Jo Siffert, the Swiss grand-prix driver, died on Sunday (24 October) when his BRM car crashed and burst into flames during an international event at the Brands Hatch circuit in Southern England.
Jo Siffert, the Swiss grand-prix driver, died on Sunday (24 October) when his BRM car crashed and burst into flames during an international event at the Brands Hatch circuit in Southern England. The incident occurred during the 16th lap of a special Grand Prix held to mark the victory of Britain's Jackie Stewart in the 1971 World Championship Series. This coverage is a telerecording of parts of the BBC's Outside Broadcast from Brand's Hatch together with a short sequence from the Visnews Library of Siffert, during 1968, with trophy.
SYNOPSIS: Swiss Grand-Prix driver, Jo Siffert, who died at Brands Hatch in Southern England on Sunday during a special event being held to mark the victory of Britain's Jackie Stewart in the 1971 World Championship Series.
Siffert started from the front row of the grid with BRM team-mate Peter Gethin and Emerson Fittipaldi in a Lotus. Siffert had been pre-race favourite and quickly settled into third place. It was at the Brands Hatch circuit that he first won a Grand Prix motor-race in 1968 and shot to international fame. Off the track a quiet unassuming man, Siffert was a popular figure among his fellow drivers.
The first incident on Sunday came during the first few laps when tow cars......a Formula One and a Formula 5,000.......shunted on the approach to a bend and were out of the race.
On lap 16 spectators were horrified to see sheets of flame and black smoke shoot into the air from the direction of Hawthorn Bend. Siffert's car.....travelling at an estimated 140 miles an hour (220 kilometres an hour) had left the track, hit a marshall's post and flipped over, pinning him under-neath. Race officials and fire-fighters were unable for some time to get close to the burning wreckage because of the intense heat. The 35-year-old Swiss ace began his racing career as a motor-cyclist and after becoming National Champion switched to motor-racing in 1961. Despite his success in both Formula One and Formula Two races, Jo Siffert is perhaps best remembered for his outstanding performances in sports cars. In 1969, driving for Porsche, he won six World Sports Car Championship events. Leading drivers have expressed their sorrow at his death.