MERRICK CRASH MARS ASCARI TROHY
THE BUSY TROFEO ASCARI WEEKEND AT IMOLA WAS
marred by a frightening start-line shunt in the GP event when Tony Merrick’s stalled Ferrari Dino was rear-ended by Peter Mann’s ERA. Merrick, who suffered two dislocated arms, says he thinks the sturdy Ferrari saved his life in the high-speed crash. The impact caused the engine to start and drive the car into the barrier, Merrick describing it as “an 80mph bump-start”. Car damage was confined mainly to the tail on the Dino, but the ERA was heavily damaged, though Mann
escaped with bruising. Kenneth White (CooperBristol) eventually took the Pre-61 win, John Beasley (Brabharn BT4) the ’61-65 prize after John Harper spun his Cooper into the gravel.
The delay shortened the ‘mini enduro’ format of the Motor Racing News Gentlemen Drivers Award for GT and Sportscars, in which two 114-hour races are split by a 15-minute pause, with refuelling forbidden to give the small cars a boost. Overall victory went to Jeremy Agace and Ray Bellm in the former’s Bizzarrini A3/C.