Many thanks for your letter concerning Andys website, I think it's
a superb idea and very fitting. It would be wrong of me to say that
I knew Andy really well in fact we met about three times but we did
talk on the phone on a number of occasions.
I would like to tell you how Andy and I met. In 1994 I decided that
I wanted to go to the Indy 500 in the USA and I duly booked a tour
with Page & Moy to go. The main reason being that Nigel Mansell was
racing in Indy car at the time and I was a huge fan. I arrived at
Gatwick Airport for the flight to Cincinnati which was where I was
staying. Once into the departure lounge I discovered that the flight
was delayed so I decided to get some food from Burger King or some
such fast food outlet. I was standing in line proudly wearing my Mansell
jacket when Andy & Chris (cant remember Chris's second name but you
may know him as he & Andy Marshalled together) came up to me. Chris
asked if I was going to the Indy 500 to which I replied yes with Page
& Moy, to be met by the response so are we. They asked if I was travelling
alone & when I said yes they both welcomed me & said I could hang
out with the both of them. Andy & Chris made that trip the most memorable
I have ever had & I will never forget Andys enthusiasm for motorsport.
We did stay in touch for a while and went on two more trips one to
the Touring Car World Cup in 1994 & Le Mans in 1995. Memorable they
were too I will never forget Chris & Andy.
I am sending you a snap taken at Le Mans in 95. I'm behind the camera
so not in shot but the name's are: Left to Right: Chris, One of Andys
friends (cant remember his name) Andy and a former work mate of mine
called Sebastian Windsor who is French. Please feel free to use the
photo on this site but please return it as this is the only one I
I hope building this site has helped you and your family Andy is greatly
missed, but I will always celebrate his life.
Kind Regards John Cooper
A well earned rest at a
Le Mans camp site.
? Is this you?
I didn't know Andy but as a new-ish marshal I can't begin to tell you
how much I am encouraged by what I've read about him. I had only been
marshalling a year when I heard of the accident but immediately felt,
like many others, that I had lost a good friend. Your site is an excellent
tribute to a good man.
my first run up the "Hill" at the Festival of Speed in 2000 with the
1959 Old Yeller II during the Opening Ceremonies, I noted the high professional
standards of the Marshals at the event. That weekend had tragic consequences
that took the life of Andy and it affected us all. On Sunday I used
electrical tape and made a makeshift black arm band for my driving suit.
At the pre staging compound and the start area, I made a point to shake
hands with every marshal in sight. After the last run on Sunday... at
the top of the hill I asked to be the last car to go back down the hill.
I drove the car slowly by each marshals station and saluted them and
pointed to my arm band and my heart... it was touching as they saluted
back... a moment of tribute to Andy.
Ernie Nagamatsu - Old Yeller II
to meet you... Update:
How are you? We received a packet from Lord Charles March and the
Old Yeller II 1959 Buick Special is invited to the 2003 Goodwood Revival
Meeting Races- Sussex Trophy Race in September (9/4-5-6-7/ 03). Whew...
there were a lot of people that are on our extended crew that already
made hotel reservations and booked flights. The team is really happy
as we are trying to get the car to handle better and find a motor
that will last and be durable. We will have some neat white team ("Hollywood
Motors"/ Max & Ina Balchowsky/ Old Yeller Race Cars) shirts to go
with white pants in the paddocks as required. We are hoping for new
OYII pins to give out as well as other hand out stuff.
Stay in touch...
Ernie & Elaine Nagamatsu
Just a note to say how impressed I am with the web site, it is excellent
and a very fine tribute to Andrew. I have been meaning to look at
it since I received your letter and finally I have and I'm glad I
have sat quite close to you at college over the last few weeks and
have hardly spoken at all. Now that I have seen your web site and
I know that you have that same sadness deep inside that I have I feel
that I know you more. It was October 2000 that I suffered the loss
of my Mother and it affected me deeply and still does. I also found
comfort in creating a tribute by way of a web site. I have looked
at every page of your tribute to Andy and feel so sorry for you. You
have shown the world how much you love and miss your brother. He would
be very proud of you. I have a brother and I know that I would be
devastated if I lost him. Stay strong and know that there are many
of us out there who feel that same pain and who find it hard to understand
why these terrible things have to happen.
Just to let you know that my wife & I will be at Goodwood this coming
weekend, I will make a point of paying my respects at Andy's Memorial.
I feel most honoured and delighted to have a page on Andy's website.
Le Mans was a very good time, with a mixture of emotions. Before the
racing started, I laid a wreath where I thought his ashes were buried
(apparently it was some 15 feet away from that spot, but that was only
shown to me later in the week after Chris Stoddart had arrived), and
with some of his colleagues from Brands Hatch, we toasted to his memory.
I attach a couple of the pictures from that moment.
The reaction of Bernard Nirrengarten, Andy's post chief, was wonderful
in that he allowed me access to the post, etc, which normal spectators
aren't allowed to do. Even allowing Jackie and I to drive the race circuit
early on the Saturday morning so that I could film our drive. It has
to be said that prior to the accident Le Mans was both a passion and
a goal to get to marshal at, but I honestly thought the accident had
killed off any chance of achieving this. I now have completed the first
half, of just being there, and it has helped to strengthen my resolve
to marshal that post in the future.
This weekend is this year's running of the Festival of Speed, and I
will be there over all three days. My first job will be to leave a white
rose on the stone at the finish line, a tradition I started last year
and intend to carry out for the rest of my life.