracer
14th Jun 2016, 17:44
This is quite a good movie covering the history of Formula 1 and it's sometimes bump road towards driver safety:
https://www.amazon.com/Movie-Formula-One-Michael-Fassbender/dp/B00GNZLWD0/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1465922406&sr=1-1&keywords=formula+one
( link is for Region 1 North America, but I'm sure you can find it in the UK/European format)

aerobelly
14th Jun 2016, 21:25
I have just watched ( from recorded) the early films of the open racers from the 1960's, I find it so hard to believe that I and my pals of that era, stood within 8 feet of Jim Clark and many others

After entering Silverstone at 05:01 in July 1967 following spending part of the night on the grass outside (and the previous part walking from the A5 in Towcester) , I watched with my legs under the single scaffolding pole protecting us from errant F1 cars at Club Corner. And I did not want to be anywhere else in the world! Did fall asleep in the middle of the race though -- 30 feet from a field of un-silenced 3 litre engines at full bore.


I loved that closeness , the smells of Castrol R

I'm pretty sure that R wasn't used much in Grands Prix after WWII, except possibly in John Bolster's ERA. Excellent smell though.


Looking back, I feel we too were active fans, taking just as many risks as the actual racers..what were we thinking of standing so close to that full bore action without any sort of protection....how time's change Eh..!

Have you seen video of modern WRC rallying? Those spectators are CRAZY.



Still, I did get my other kicks, Potholing and climbing up and down Malham Cove..:eek:

Ah yes, that was my rock-climbing era too, followed by buying my first single-seater in 1973 after 3 years of hill-climbing in my Cooper "S". Potholing never appealed after hearing a story from a friend of the need to chisel someone out of a tight spot. Details by PM only :sad:

'a

Effluent Man
14th Jun 2016, 22:11
Aero belly, British GP July 1967- I was there too!

Peter-RB
15th Jun 2016, 06:05
Seems like we are mainly Bulge and just after babies.. a Golden era of racing car development, from big steering wheels with arms and elbows sticking out to super streamlined things we see today.
Aero Belly, Alum Pot in North Yorkshire ( rear of Ingleborough Hill, nr to Selside,.. had some really hair raising systems and chambers leading into it, you needed to be built like a pencil to go into them..!

Yamagata ken
15th Jun 2016, 11:50
Effluent Man. Suffolk/Norfolk border about 1972. A farmer put on a series of ''banger races''. A short oval with a banking ''crowd protection''. The tool of choice was either a big Ford (Zodiac/Zephyr) or BMC (Cambridge/Oxford). Entrants soon learned to re-locate the radiator remotely to the back window (sans glass). The series quickly got out of hand and only lasted for a season or two, but was an excellent spectacle.

aerobelly. Castrol R was universal in motorcycle racing in the 1960s, if not GPs. Been to Mallory Park, watched Mike the Bike blitz the field. Smelled the burnt Castrol R. :)

Effluent Man
15th Jun 2016, 13:01
Effluent Man. Suffolk/Norfolk border about 1972. A farmer put on a series of ''banger races''. A short oval with a banking ''crowd protection''. The tool of choice was either a big Ford (Zodiac/Zephyr) or BMC (Cambridge/Oxford). Entrants soon learned to re-locate the radiator remotely to the back window (sans glass). The series quickly got out of hand and only lasted for a season or two, but was an excellent spectacle.

aerobelly. Castrol R was universal in motorcycle racing in the 1960s, if not GPs. Been to Mallory Park, watched Mike the Bike blitz the field. Smelled the burnt Castrol R. :)


Maybe the same event. Sibton Green near Saxmundham.

Yamagata ken
15th Jun 2016, 13:22
Small world, innit? Saxmundham it may have been. There's a lot of Cab Sav flowed under the bridge since the early 1970s, and my memory has always been pretty duff.

Flash2001
15th Jun 2016, 14:59
R was certainly used in racing motorcycles at least until the '70s.

After an excellent landing etc...

Effluent Man
15th Jun 2016, 16:56
Small world, innit? Saxmundham it may have been. There's a lot of Cab Sav flowed under the bridge since the early 1970s, and my memory has always been pretty duff.

It is indeed, in the course of a handful of posts somebody who attended the 1967 British GP and somebody who attended a small Suffolk field. It was called Peasenhall and there are films on youtube of the racing.

ChrisVJ
15th Jun 2016, 18:16
In 1970 I worked for a short while for a promotions company. We took on Yardley at short notice to promote them at the Italian Grand Prix. Four of us, two guys and two girls took a van with a 1969 Formula 1 car on a trailer to Rome, Milan and Turin and drove it about the streets with the ladies sitting on the wheels of the racing car handing out stickers!

On practice day we took it to the track where we were ushered into the paddock. Amazingly as practice went on we were allowed to wander across the pit lane where several people were leaning on the pit wall. It came to about the top of one's thighs and was, perhaps, about four bricks thick.

While I was standing out there a couple of cars came past, wheel to wheel and the nearest one six inches from the wall. I had raced my MGA a couple of times and had thoughts of being a racing driver but after that I decided racing drivers were quite, quite insane and decided that, maybe, cleaning sewers or something would be better.

My flatmate, Marcus, later bought a Formula Ford and has since had a great amateur career racing historic cars, including at Monaco where he has lived the last 30 odd years.

aerobelly
15th Jun 2016, 20:07
My flatmate, Marcus, later bought a Formula Ford and has since had a great amateur career racing historic cars, including at Monaco where he has lived the last 30 odd years.

Is that Marcus Pye by any chance? I sold him my final single-seater, a GRD 372 ex-Tony Brise.


While I was standing out there a couple of cars came past, wheel to wheel and the nearest one six inches from the wall.

Have you seen the photos of the Town Wall in Baku? Now how close are they going to get to that this weekend!

Actually exposed wheel cars are much easier to place than those with bodywork, and are naturally a lot more precise too.


'a

ChrisVJ
16th Jun 2016, 08:33
No, my flatmate was Mussa

david1300
17th Jun 2016, 12:16
I was at Kyalami near Johannesburg the day Peter Revson died in March 1974. We had spent the afternoon at the track, in and out of the pits looking at the cars, maybe getting in the way, watching the drivers but to awed to approach any of them, even though my favourite of the time, Graham Hill was just a few feet from me. As we were leaving the track precinct the plume of smoke from the crash rose in the air behind us and we headed on home wondering what had happened.

I had attended all GPs, 9 hour endurance races and many other events at the old Kyalami until family responsibilities took over. I even reserved the same seats in one of the Crowthorn Corner grandstands each year. Those were the days.

G-CPTN
17th Jun 2016, 17:54
One of the things that has altered the relationships is the demand for autographs.

I have never been tempted to intrude on anyone to demand that they sign a piece of paper or a garment, and I refrain from selfies, however, these actions now mean the separation of the professionals and the great unwashed.