BBC news 6 Feb 03
6th February 2003                                                                                       Index

Death crash gantry 'was not approved'


A senior safety official has told an inquest into the deaths of two men at the Goodwood Festival of Speed he could not remember seeing the finish line gantry in an inspection of the track. John Simes said he had not been asked to approve the gantry and might have made some adjustments to it if he had.

Amateur racing driver John Dawson-Damer, 59, and marshal Andrew Carpenter, 40, died in a crash at the West Sussex race track in June 2000.

Mr Simes, from the Motor Sports Association, told the inquest in Chichester he had driven around the circuit before the start of the festival, checking straw bales and barriers. Not approved But he said he could not remember seeing the finish line structure which Mr Dawson-Damer hit in his Lotus 63 sports car when it veered off the track in front of thousands of spectators. He also said the Goodwood Road Racing Company had not asked him to inspect and approve the gantry.

The Australian driver, brother of the Earl of Portarlington, died at the scene. Mr Carpenter, from Polegate, East Sussex, was one of two marshals to be hurt and died from his injuries at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester. The inquest is scheduled to last until Friday.

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