26th June 2000
'Two dead at car festival'
Horrified spectators told today of the crash at the Goodwood Festival of Speed which left two people dead. Driver John Dawson-Damer, 59, was killed when his Lotus 63 collided with the finishing post during a hill climb near Goodwood House. Marshal Andrew Carpenter, 40, from Polegate, was seriously injured in the accident and later died at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester. A second marshal, Steve Tarrant, from Poole, was also badly hurt and last night was in a critical but stable condition. Both men were working for the British Automobile Racing Club, responsible for the organisation of the festival.
Festival officials have vowed to carry out a full investigation into the cause of the crash, which happened at about 2.30pm on Saturday. Horrified onlookers saw Mr Dawson-Damer's car crash into the finishing post, hitting the two marshals, and flip over into a hedge.
three-day festival continued as planned yesterday with 110,000 motorsport
enthusiasts attending the final day. Michael Pearson, 48, of Sackville
Gardens, Hove, went to all three days and saw the Lotus crash. He said:
"I suddenly heard an almighty bang and when I looked up I saw the car
flying in the air and crashing into the hedge. "It was horrible. There
were some people screaming but a lot of others were just in shock. Everyone
was pretty quiet for the rest of the afternoon." Peter Barnes, 61, from
Storrington Road, Horsham, said: "You always know there is a lot of risk
when you take part in events like these, but it is only when something
like this happens that it brings it home how dangerous it is." Mike Havers,
38, from Portsmouth, said: "I was here yesterday and I heard there had
been an accident but I didn't know it was that serious. I'm surprised
they decided to go ahead with the last day."
The starting field was divided into 24 categories, starting from turn of the century classics to modern day Formula 1 challengers. Jonny Herbert was also at the event in his latest F1 Jaguar and Sir Stirling Moss drove a Jaguar MK VII while former motorbike racer Barry Sheene took a ride on on a Suzuki 500. The thousands of visitors were also treated to a flying display by an RAF Tornado fighter bomber and a performance by the Red Arrows. There were also a wide range of stalls and displays showing hundreds of old and modern racing cars. A funfair, helicopter flights and the chance to ride in a tank, take a motorbike for a spin or try out a Chrysler 4x4 round a precision course were also available.
Four top Formula One teams, Jaguar, Williams-BMW, Jordan and McLaren, attended. Thousands of pounds are expected to have been raised the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign which is this year's key charity at the festival. The charity entered a soapbox in the Goodwood Gravity Racing Challenge which was built by Aerosuperbatics and driven by Alain de Cadenet, brother of Amanda. Jenson Button and former EastEnders star Troy Titus-Adams, who played Nina, were also on hand to carry out a prize draw at the charity's stand yesterday.
year saw children have their own brand-new event with the launch of the
Junior Festival of Speed. They were able to choose from traditional fun
such as Punch and Judy, face-painting and a funfair with pint-size Austin
cars or try DVD players and a PlayStation in a specially-equipped Renault
Scenic. They were also given the chance to learn off-road motorcycling
techniques with Motor Cycle Industry inspectors.