A day in the life

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

Sir,

I was delighted to see the fine and timely articles on Jo Siffert by Nigel Roebuck and Andrew Frankel (November issue).

The first motor race I watched was the British GP in 1968, aged 13.1 was hooked, and Siffert’s win made enough impact on me for him to become my boyhood hero. The walls of my bedroom were covered with posters of him in the wide variety of cars in which he was so successful.

Though I saw him race on numerous occasions, I didn’t get to meet him until the Victory Race at Brands Hatch in 1971.

It was indeed a beautiful day, more like Monza in early September than rural Kent in late October. In those days it was easy to wander around the paddock getting the top drivers’ autographs and photographing the cars close up. In awe, I duly got Seppi’s signature and he posed for several photos. These may well be the last portraits of him.

Thrilled with my achievement, I set off for a good vantage point. I chose the approach to Hawthorn’s Bend (a fast right-hander).

On the 16th lap, I watched Siffert come down the hill to my right. His car suddenly darted left and hit the bank, it was launched into the air and flew over our heads, landing just to my left in a ball of flame. It landed upside down and he was trapped in the inferno. I can still recall the heat on my face.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the marshals’ lamentably inadequate extinguishers failed to work. They made heroic efforts to get close, but to no avail.

From the initial screaming and panic, a strange stillness set in, interrupted a couple of times by an almighty bang: the tyres exploding. We watched that horrible plume of black smoke deface the clear blue sky.

The photos I took of this disaster were on the same roll of film as Seppi’s smiling optimistic face.

All very traumatic, to say the least.

But as heroes go, I still don’t think I could have done better.

I am, Yours etc, David Whittaker, Charlbury, Oxon