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Old 26-03-2017, 05:58 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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Forest's F1 experiences of the 1980's

i thought I'd post this for any oldies like me , who have an interest in F1. A tad self-indulgent (and a bit dated), but may also spread a bit of humour.

I will update in further posts.

At the age of 18, my step-brother takes me to Brands Hatch in 1986 for the British GP. The cost was 16.
Watching the cars thunder round the track as break-neck speed was highly impressive during the practice sessions. Though the track seemed a bit narrow, with limited overtaking opportunities.

On the Sunday at about 5am, we arrived at Paddock Hill bend, but it was already packed. So we legged it round to Surtees bend and found a nice spot at the front.
My initial thoughts about the track were realised , when there was a massive pile-up on the first corner.

However, eventually Nigel Mansell ended up winning and this was the start of my romance with F1.
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Old 26-03-2017, 06:14 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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So Brands Hatch didn't hold another F1 GP, as the rights went to Silverstone (and one to Donington), and have been ever since.

So it's early 1987 and there is an F1 testing session at Silverstone. Me and my brother bunk off work and drive up for the day. (I think it was about a fiver to get in). Also at this time I had been accepted onto a BTEC course on Automotive Engineering, starting in September. F1 mechanic was my goal.

So after a few hours all the teams are packing their stuff away and the marshalls are walking off the track. My brother notices a bridge from the car park , going over the track and into the pit area. There are no marshalls.

So in a Silver Datsun Cherry (1.3) my brother drives over the bridge and into the back of the pits, and parks up. We get out to have a look around , and there's Frank Williams (now wheelchair-bound), with his hands bandaged from a car crash the previous year.

My brother gives Frank and man-hug and we go back to the Datsun Cherry.
"Bl00dy H3ll", says my brother Steve. "We can drive straight onto the track from here",.......so he did. Out of the pit lane and onto the circuit.

I did heckle Steve to put his foot down a bit more, but by this time he was bricking it a bit at the magnitude of what he was doing.

We did a lap , ending up just past Abbey Curve and took a swerve back in the pitlane,....to go out again !

We'd nearly done another whole lap when an observant marshal jumped out at Abbey Curve.
"Shall I ask him the way to the M1 ?" I asked Steve.

"Don't say a ****** word. Just keep your big mouth shut!", was Steve's response.

Steve wound down the window....."Sorry mate, I couldn't resist it"
Marshall :"Turn off over the bridge and fck off. Don't let me see you here again"

Last edited by foresthillbilly; 28-03-2017 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 26-03-2017, 06:34 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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it gets better/ worse,...
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Old 26-03-2017, 07:50 PM
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it gets better/ worse,...
So... when do we get to find out which it is?
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Old 27-03-2017, 12:13 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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in 1987 I start my Automotive course and it transpires we have to do a month's work experience at the start of the next academic year (Sept 1988). Fortunately, I've managed to network a contact at McLaren, and in principle they are OK with it.
It was the old McLaren site on Albert Drive, Woking, in a mix of industrial units and residential roads.
It's quite rare for drivers to be at the factory, they are normally only seen at testing and the like. But I'm waiting for my interview in their plush leather seats , surrounded by cabinets of trophies and a few of their cars, when Alain Prost just happens to amble past.
Bl00dy short-@r5e.
The interview goes swimmingly, so all set for September 1988

Last edited by foresthillbilly; 27-03-2017 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 27-03-2017, 12:26 PM
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My first experience of the British GP was at Brands. I remember that for an extra couple of quid you could get an extra ticket that would allow you to walk round the pits on race day whilst they got the cars ready. My old man took the whole family on a stroll round the garages. Imagine being able to do that now..

Couldnt tell you the year but i must have only been 10 or 11
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Old 27-03-2017, 06:22 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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My first experience of the British GP was at Brands. I remember that for an extra couple of quid you could get an extra ticket that would allow you to walk round the pits on race day whilst they got the cars ready. My old man took the whole family on a stroll round the garages. Imagine being able to do that now..

Couldnt tell you the year but i must have only been 10 or 11
which is why the Goodwood Festival of speed is so bl00dy good. ^^^^

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Old 27-03-2017, 06:42 PM
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Great Stories FHB. A kid drove rounds Brands a few months ago, just like you. Got a jail sentence for it I think, might have been suspended. Mind you it was in the middle of a classic car meet
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Old 27-03-2017, 06:52 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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and so the Italian GP was held at Monza on 11 September 1988. The Only race of the season that McLaren didn't win, ...primarily because McLaren were intent on winning with reduced-power turbo engines, whilst other teams were preparing for the non-turbo era for the following season, with V10 normally aspirated engines.

I joined McLaren on Monday 12 September,. . . . for a month
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Old 27-03-2017, 07:02 PM
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I was left stranded in the pits at Brands by my mate who raced classic saloons.

Luckily another driver saved me the long walk back to civilisation by doing what my mate should have done after he finished his race.
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Old 27-03-2017, 07:16 PM
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I started marshalling in 1986 and did it for over 25 years. Wasn't that into F1 but I did do the 86 GP (I was at Bridge) and the 87 GP (pit/fire outside the Tyrell pits. I also did the Belgian GP at Spa in 86 (inside of Eau Rouge for qualifying!) and some great F1 test days at Brands. Great memories, I have a timesheet signed by Senna, Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Rosberg, etc and loads of photos of them all in the pit lane during the lunchbreak with the exception of Rosberg who was having lunch and a fag in the Kentagon. As you say, it wouldn't happen today.
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Old 28-03-2017, 05:58 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
1987, the first GP at Silverstone for quite a while. I drove up there with a mate to arrive around 5am (you had to get there early if you didn't have a 'posh' reserved seat, so you could find a good spot on the grass banking, at the front). The car park was starting to fill up and there was a long line of traffic waiting to get in.
Fortunately the police hadn't yet put out yellow 'No Parking' cones on the road, so I just parked on the grass verge and we walked/ran in to pitch-up on Abbey Curve.
A great race, with Mansell mania taking hold. Mansell wins and as he approaches Abbey on his slowing down lap, the crowd surge onto the track to mob him. (got a couple of good photos of that somewhere)
As Mansell is rescued by the marshalls me and my mate leg-it back to the car. Thankfully not clamped or towed away. We speed back to Camberley at arrive at about 6pm. Have my dinner and go to bed knackered.
At 11pm the phone rings. "Is Ali back from Silverstone yet ?" asks my contact from McLaren. "Yes" says my mum "he got back at 6pm, had his dinner and has been in bed a couple of hours. Do you want me to wake him ?"
"Really !! I've only just got back home. Did he see the whole race ?"

Gives me a warm glow thinking about that day. And that track invasion caused all the high fencing to be installed on F1 circuits.
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Old 28-03-2017, 06:14 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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just as an aside to the high fencing issue. I was at Brands Hatch for the truck racing one year (1988 ?) on Paddock Hill bend when the Wheelie Truck crashed.
That was a premature end to the days events, as apparently the truck was loaded with all sorts of explosive fuels

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Old 28-03-2017, 07:18 AM
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So... when do we get to find out which it is?
I dont think it could get any worse.....
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Old 28-03-2017, 07:55 AM
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I liked going to Brands, preferred it to Siverstone. My first race must have been in the late 60's 'The Race of the Champions' which was a sort of warm up for the F1 season. It was a one two for the McLarens driven by Bruce McLaren and Dennis hume. My favourite was the BOAC 500, for GT Cars. I'll never forget the firts one I went to, the whistle from the huge wing on The Chaparral when it kicked in at Paddock. It went on to win that race and the Ferrari P4's won the sports car Championship taking the next three places.
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Old 28-03-2017, 12:41 PM
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I think I may well have been taken to that one by my Dad. I'd have only been about 8 years old but definitely remember the Race of Champions and remember the winning McLaren being towed round on its lap of honour. I was also taken to the F1 race at Brands in late 71 when Jo Siffert was killed. I remember it well, the silence as the race was stopped and the pall of black smoke coming from the back of the circuit. However bland F1 has become now at least we don't have to witness terrible scenes like that.
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Old 28-03-2017, 01:12 PM
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I think this might be it. I can't remember movies being silent then but it was a while ago.



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Old 28-03-2017, 01:15 PM
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in 1987 I start my Automotive course and it transpires we have to do a month's work experience at the start of the next academic year (Sept 1988). Fortunately, I've managed to network a contact at McLaren, and in principle they are OK with it.
It was the old McLaren site on Albert Drive, Woking, in a mix of industrial units and residential roads.
It's quite rare for drivers to be at the factory, they are normally only seen at testing and the like. But I'm waiting for my interview in their plush leather seats , surrounded by cabinets of trophies and a few of their cars, when Alain Prost just happens to amble past.
Bl00dy short-@r5e.
The interview goes swimmingly, so all set for September 1988
I had an interview there for an IT job in the mid 90's (didn't get it). I remember waiting there, being sat in front of Ayrton Sennas car. I don't think I have ever seen so many trophies in one place before or since!
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Old 28-03-2017, 01:19 PM
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So Brands Hatch didn't hold another F1 GP, as the rights went to Silverstone (and one to Donington), and have been ever since.

So it's early 1987 and there is an F1 testing session at Silverstone. Me and my brother bunk off work and drive up for the day. (I think it was about a fiver to get in). Also at this time I had been accepted onto a BTEC course on Automotive Engineering, starting in September. F1 mechanic was my goal.

So after a few hours all the teams are packing their stuff away and the marshalls are walking off the track. My brother notices a bridge from the car park , going over the track and into the pit area. There are no marshalls.

So in a Silver Datsun Cherry (1.3) my brother drives over the bridge and into the back of the pits, and parks up. We get out to have a look around , and there's Frank Williams (now wheelchair-bound), with his hands bandaged from a car crash the previous year.

My brother gives Frank and man-hug and we go back to the Datsun Cherry.
"Bl00dy H3ll", says my brother Steve. "We can drive straight onto the track from here",.......so he did. Out of the pit lane and onto the circuit.

I did heckle Steve to put his foot down a bit more, but by this time he was bricking it a bit at the magnitude of what he was doing.

We did a lap , ending up just past Abbey Curve and took a swerve back in the pitlane,....to go out again !

We'd nearly done another whole lap when an observant marshal jumped out at Abbey Curve.
"Shall I ask him the way to the M1 ?" I asked Steve.

"Don't say a ****** word. Just keep your big mouth shut!", was Steve's response.

Steve wound down the window....."Sorry mate, I couldn't resist it"
Marshall :"Turn off over the bridge and fck off. Don't let me see you here again"

This is highly disturbing
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Old 28-03-2017, 05:55 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
My first day at work,....to come
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