Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Sir jackie Stewart chosen to advise on motorsport safety

I was pleased to see that Sir Jackie Stewart was chosen to assist with a review of motorsport safety after the recent tragedy in the Borders:

MOTOR-RACING legend Sir Jackie Stewart is to give expert advice to the Scottish Government’s review of motorsport, set up to examine safety after the loss of life at the Jim Clark Rally last month.

The former Formula One world champion has spent much of his life fighting for improved safety at motorsport events.

Sir Jackie, 75, began his campaign after witnessing the deaths of fellow competitors including Scot and world champion Clark, who died at Hockenheim, Germany, in 1968.

Via Jackie Stewart to advise on rally safety review – The Scotsman

(Apologies if you see a blank box below, it seems that Getty has changed its coding, and their shared library images are no longer appearing as expected.)

While Sir Stirling Moss is often the name quoted, even today, when motorsport is referred to, his views are generally less than relevant or sensible, as he seems to be stuck in some sort of male-dominated macho past, where risking your life is essential to the nature of the sport, and he has also managed to put his foot in his mouth on at least one occasion, when referring to women’s place in this venture.

While I wouldn’t be too interested in taking his (Sir Stirling Moss’s) safety advice – if he were to offer it – Sir Jackie Stewart has been noted for is relevant views on the matter, and his own move out of the sport while he was still alive, and it was possibly at its most dangerous.

As regards observing at rallies, it’s something I’ve had the opportunity to do on few occasions, not because of lack of interest, but because I always thought I could see more by watching the televised reports. Being there in person may offer the experience, but is also limited to the spot you can visit, while the stages cover a much greater distance.

I did visit Ingleston to see the last appearance of the Group B cars before they were banned, and where they put on a great show of their power.

And I watched a stage that took place in Strathclyde Park, where I was reasonably close to becoming a victim in a corner incident – one car failed to negotiate a turn and came of the park road, spun, and took out the 4×4 wooden barrier which marked a pedestrian crossing, where a photographer had set up his tripod and had to run for his life. I was standing a few metres behind. I even got some pics of the aftermath, but they’re on film so I can’t slip them in here. On the other hand, they don’t show much, just the broken barrier stumps in the ground.

I never liked attending rallies, and did so only a few times, as the way many spectators ignore their own safety (and that of the drivers) by getting onto the road until the last moment (possibly in order to get a ‘great’ pic) was very off-putting, and I was always worried by those antics. I much preferred Knockhill.

However (and this is no reflection or comment on the Borders incident, of which I have no knowledge), it’s hard to see what you can do to protect people from themselves, without being overly protective, or even closing the stages.

The outcome will be interesting.

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June 21, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

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