INTRODUCTION: Two serious accidents at Zolder, the venue of the Belgian Grand Prix, have shocked the world of motor racing.
GV Pit scene
SV Carlos Reutemann (in red)
GV Cars leaving pit area
GV & PAN Mechanic carried away after accident, ZOOM IN TO mechanic on ground (2 shots)
GV Spectators looking onto scene of accident
GV Mechanic helped by pit workers, Reutemann among them
SV Reutemann walking away
SV ZOOM TO SCU Manager of Williams team interviewed by newsmen
GV & SV Riccardo Patrese's car stalled at starting grid, with mechanic running out to help (2 shots)
GV Patreses's fellow team member crashes into back
GV Other cars leave grid
GV & LV Injured mechanic on tarmac as cars pass (2 shots)
GV Accident scene as driver leaves car, and mechanic lies on ground
GVs SLOW MOTION of crash (3 shots)
GV PAN Restart of race
GV Race in progress
LV PAN Alan Jones, in lead, runs off track, and hits fence
GV Alan Jones walking from wrecked car
GV PAN Winning car passing line and taking chequered flag
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Two serious accidents at Zolder, the venue of the Belgian Grand Prix, have shocked the world of motor racing. The first took place on Friday (15 May) when an Italian mechanic was struck by the Williams car of Argentine Carlos Reutemann during official practice for the race. On Sunday night (17 May) the mechanic, Giovanni Amadeo, died from the head injuries he received in the pit road accident....
SYNOPSIS: Reutemann's car was reported to have hit the mechanic, a member of the Osella racing team, as the Argentine was leaving the pits for another practice run. Reutemann had just recorded the fastest lap of the session.
Amadeo was knocked from the pit lane into a concrete wall as the Argentine drove out. Reutemann, who was absolved of all blame, said the mechanic stepped out in front of him, went up in the air and his head on the wall.
The tragedy has revived international criticism of the extremely narrow pit lane at Zolder and of the crumbling racing track. On Sunday, the start of the Grand Prix was delayed by a mechanics' protest over safety standards at the circuit. They blocked the track for five minutes to highlight the inadequacy of the pit facilities which caused Friday's accident. Carlos Reutemann's team manager Frank Williams described the conditions at Zolder as the "worst in the world".
The second serious accident in 48 hours came at the start of the Grand Prix on Sunday (17 May). Siegfried Stohr's Arrows car rammed the stalled vehicle of his Italian team-mate Riccardo Patrese and trapped Dave Luckett, a British mechanic, who was standing behind it. Mr. Luckett was taken to hospital with both legs broken and head injuries.
Film of the accident is now shown again in slow motion:
After nearly an hour's delay the race started and it was dominated throughout by Reutemann. He set up the fastest time at an average speed of 186.475 kilometres an hour (115.575 miles an hour).
But another incident was still to come. World champion Alan Jones left the track on a fast right-hand bend. His Williams car was badly damaged against the crash barrier and Jones injured an ankle. Carlos Reutemann's victory moved him further ahead in the world championship. But he said the accidents made it an unhappy race for him.