Tragedy and the triumphs

Author

Simon Arron

View profile
Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Snetterton, September 29: a veil of sadness cloaks the VSCC’s season swansong

“There’s not much point loitering here,” the marshal said, addressing a small media posse gathered close to the left-hand flick known as Chapman Corner. “We’ve been told it might be some time before things restart.”

I’ve developed a tendency to be blasé about red flags. Once a symbol of serious disruption, they nowadays tend to be brandished for relative trifles. The mood around the paddock’s fringe offered few clues, either – apparently oblivious to the symbolism of a prolonged, unscheduled silence, people chatted cheerfully in Norfolk’s Indian summer. Brows became more furrowed, however, as you edged closer to the pit garages and fragments of whispered conversation painted a bleak picture.

During practice for the day’s fifth scheduled event, for Pre-1941 Racing Cars, Bugatti T35B driver Stephen Jewell had collided with Mac Hulbert’s passing ERA on the pit straight. The Bugatti subsequently veered left into the barriers and Jewell was thrown from his car. He was treated at the scene and transferred by ambulance to hospital, but later succumbed.

Every tier of our sport generates significant forces – and it’s impossible to legislate for the consequences when these are unleashed unexpectedly. You know it might happen, but we’ve become accustomed to seeing drivers step away unharmed from complete wrecks. I’ve been a regular fixture at racing events for more than 40 years and have lost count of the number of meetings and test sessions I’ve attended, but it must be nudging four figures (if, indeed, that tally hasn’t already been passed). In all that time, I’d been present – prior to this season – at only 11 events during which fatalities had occurred. Snetterton, however, marked the third such occasion during a summer that has been among the bleakest of recent times.

With the consent of Jewell’s family, the meeting eventually resumed and showcased many of the reasons that lead us to forgive the sport its cruelties.

Snetterton 200 is closest in spirit to the 1974-2010 circuit, which preceded the present configuration, and suits club events well. The lap is long enough to be interesting, but not to the extent that fields become too thinly spread.

We’re used to seeing 500cc F3 racers taking an arm from the steering wheel so that they can clasp their car’s underbelly to improve weight distribution while cornering, almost in the manner of a sidecar passenger, but during practice many were raising a palm simply to shield the sun from their eyes along the Bentley (formerly Revett) Straight. In the race the leading group had both hands full with each other as the lead changed constantly. On the final lap George Shackleton (Cooper) teetered around the outside of Coram to grab the lead into Murrays (Russell, to those of an older stripe). His advantage was brief, however, as Martin drivers Simon Frost and Roy Hunt outdragged him to the line. Just two tenths covered the trio at the flag – the kind of finish that tends not to occur in contemporary F3.

Calum Lockie showed great flamboyance at the wheel of the Danaher family’s Maserati 6CM, as he stroked to victory in the Pre-1941 race, although even that paled alongside the exuberance of serial VSCC front-runner Justin Maeers in his GN Parker.

Having watched Maeers hustle the 1926 chassis to victory in the Vintage Seaman Trophy, I later saw him pull up to refuel the winning car at a BP station on the A11, an approach to racing that long pre-dates Ford Transits and trailers.

It was a day on which motor racing’s darkest side contrasted with the joyous simplicity of its essence.

Simon Arron

Related articles

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore

Related products

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore