5th February 2003                                                                                         

A man has told how he fled from the path of a racing car seconds before it crashed killing two people. Bob Bidmead told an inquest he knew the car was out of control as it emerged from a corner at the Goodwood racetrack, Sussex. He said he had been surprised the car had not slowed and he turned to run as the vehicle collided with the gantry.

The crash, which happened in June 2000 during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, claimed the lives of racing driver 59-year-old John Dawson-Damer and marshal Andrew Carpenter, 40. Mr Carpenter, from Polegate, East Sussex, died from his injuries at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester. Australian Mr Dawson-Damer was killed when his Lotus 63 sports car struck the finish line gantry.

The inquest in Chichester heard Mr Dawson-Damer did not lift his foot from the accelerator of the car as it veered out of control. The hearing is expected to take several days.

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