The Special Slams
Harris' crash was one of three big smash-ups
that day in the same corner. In the one fatal incident, a Stanguellini
Formula Junior driver locked wheels with another Junior braking for the
slow right-hand Turn 2. His car was also was catapulted into the
air. The third rollover accident involved a Lotus Elite, its driver
|(1-15-09) From Bob Harris:
"About the fatality, I can't remember
the drivers name, but it was a formula car. I was talking to him on the
starting grid, and tried to tighten his seat belt. I remember he said "I
don't like it that tight, do you have yours that tight?" I explained to
him that my crew tightens my belt until it feels like it's almost going
to cut me in half, which later saved my life. In the same turn that I later
crashed in, he made contact with another car and launched into the air.
He then started a series of sideways rollovers. He was partially ejected,
with the seatbelt catching him just at the knees. It was instantly fatal."
After the event, the course layout received
heavy criticism. The fast left-hand Turn 1 followed by the slow right-hand
Turn 2 was considered a "trap" for less-skilled amateur drivers, especially
with the pavement very slippery after two days of heavy racing use.
E-Jag racer Wally
Barnitz quit racing permanently after his Saturday qualifying race,
saying that the Santa Barbara course was "like racing on ice".
Titus wrote a fascinating article on the dangers of the Turn 1-2 corner
sequence in Volume 7, #21 of the "MotoRacing"
racing tabloid published by Gus
Vignolle in the 1950s-60s.
In this "YouTube"video shot by your webmaster
earlier Santa Barbara event, the corner sequence can be seen.
Harris is #17 in the Campbell Special.
Across the Track...
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