The Zandvoort Tragedy

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Sir, For the third time I have just witnessed on my television set the sickening spectacle of a young man being burnt to death in a Grand Prix car, with people standing around apparently unable to help. Why? Merely because the car concerned had been involved in an accident after which it had come to rest upside down and on fire.

Surely it takes little imagination to realise that this type of accident is bound to happen from time to time, and with the modern Grand Prix car on which the only path of escape is through a ridiculously small hole in the top, the consequences are bound to be fatal unless the car can be righted in a very short time.

For heaven’s sake how many more drivers must die like this before it dawns on organisers to provide all marshalling posts with a grappling hook on an eight-foot length of chain? Whilst not the complete answer, it is simple and cheap and would enable a car to be righted by people not necessarily wearing protective clothing. This would give an uninjured driver a chance to free himself, or at least make the cockpit area accessible with hand extinguishers.

To my simple mind, I am merely stating the obvious. I would have thought Bandini’s accident at Monaco would have been sufficient to stir organisers into providing something along these lines. But to allow Siffert, and now Williamson to die in exactly the same way is surely unforgivable.

Crewe.

E.M. Bourne

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