Μηχανοκίνητος αθλητισμός: Formula 1, Rally, πίστες, για αυτοκίνητα και μοτοσικλέτες
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By belgarion
#243471 Τώρα μπόρεσα να το διαβάσω ολόκληρο και παρόλο που το είχα ξαναδιαβασει στο drive,συγκινήθηκα. Μπράβο κ. Παναγιώτη!

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By rocsta
#243502
21 quadra έγραψε:Ξεκινάω από τον πρώτο τη τάξη αγαπημένο οδηγό της εποχής μου με ευκαιρία το ωραίο αυτό αφιέρωμα από τους 4Τ και θεωρώ υποχρέωση όσοι έχετε ανάλογα άρθρα, ιστορίες φωτό κλπ να τα καταθέσετε εδώ στη γωνία τους.

http://www.4troxoi.gr/4t-classic/prosop ... ebsite-rss

Ένα πολύ ιδιαίτερο απόσπασμα για το πόσο μεγάλος οδηγός ήταν ο Jim Clark σε σύγκριση με τον επίσης κλάσης (νταξ πρωτάθλημα F1 πήρε) αλλά ένα επίπεδο κάτω σε σχέση με τους κορυφαίους, Graham Hill, σε λόγια του Keith Duckworth της Cosworth:
You could actually tell the difference between a a Graham Hill engine and a Clark engine. Clark would have apologised for having over-revved it on two or three ocassions and the valve gear would show no signs of having been over-revved, whereas Graham's had never been over-revved and the valve gear was quite offten tanny! Clark changed gears gently, didn't he? There was never any hurry about anything; he had bags of time because he was incredibly good. Graham was really an exceedingly courageous driver because I think that he was running at a higher percentage of his "tenths" than Jim ever did. I think Jim had prodigious natural ability whereas Graham was working hard at it.
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By rocsta
#243846 Μια ιστορία για τον εντυπωσιακό αγώνα του δικό μου "ήρωα" Juan Manuel Fangio.

Είμαστε στο 1940 όπου η ΑCA (λέσχη αυτοκινήτου της Αργεντινής) οργανώνει το Gran Premio Internacional del Norte, ώστε να προβάλει την μεγαλεπήβολη προσπάθεια της να συνδεθεί η Νέα Υόρκη με το Μπουένος Άιρες μέσω ενός παναμερικού αυτοκινητόδρομου. Ο αγώνας λοιπόν περιελάμβανε ένα γύρο που θα άρχιζε και θα τελείωνε στο Μπουένος Άιρες και θα διέσχιζε εκτός της Αργεντινής, την Βολιβία και το Περού φτάνοντας στην Λίμα όπου και ήταν το μέσον του αγώνα.
Πόσο θα κρατούσε ο αγώνας; 13 ημέρες. 13 ημέρες και 9443 χιλιόμετρα. Ναι... Σοκ.
Η διαδρομή περιελάμβανε ανάμεσα σε άλλα τη La Paz την υψηλότερη πρωτεύουσα του κόσμου στα 3700 μέτρα, τη λίμνη Τιτικάκα στα σύνορα Βολιβίας - Περού με έκταση 7700 τετραγωνικά χιλιόμετρα στα 3800 μέτρα ύψος των Άνδεων, ενώ το ψηλότερο σημείο ήταν η Ταλαπαλκα της Βολιβίας στα 4150 μέτρα. Μόνο να φανταστεί κανείς μπορεί τί σήμαιναν όλα αυτά για αναπνοή πληρωμάτων και κινητήρων.
Ο Φάντζιο τότε ήταν 29 χρονών και είχε συνοδηγό τον φίλο του Hector Tieri. Την προηγούμενη χρονιά είχε κάνει μια πολύ καλή εμφάνιση στο γύρο της Αργεντινής στον οποίο με ιδιωτική συμμετοχή και χρήματα απ' τους συγχωριανούς του απ' το Balcarce είχε καταφέρει να βγει 5ος από 133 συμμετέχοντες και να αφήσει πίσω του πολλούς επίσημους οδηγούς της GM. Παρ' όλα αυτά οι ιθύνοντες της GM τον θεωρούσαν πολύ μεγάλο, χωρίς ιδιαίτερο μέλλον και δεν του έδωσαν εργοστασιακή υποστήριξη. Λεφτά φυσικά δεν υπήρχαν ούτε το 1940 για το Gran Premio μιας και o πόλεμος που είχε ξεσπάσει στην Ευρώπη άρχισε να επηρεάζει την ούτως ή άλλως φτωχή λατινική Αμερική, και ήταν ένας ακόμα λόγος που ο Φάντζιο δεν ήθελε να ζητήσει και πάλι χρήματα απ' τους συμπολίτες του. Τελικά ένας έμπορος πατάτας απ΄ την Mar del Plata του αγόρασε ένα καινούργιο Chevrolet coupe και διοργάνωσε μια λοταρία στην οποία ο νικητής θα έπαιρνε το αυτοκίνητο μετά τη λήξη του αγώνα, ώστε να μαζευτούν χρήματα για την προετοιμασία και την συμμετοχή στον αγώνα. Για να προετοιμαστεί το Chevrolet για τον μαραθώνιο, φυσικά γδύθηκε και του τοποθετήθηκαν χειροποίητα μπακετ, μεγάλο ρεζερβουάρ, λάστιχα, εργαλεία και διάφορα ανταλλακτικά που ίσως χρειάζονταν για επί τόπου επισκευές. Επίσης έγιναν ρυθμίσεις στα καρμπυρατέρ για τα αντίξοα υψόμετρα, ενισχύθηκαν οι αναρτήσεις και αυξήθηκε το ύψος απ' το έδαφος. Το τοπικ μιλάει για οδηγούς - σχεδιαστές - μηχανικούς. Υπό μία έννοια ο Φάντζιο ήταν όλα μαζί. Και γι' αυτό αυτοί οι αγώνες αντοχής ήταν τόσο δύσκολοι και οι άνθρωποι που μετείχαν τόσο σπουδαίοι. Σπουδαίοι σε νόηση, συναισθήματα και ένστικτα (BEAMS©).
Μεσάνυχτα 27ης Σεπτεμβρίου 1940 λοιπόν και το coupe με τον αριθμό 26 περιμένει την εκκίνηση απ' το στάδιο της River Plate. Από την αρχή το γκάζι στο πάτωμα, στο πρώτο σκέλος μήκους 1363 χιλιομέτρων ο Φάντζιο ήταν ήδη πρώτος με 125 χαω μέση ταχύτητα. Ανάμεσα στα σκέλη, το κενό ήταν 8 ώρες. Φυσικά οι ώρες για ξεκούραση ήταν πολύ λιγότερες λόγω των απαραίτητων εργασιών για επισκευές και ανεφοδιασμό. Στη συνέχεια τα υψόμετρα αυξάνονται πολύ και αρκετά πληρώματα αποσύρονται. Σε αντίστοιχο σύγχρονο αγώνα τα πληρώματα θα χρησιμοποιούσαν μάσκες οξυγόνου, αλλά όχι τότε φυσικά. Οι αναπνοές έπρεπε να ήταν βαθιές και αργές, αλλά άντε πες το σε ανθρώπους με 100+ σφυγμούς και αδρεναλίνη στα ύψη. Φάντζιο και Tιερι μασούσαν επικουρικά φύλλα σκόρδου μαζί με κάποια ποσότητα κοκαΐνης που δρούσαν ως διεγερτικά, κόλπα Ινδιάνων... Στους ορεινούς εκείνους δρόμους 520 χιλιομέτρων μέχρι να φθάσουν πρώτοι στη La Paz ο Φάντζιο είχε μέσο όρο ταχύτητας 69 χαω. Εκεί θα λάμβαναν από τον τότε πρόεδρο της Βολιβίας, στρατηγό Penaranda ένα δάφνινο στεφάνι, που αποδείχθηκε κακότυχο για τον Φάντζιο, γιατί λόγω λανθασμένου χειρισμού του συνοδηγού του, το Chev Coupe χτύπησε σε άλλο αυτοκίνητο στραβώνοντας άξονα και σασί. Με γρήγορες αυτοσχέδιες επισκευές επί τόπου έπρεπε να συνεχίσουν για άλλα 590 χιλιόμετρα έως ότου φθάσουν σε σημείο επισκευής. Το πιο σημαντικό πάντως ήταν ότι οι επισκευές γίνονταν και απ' τους 2 μαζί, χωρίς χρόνο να χάνεται σε καταλογισμό ευθυνών και γρίνιες, ήταν τέτοιος ο χαρακτήρας του Φάντζιο και εκεί και σε πολλές παρόμοιες περιπτώσεις παρά τις πολύ έντονες στιγμές. Μέχρι να φθάσουν στη Λίμα, είχαν να αντιμετωπίσουν επίσης ένα χαλασμένο βεντιλατέρ και τα λάστιχα που είχαν μείνει εν τω μεταξύ με τα λινά τους. Φτάνοντας λοιπόν στο μέσον του αγώνα στη Λίμα όπου ήταν στάση μίας ημέρας, ήταν πρώτοι στην κατάταξη μετά από σχεδόν 50 ώρες οδήγησης.
Στο 2ο μισό και ενώ προηγούνταν με 1μιση ώρα, ο Φάντζιο οδηγούσε σαν μανιακός και διεύρυνε όλο και περισσότερο τη διαφορά. Το έκανε αυτό έχοντας εμπειρία από μεγάλους αγώνες, ήξερε ότι σε περίπτωση στραβής θα έχανε πάρα πολύ χρόνο και ίσως τη νίκη. Η στραβή έγινε τελικά, χτυπώντας έναν βράχο, αλλά δεν ήταν αρκετή για να τους στερήσει την πρώτη θέση. 'Εχανε λάδι το μοτέρ, και μετά από αρκετές στάσεις, απυηδησαν οπότε τρύπησαν το ταμπλώ, συνέδεσαν με σωλήνα μέχρι την τάπα πλήρωσης και έριχναν μέσα από το εσωτερικό του αυτοκινήτου δηλητιαζόμενοι απ' τις αναθυμιάσεις. :lipsealed: Με τρελαίνει αυτή η φράση: "Φαινόταν απίθανο να συνεχίσω. Μετά μου ήρθε στο νου μια εικόνα από όλους όσους είχαν συμβάλει ώστε να είμαι εδώ. Ένιωθα ότι είχε τύχει σε εμένα να υπερασπιστώ την τιμή της Balcarce". :s_yes Είχε βάλει τον Τιερι να τον χαστουκίζει όταν τον έβλεπε ότι πήγαινε να αποκοιμηθεί απ' την κούραση, αλλά τελικά έφτασαν στο Μπουένος Άιρες πρώτοι με συνολικά 109 ώρες 36 λεπτά και 16.8 δευτερόλεπτα οδήγησης σε λιγότερο από 2 βδομάδες. Ναι, σχεδόν 110 ώρες. Η αμοιβή ήταν 43.400 πεσος, αλλά η ηθική ανταμοιβή ήταν οι 40.000 άνθρωποι (όλη η κωμόπολη πρακτικά) που μαζεύτηκαν στη Balcarce για να τον υποδεχτούν. Η μάνα του τρόμαξε όταν τον είδε γιατί έχασε 8 κιλά σε αυτές τις δύο βδομάδες.
Όπως είπε ο ίδιος ο Φάντζιο ήταν η νίκη για την οποία ήταν πιο περήφανος από όλες τις 78 του σε μεγάλες διοργανώσεις. Η δεύτερη πιστεύω ότι ήταν το Ring του 1957, αλλά για αυτό θα γράψω άλλη φορά.
Εικόνα
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By belgarion
#271604 Το Google doodle σήμερα ,είναι αφιερωμένο στα 105 χρόνια απο την γέννηση του ΦαντζιοΕικόνα
Μην σχολιάσει κανείς την κόκκινη w196
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By rocsta
#271967 1957, και στους 4 αγώνες που προσμετρούνταν στο πρωτάθλημα της F1 μέχρι το Ring, ο Fangio έχει 3 νίκες (σε Αργεντινή, Μονακό και Γαλλία) και μία εγκατάλειψη στο Silverstone με την Maserati 250F. 250F η οποία μετά από 4 χρόνια εξέλιξης πλέον ήταν στα καλύτερά της, πιο ελαφριά, πιο δυνατή και πιο καλοζυγισμένη.
phpBB [video]

O Fangio στα πατημένα 46 του χρόνια τότε, είχε κυριότερους αντιπάλους τους Moss και Brooks με BRM και τους Hawthorn και Collins με Ferrari. Παρεμπιπτόντως η δυάδα της BRM ζει ακόμα, ενώ η δυάδα της Ferrari δεν θα είχε πάνω από 15 μήνες ζωής. Το nurburgring με 30 χρόνια ζωής τότε, είχε ήδη καταπιεί 125 ανθρώπινες ζωές, αλλά ο Fangio λάτρευε αυτή την πίστα απ' την πρώτη φορά που "συναντήθηκαν" το 1951 οδηγώντας την alfetta στη 2η θέση του βάθρου. Εικόνα
Την προηγούμενη χρονιά, το 1956, είχε θέσει το ρεκόρ γύρου της πίστας στο 9' 41,6" οδηγώντας Ferrari (με το σασί της Lancia D50). Εικόνα
Στις κατατακτήριες του 1957 όμως έθεσε πολύ υψηλότερα τον πήχη, στο απλησίαστο 9' 25,6", με τον ξανθομπάμπουρα παπιγιονάκια Mike Hawthorn 3" πίσω στη δεύτερη θέση. Οι BRM με τις κουτσουροαναρτήσεις τους δεν βολεύονταν καθόλου στην πράσινη κόλαση και δεν ήταν ανταγωνιστικές.
4 Αυγούστου 1957 λοιπόν, και στον αγώνα παίρνουν κατ' ευθείαν το προβάδισμα οι δύο ferrari των Hawthorn και Collins. Προς μεγάλη έκπληξη όλων , Fangio συμπεριλαμβανομένου, αντί να κινούνται σαν ομάδα για να κρατηθούν μπροστά στους 22 γύρους του αγώνα, οι δύο τους κυνηγιόνταν για την 1η θέση. Ο Fangio τους προσπέρασε και τους δύο στον 3ο γύρο και άρχισε να φτιάχνει μια αισθητή διαφορά η οποία όταν μπήκε στα pits στον 12ο γύρο ήταν 28". Το πλήρωμα όμως της Maserati δεν τον βοήθησε ιδιαίτερα με αποτέλεσμα όταν κατέβηκε η 250F απ' τον γρύλο να είναι 48" πίσω απ' τις δύο Ferrari, με 10 γύρους να απομένουν. Ο επόμενος γύρος χάθηκε μέχρι να στρωθούν τα νέα ελαστικά και η διαφορά αυξήθηκε στα 51". Ε τότε ήταν που ο Fangio χάθηκε αυτοσυγκεντρωμένος στις 176 στροφές οδηγώντας με μία ταχύτητα πάνω ώστε να βγαίνει πιο γρήγορα για την επόμενη ευθεία, θυσιάζοντας την ευστάθεια μέσα στη στροφή. Εν τω μεταξύ, η Ferrari είχε δώσει σήμα για μείωση ρυθμού. Αυτό βέβαια μέχρι να δουν ότι ο Fangio πετούσε και κέρδιζε 10" στο γύρο. :s_omg Στον 19ο γύρο έγραψε 9' 23,4", ενώ στον 20ο 9' 17,4" διαλύοντας τα προηγούμενα ρεκόρ του, με αποτέλεσμα να ακολουθεί τους Hawthorn και Collins κατά πόδας. ΕικόναΜετά από μία μάχη με εκατέρωθεν προσπεράσματα και ενώ Collins και Fangio πήγαιναν δίπλα δίπλα χωρίς να υπάρχει χώρος για στροφή και για τους δύο, ο Fangio πέρασε 2ος και είχε ήδη αρχίσει να υπολογίζει όλα τα πιθανά σημεία που θα μπορούσε να προσπεράσει και τον Hawthorn. Βρήκε την ευκαιρία του και έκανε την κίνησή του για την οποία είπε μετέπειτα ο Hawthorn "If I hadn't move over, I'm sure the old devil would have driven right over me!" Στον τελευταίο πλέον γύρο, η θέση του Fangio χαλάρωσε οπότε αναγκάστηκε να οδηγεί πιέζοντας το γόνατό του προς το αυτοκίνητο, συγκρατούμενος απ' το τιμόνι για να μην στριφογυρνά μέσα στο κοκπιτ :lol: τερματίζοντας εν τέλει 3,6" μπροστά απ' τον Hawthorn. H μέση ταχύτητα του Fangio σε όλη τη διάρκεια του αγώνα, pit stop συμπεριλαμβανομένου, ήταν 142,7χαω, η οποία μέση ταχύτητα ήταν μεγαλύτερη απ' την μέση ταχύτητα του ταχύτερου γύρου της προηγούμενης χρονιάς. :metalo: :metalo:
Και γιατί ο Juan ήταν ο καλύτερος όλων: Ανεβαίνοντας στο βάθρο, οι δύο Εγγλέζοι ήταν τόσο εκστασιασμένοι σαν να κέρδισαν οι ίδιοι, που δεν σταματούσαν να συγχαίρουν τον Fangio. Σε συνέντευξη μετά τον αγώνα, ο Fangio είπε "Ήμουν έτοιμος να κάνω οτιδήποτε. Όταν όλα τελείωσαν ήμουν πεπεισμένος ότι δεν θα μπορούσα ποτέ ξανά να οδηγήσω έτσι. Έφτασα στο ζενίθ της συγκέντρωσης μου και της θέλησής μου για νίκη. Ποτέ πριν δεν είχα φτάσει τόσο κοντά στο απόλυτο όριο, πάντα προσπαθούσα να κερδίζω πηγαίνοντας όσο πιο αργά γινόταν." Ήταν η 24η νίκη του σε Grand Prix για το παγκόσμιο πρωτάθλημα (F1) και η τελευταία του νίκη σε σημαντικό αγώνα. :s_roses

Εικόνα
Εικόνα
Τελευταία επεξεργασία από rocsta και 24 Ιουν 2016, 19:03, έχει επεξεργασθεί 3 φορά/ες συνολικά
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By belgarion
#272056 Μπράβο Rocsta, ωραία ιστορία ακόμη μια φορά

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By dimviii
#272110 σωραιος Ροκστα. :s_thumbsup
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By Geo f1
#281824 Δεν το γνωριζα το παρακατω. Ειναι μεγαλουτσικο.

Britain’s lost F1 hope: Paul Warwick remembered


Motorsport.com's Sam Smith remembers Paul Warwick, who died in a British F3000 crash at Oulton Park 25 years ago today.

Exactly a quarter of a century ago the UK was slap bang in the middle of Mansell-mania. Gripped by the second act of the bellicose Brit’s tumultuous F1 career, the country was celebrating Nigel's rejuvenation just a year after he had announced a phantom retirement.

In addition to his renewed quest for the F1 title, Mansell had also branched out in to team management when he became a partner in the Madgwick Motorsport team, which ran in both the international and domestic Formula 3000 championships.

For 1991, the British F3000 team was spearheaded by Paul Warwick, younger brother of Renault, Arrows and Lotus F1 driver, Derek.

At 22 years of age, Paul was coming off the back of two and a half disappointing Formula 3 seasons, but had since branched out in to F3000 in a poor Leyton House March chassis in the final races of 1991. It proved to be an inspired career move, one that jettisoned him on to a seemingly fast-tracked F1 future.

1991 was Warwick’s year – with a 100% success rate in the races going in to round five at Oulton Park, a venue where he had already won the season opener on Good Friday. The world was seemingly at his feet.

However, a tragic fate robbed British race fans of seeing Warwick mature further in to what many believed would be an F1 driver, and a career that would follow in his brother’s footsteps.

“He was a person who had both feet firmly on the ground and with a great family around him,” recalls his team boss at Mansell Madgwick in 1991, Robert Synge. “Derek knew what was required to get his brother in to Formula 1, but I think irrespective of that he was good enough to get the job done on his own terms anyway.

“Paul had the mentality and work ethic you’d expect from a Warwick,” continues Synge. “I think that sadly British racing fans were denied the opportunity of seeing something special in the future when Paul died.”
Paul Warwick - The Man

In 1991, Warwick was ‘the man’ in every sense of the word. He vanquished strong opposition in British F3000, displayed growing maturity and eyed a likely promotion to the International F3000 series in 1992.

“He was super-impressive in the five races he did with us and his confidence snowballed,” recalls Synge. “But he never got big-headed. That wasn’t in his make-up. He channelled all that confidence in to a very strong capability as a professional driver.”

Warwick’s race engineer in 1991 was experienced F3000 staffer Humphrey Corbett, who was in no doubt that Warwick would have become a successful F1 driver.

“As soon as he got in the Reynard 90D at the start of ‘91 he loved driving it and was very accomplished from the beginning,” says Corbett. “He was phlegmatic, in the sense that if there were issues with the car he would be patient, and nothing rattled him at all.

“For a 22-year old he was extremely mature and I think a lot of that came from the advice and encouragement he got from Derek. Paul was an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Warwick’s rivals were equally impressed by the advantage he exerted on the opposition which included seasoned F3000 drivers like Richard Dean and Phil Andrews.

“I knew Paul a bit from when he came in to Formula Ford in 1986,” remembers Andrews. “We raced against each other quite a bit in ’87. It was obvious he was very good. He just struck you as a nice kid, a bit quiet – even thoughtful, I’d say. In 1990/’91 I got to know him better, along with his dad, Derry.

“In ’90 we had a bit of an incident at the Birmingham Superprix and collided, but it says a lot about Paul that there were no recriminations or anything afterwards,” continues Andrews. “Earlier that year he was driving for Superpower in F3 and I was in their F3000 team, so we would hang out a bit at the factory and chat.

“He was just a lovely guy, quiet but had a sharp sense of humour. You could see there was quiet steel to back up the talent.”

By 1991 Paul’s brother too had noticed a change in his approach and stature in his chosen career.

“I honestly don’t think I am living in a false world when I say that Paul could have won races and potentially become World Champion in F1,” says Warwick. “I see him like Damon [Hill] in a way, because Damon flourished when he got into F1 after a so-so junior career.

“The more horsepower, the quicker and more confident Paul became. He was extraordinary in F3000 right from the word go and he was just much more suited to the extra power, just as he had been in Stock Cars. He had grown from a boy in to a man almost overnight.”

“Paul was my hero, he was my Mum’s hero, my sister’s hero, my children’s hero,” continues Warwick. “He had this demeanour about him that people would just love and follow, like a pied piper.

“People wanted to just be around him because he was a special person who was on the verge of something big in his career and in his life.”
21st July 1991

In the fifth round of the championship at Oulton Park, Warwick had set pole position to maintain his 100 percent record. The sheen of invincibility showed no signs of dimming.

“I was on pole right until the very end of qualifying,” remembers rival Andrews. “Then he went and beat me by 0.006sec! I was gutted and remember thinking ‘for f***'s sake, what do I need to do to beat this guy?”

“At the start I got bogged down as I had this issue with the gearbox several times that year and I went from first to fourth gear, so I lost second to Richard [Dean],” continues Andrews. “Paul ‘ran and hid’ again, he was pulling away from us effortlessly.”

With just seven laps of the race remaining Warwick led from Dean and Andrews. Approaching the Knickerbrook right-hand corner at approximately 160mph, his Reynard ploughed headlong in to the barrier. A rod-end on the front suspension had broken, leaving Warwick with no steering and very little braking capability.

Beyond the tyrewall was a single armco barrier, shielding an earth bank. The force of the impact shattered the front of the monocoque in a manner similar to Martin Donnelly’s horrific Jerez accident nine months before.

“I remember coming over the hill up to Knickerbrook and as I came over I thought I saw what looked like the remains of a car but I didn’t see any impact,” says Andrews. “As I approached I thought it was the ex-First Racing Reynard that was being run that year (for Ranieri Randaccio).

“Then I saw Richard pulling off the track and my initial thought was he’d run over some debris and I thought ‘OK, I’m up to second then’. But by the time I got to Druids the red flag was out and I went back to the pits.

“I was completely unaware it was Paul or it was that big a shunt, and also that Richard had actually stopped to help.”

An eerie pall of black smoke rose from Knickerbrook, and alerted those in the pit area that something was seriously wrong.

Synge was aware only that Warwick had stopped and seemingly his 100 percent record that season was over. He had no idea about the scene of devastation at Knickerbrook.

“The first we knew about it was when Paul and Richard went missing," says Synge, "but with the gap Paul had, it seemed strange they could have collided. Paul hadn’t damaged the car at all that year.

“Then I remember the clerk of the course, a guy called John Symes, approaching me in the pits and telling me Paul had a big shunt and it didn’t look very good. In fact, I remember he said they were treating it as a possible fatal accident.

"Those words just didn’t register with me at that stage and I had to get him to say them again. I just thought, ‘This can’t be happening, this cannot be real.’

“We went to Knickerbrook and Paul was there, lying on the bank,” continues Synge. “Amazingly, he looked fine but was obviously unconscious. Then the air ambulance arrived and I went with Humphrey [Corbett] to the hospital, but as soon as we got there we were told he had died.”

The accident was a hammer-blow to the Mansell Madgwick team, and for Corbett the tragedy had a powerful emotional impact.

“Paul’s death affected me hugely,” says Corbett. “I can clearly remember driving home that night and crying all the way back. We used to run together and we’d chat about all sorts. After the accident, running became a huge motivation for me. Paul was always ‘with me’ on those runs I did.

“To lose someone with such a great future ahead really hit me and the team very hard indeed. I know that some guys in the team left the sport because of it. It was that bad.

“Time is a healer in some ways, of course it is. But for many years afterwards I went to visit Paul’s final resting place and paid my respects. I still think about him an awful lot. He was really special.”

For Corbett it was the first of two tragedies as almost three years later he engineered Roland Ratzenberger at Simtek.

“Roland’s passing was very sad, but by that time I had made the personal decision not to get too close to drivers, to just keep it entirely professional. With all respect to Roland, and I say this having really liked the guy, he was a good journeyman driver, whereas Paul was someone who in my opinion, and in the right car, would have won Grands Prix for sure.”
Richard Dean’s story

Dean has never previously talked about the incident that cost Paul Warwick his life. Dean selflessly stopped his Lola at the side of the track to aid the rescue attempt on Warwick’s burning Reynard immediately after it had crashed.

Yorkshireman Dean was a no-nonsense racer with a strong combative spirit that had seen him score points in the previous year's International F3000 Championship in an unfancied CoBRa Motorsport Reynard. For ’91 he was teammate with Phil Andrews in a Superpower Lola run by former RAM F1 bosses John MacDonald and Mick Ralph.

“I’d come from Formula Three in 1989 and it was probably my worst season in racing, so I suppose there were some similarities between myself and Paul,” remembers Dean. “I got to know him quite a bit in the F3 days and we had mutual friends, but in 1991 we were rivals so we didn’t speak a lot.

“To be honest that was probably because he was so dominant that year, and it just pissed me off! Everyone liked Paul though. He was a hard person to not like, even when he’s beating you all the time.”

Dean had run Warwick close at the opening round of the year at Oulton Park, and had led the race before going off under pressure from the Madgwick car. At the next visit to Cheshire three months later Dean was determined to redress the balance and attempt to rein in Warwick’s points advantage.

“I remember pretty much every aspect of that race and what transpired,” recalls Dean. “I tailed Paul for a few laps before he then opened up a reasonable lead. After a while the gap became quite static.

“I was using him as reference points around the track but I just couldn’t catch him. I remember feeling frustrated in the cockpit. He had complete control of the pace.”

As the race went into its final phase, Dean was pushing ever harder to try and catch his rival and emerging from the Hill Top crest just before Knickerbrook the accident happened right in front of him.

“I was completely focused on his car because it was my reference point,” he says. “Everything I was doing in the car was natural at that stage – the gearshifts, etc because my eyes were totally fixed on him.

“The sequence of events seemed to happen in slow motion, it was weird in that way. There was a puff of smoke from his car and he went straight in to the barrier, but it wasn’t like a normal shunt where it spins around and rattles down the Armco.

“It just came straight back out from the barrier, but it also went up in the air after the impact and then it just erupted in to flames. It is all so vivid, even now.”

Dean unhesitatingly stopped his Lola and ran to the scene in an attempt to help extricate Warwick from the wreck.

“I was probably there at the same time as a couple of the marshals,” continues Dean. “My instinct was to just help get him out. Where I stopped I could see the rear of the car but the smoke was so thick it was difficult to see anything beyond that.

“I tried to feel for the cockpit of the car with my hands but there was just nothing there. I could see the wheel was attached to the rear bulkhead and the front axle was intact but the cockpit opening was just shattered.

“I don’t remember that much from then on, because a marshal led me away – it was quite confusing. I then saw Paul against the fence and I knew it was as bad as it gets.”

Dean briefly stayed at the scene while the medical staff attempted to save Warwick, but then realised he needed to make his own team aware that he hadn’t been involved in the crash to allay their concerns.

“I actually walked back to the pits and as I did so I saw the helicopter landing at the scene,” he recalls. “I’ll tell you how vivid it all is – my mum was at that event and it was only the second time she had ever seen me race. The first time was in karts and I broke my leg!

“Then here we are at her second race and I’ve disappeared, there is a big cloud of smoke in the air and my mum has almost passed out in the pits. I got a bollocking for taking so long to get back there.”

Dean, who now works for the United Autosports team, was never recognised for his actions in attempting to help that day – despite the Warwick family attempting to get his bravery formerly acknowledged. Today Dean is adamant that he only did what anyone else would have done had they been first to come across the accident.

“It was just a natural reaction to try and help,” Dean says. “It wasn’t a bravery thing, it wasn’t a heroic thing, it was just something you do if you see someone in an accident whether it is on the road or at the track.”
F1 future beckoned

The immediate aftermath of Warwick’s death was one of complete shock. After the mourning and initial grief, the inquest into how the accident happened took place.

“It was a freak accident in many ways,” says Synge. “Reynard had not one instance of that part failing in any running whatsoever. If it had happened 10s earlier he would have gone off at the preceding chicane and just cursed his luck. It was just an appalling set of circumstances that ended with tragic consequences.”

Warwick’s modest F3 career had been largely forgotten by the time of his death, and those who worked with him in F3000 noticed the ‘brawny’ cars suited him much better.

“Paul seemed to revel with the increase in power that F3000 brought,” recalls Synge. “That is why I think he would have really taken to F1 in the early and mid-90s. We had an option on him for 1992 as I seem to remember, and I am pretty sure that with Derek’s contacts he would have been at least an official F1 test driver in ’92 and possibly a race driver the following year.”

Corbett concurs with Synge’s opinion, and believes Warwick had indeed been set for stardom.

“I absolutely would have wanted to work with him wherever he went in his future and I am sure that future would have been in F1,” he concurs. “The guy had massive potential to be a top Grand Prix driver. By the time he left us he didn’t have any chinks in his armour at all. He mastered a very powerful single-seater very quickly.”

F1 may have been on the horizon sooner than anyone anticipated though, as Warwick Snr was already in negotiations with Arrows, Tyrrell and Jordan about possibilities for 1992.

“Paul had already done some work with Arrows and my relationship with Jackie Oliver was good enough to at least open the door,” says Derek. “I could afford to help him into a reasonable team so F1 was beckoning.”
One day at Donington

On a glorious autumn day at Donington Park in 1991, some three months after the tragedy at Oulton, Paul Warwick officially became the posthumous 1991 British Formula 3000 Champion.

It was a day of high emotion after Warwick’s five wins proved good enough to take the crown. There weren’t many dry eyes in the house.

“I clearly remember Derek coming up to me after the race and giving me this enormous bear hug,” remembers Phil Andrews. “I think he gave one to everyone in the paddock and then invited us all for a glass of champagne to toast Paul. It was very poignant to finish like that and it made sure the title went to the most deserving driver. We all remember him as a great champion.”

Frederik Ekblom’s late title push ended at the final round when Julian Westwood took maximum points and Jason Elliott, who had been drafted in to the Mansell Madgwick team, finished second.

“I remember some people saying that we didn’t want to win the championship and that we were kind of orchestrating it so Paul won,” says Richard Dean. “I can tell you that was absolute rubbish. We were young racers and of course we wanted to win.

“The fact was that Paul won the championship because he did the best job and gained maximum points from the races he competed in. He was just better than everyone else that year and by quite a margin.”
Paul Warwick’s legacy

For his elder brother, the loss was almost unbearable to deal with, but the way in which Derek reacted to Paul's passing was indicative of the man himself and his wider family.

There was never any hint of blame toward the team or Reynard. Instead, his efforts were rather channelled towards improving the UK circuits via work with the MSA on improving run-off areas and circuit safety in general to protect the next generation of racers.

“I busied myself making British circuits safer after I visited Knickerbrook a few weeks after the accident,” recalls Warwick. “I could not believe what I was seeing when I went there. Bolts hanging out of the Armco, rotten supporting posts, no gravel, no run-off etc. I was stunned.

“I made friends with the MSA (Motor Sports Association) and planned what we could do,” he continues. “Of course, it wasn’t popular. There was even a stand-off at the gates of Brands Hatch once and they weren’t going to let me in!

“But we got in and we were able to make some good changes. Some were better than others. We got hammered for the Knickerbrook chicane, but the circuits couldn’t afford a Tilke or another top circuit designer. We had to do something though. I believe that we saved lives and saved families going through what we had gone through.”

Today, Warwick remembers his brother daily and is looking forward to including him in a book he is penning about his life in racing from the early hard-knock days of Stock Cars in the 1970s to F1 and Le Mans throughout the 1980s and ’90s.

“I used to lock Paul away in the back of my mind when I was racing, but that stopped when I finished my career,” says Derek 25 years on from that terrible day. “The Warwick family remembers Paul every day. If you went to any of our houses you’d see a picture of him prominently on display. We are so proud of him and what he achieved in his short time with us.”

“You know, I still occasionally think of him and start crying. But I cry in happiness mostly, because although there is nothing we can change now, and he left us a long time ago, we celebrate him all the time.

“Even my daughters and my sisters’ children, who were too young to really know him well, worship his memory because the recollections of him are so special.

“He is still a big part of our family and always will be because he was just a very special guy.”
Άβαταρ μέλους
By Geo f1
#303336 Εικόνα

Meet The Man Ayrton Senna Could Never Beat


It was August 1980, in Jesolo, Italy. Ayrton Senna, aged 20, lay in a deck chair by the hotel pool—steely-eyed, angry. He had been beaten the day before in one of the world’s most prestigious karting events, a race he had dominated until the final lap.

His rival, a British guy with a piercing mustache who won every race he competed that year (bar one where his engine blew), stood on the edge of the swimming pool, laughing and joking with his mechanic. Senna could contain his fury no more. He leaped onto his feet, stormed over, and pushed his competitor into the pool.

After all, Senna hated finishing second, and of all the racers he would go onto dominate, Terry Fullerton was the one driver he could never master

Today, Fullerton, 63, lives in a small house in Leicester, England, with his wife Nilda, 11-year-old daughter and two dogs. By his own admission, he has very little money, and few people outside the world of professional karting know his name.

He spends most of his days covered in oil, fingers raw, imparting wisdom to young racers as they dream of making it big. Fullerton’s talent never saw Formula One, or any race car for that matter. He made his mark on karting, proved he had the ingredients to become a legend, and then that was it.

His profile did raise when the “Senna” documentary aired in 2010. In it, an interview was played from 1993, where Senna—then a three-time F1 world champion—shocked the media by declaring not Prost or Mansell or Piquet but Fullerton the most satisfying driver he ever raced against: “He was fast, he was consistent, he was for me a very complete driver,” Senna said.

In fact, Fullerton recently received a letter from a longtime secretary of Senna’s, noting how the Brazilian F1 great talked of Fullerton as the best all-round driver he ever competed against. The reason he picked that time in 1993 to speak of his admiration, the letter said, was to do justice to all that Fullerton achieved, stating he deserved credit as the brilliant racer he was—something to that day he had never received.

And it wasn’t just Senna that couldn’t master Fullerton. He competed against the likes of Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and many more—and he had the measure of all of them. Fullerton was the undisputed king of karting, perhaps the greatest to have ever competed.

It begs the question: if he was so blindingly brilliant, the best driver Senna ever raced against, the only man the Brazilian could never beat, then why did he not become an F1 superstar like his rivals?

To understand, you need to go back to 1964, when Fullerton was just 11-years-old.

“My older brother Alec decided he wanted to race motorbikes,” Terry Fullerton told me. “He was 17, and my family were pretty straight shooters—my dad was pretty strict.”

Regardless, Alec yearned to compete, and for the next couple of years he spent all his money on bikes and racing. By age 19, Alec was living on a shoestring, barely able to pay his bills. His parents begged him to move back home, something he reluctantly did. After a few heart-to-hearts, his father decided to calm his strictness, get on board with Alec’s racing, and invest a little of his own money into helping his oldest son live out his dream.

It became a family affair, with dad preparing the bikes, and Alec soon rose to the point where he was considered a junior rider to watch, one with the potential to hit the big leagues. The Fullertons, however would soon have their world tipped upside down.

The day after his 21st birthday, at a racetrack in England called Mallory Park, Alec sustained a horrific accident—one that took his life. This, naturally, crushed the family: “I was only 11, and I was at the track when he died,” Terry Fullerton remembers. “I saw him in the ambulance; it was all pretty traumatic.”

Having been to numerous races with his brother over the years, Fullerton admits that, despite the accident, by then, the racing bug was well and truly sown. He was passionate about it, a passion that somehow retained a connection with his lost brother.

His father, knowing this, steered his son away from bikes and into go karts, a sport that remained considerably safer than motorcycles, where hundreds of kids were killed each year.

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