Soon after the start the poor handling of the 917 and the inexperience of the driver resulted in a drama: the death of British driver John Woolfe on lap 1 when his private Porsche 917 crashed at Maison Blanche. Woolfe was killed, probably due the fact that he had not bothered to put on his safety belt. This was likely done because of the style of the traditional start used at Le Mans until that year, in which drivers were required to run across the track to their cars, climb in and get it started as quickly as possible to pull away from the grid. Woolfe likely sacrificed strapping his safety belts in order to gain a better start.
The nearly full fuel tank from Woolfe's car became dislodged and landed in front of the oncoming Ferrari 312P of Chris Amon. Amon ran over it, causing it to explode under his car, which led to his retirement. The race was stopped for 2 hours due to these two first lap incidents, but was eventually restarted.
Buenos Aires 1000Km - 1971 - Ignazio Giunti fatal accident
Ignazio Giunti (30 August 1941 - 10 January 1971) was an Italian racing
driver who made his name in saloon and Sports Car Racing in the late 1960s.
Tragedy struck in his first drive in 1971 whilst racing in the 1000 km
Buenos Aires race, when his Ferrari 312PB prototype ploughed into the back
of the Matra 660 of Jean-Pierre Beltoise, who was pushing the car along the
track after it had run out of fuel. The impact and the subsequent fire gave
the popular Italian no chance of survival.
Le Mans - 1972 - Jo Bonnier fatal crash
Jo Bonnier was involved in an accident on the straight between Mulsanne
Corner and Indianapolis at Le Mans in 1972 when his open-top Lola-Cosworth
T280 collided with a Ferrari Daytona driven by a Swiss amateur driver
Florian Vetsch. His car was catapulted into the trees and he was killed.
Fellow racer Vic Elford saw the Ferrari burning furiously, and pulled his
Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 over to the right side of the track and ran across the
track to the Ferrari, opening the door, attempting to get Vetsch out. But
Vetsch had already gotten out of the car and was on the side of the track
where Elford had parked his Alfa. Elford saw Vetsch and then saw the
wreckage of Bonnier's yellow Lola in the woods next to the track. According
to Elford, the last he saw of Bonnier's Lola was that it was "spinning into
the trees like a helicopter". Elford later handed off his Alfa to Helmut
Marko, but the gearbox froze solid and they dropped out of the race. Elford
later said "it was the first time in my racing career I'm glad my car
Ford GT40 - 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans
Wonderful period video from brake pad manufacturer Ferodo on the 1968 Le
Mans race from the standpoint of John Wyer's Gulf Oil Ford GT40 team, who
won the race. The first 4 minutes shows a high speed in-car lap around Le
Mans narrated by Stirling Moss. Wonderful video with footage of Alfa Romeo
33s, Porsche 908s, Matras, etc....
Indy 500 - 1982 - Gordon Smiley fatal crash
In 1982, record speeds were being set during qualification for the 1982
Indianapolis 500. Both Kevin Cogan and Rick Mears set new single lap and
4-lap records in their attempts.
Smiley went out for a qualifying attempt an hour later. On the second warm
up lap his car began to oversteer while rounding the third turn, causing
the car to slightly slide. When Smiley steered right to correct this, the
front wheels gained grip suddenly, sending his car directly across the
track and into the wall nose first at nearly 200 mph (320 km/h). The impact
shattered and completely disintegrated the March chassis, causing the fuel
tank to explode, and sent debris — including Smiley's exposed body —
tumbling hundreds of feet across the short-chute connecting turns 3 and 4.
Smiley died instantly from massive trauma inflicted by the severe impact.
His death was the first at Indy since 1973, and to date, the last driver to
die during qualifying.
CART medical director Steve Olvey discussed the crash in his autobiography,
Rapid Response while on staff:
Le Mans Classic 2014 - Live
WATCH LIVE ON YOUTUBE THE LE MANS CLASSIC HERE
Le Mans Classic gives a great retrospective of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
every two years. Praised since its first edition, the event has continued
to establish itself over the next editions. A must-see, the historic
competition will celebrate its seventh edition with an increasingly larger
audience of loyal fans (109.000 spectators in 2012).
REGARDEZ LE MANS CLASSIC EN DIRECT SUR YOUTUBE ICI
Organisé tous les deux ans, Le Mans Classic offre une formidable
rétrospective des 24 Heures du Mans. Plébiscité dès sa première
édition en 2002, l'évènement n'a cessé d'asseoir sa notoriété pour
s'établir comme un must en matière d'évènement automobile. Ce
rendez-vous incontournable rassemble un public toujours plus nombreux
(109.000 spectateurs en 2012).
Official Website: http://www.lemansclassic.com
iOS App : https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/le-mans-classic/id504300193?mt=8
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