Friday, December 04, 2009

Roger Williamson and the Dutch Grand Prix Tragedy of 1973

Roger Williamson (February 2, 1948 - July 29, 1973) was a talented racing driver from England who was killed during the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix.

Williamson won the 1971 and 1972 British Formula Three Championship titles. In 1973, Formula One returned to the Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix, after an absence of a year due to extensive safety upgrades to the race track which amongst others included new asphalt, installation of barriers and building a new race control tower. This race was only the second Formula One start for the March team and the second Grand Prix race for the promising Williamson.

During the race, Williamson suffered a sudden tire deflation, which pitched him into the barriers at high speed and catapulted his car 300 yards (275 metres) across the track against the barriers on the other side. Williamson’s car came to a rest upside down and the driver was unable to extricate himself from the burning car. Fellow driver David Purley came to Williamson’s aid but he was unable to overturn the car. Initially some people, like the commentators on Dutch tv, race control and some of the other drivers participating in the race, thought that Purley was the driver that belonged to the burning car, and thus thought that the driver had gotten away safely. LINK, Via: Youtube

1 comment:

  1. Once again thank you for the recent trackbacks LLLT! I love some of the random videos on your site! I hadn't seen some of those dali pieces in your slideshow either, very cool.

    Anyway, just wanted to drop by and say thanks :)
    The vid above was definitely very tragic. I got choked up watching it. You can really feel his despair.