Steve Tarrant's Tributes to Andy
On the day of the accident, I was working with a new friend, Andy Carpenter. I say that because it was the first day that we had ever met and worked together, but like all marshals, we got on very well that day, exchanging stories about events we had individually done. In particular that day, I was fascinated by Andy's love of Le Mans and the 24 Hour race, an event I had been to as a spectator in the 1980's and was planning to marshal at in 2001. Unfortunately, Andy did not survive in the aftermath of the accident.
A year later, I met Ernie Nagamatsu, an American who had been driving at Goodwood over the weekend of the accident, and learnt how profoundly he had felt touched by events that he wrote a tribute to Andy and I. I feel honoured to dedicate the following pages to the memory of Andy, a friend to many people.

22nd June 2003

As the third anniversary approaches, I again wish to pay tribute to a marshalling colleague who paid the ultimate sacrifice helping and supporting the sport he so dearly loved.

God be with you Andy.

Le Mans was a very good time, with a mixture of emotions. Before the racing started, I laid a wreath where I thought Andy's ashes were buried (apparently it was some 15 feet away from that spot, but that was only shown to me later in the week), and with some of his colleagues from Brands Hatch, we toasted to his memory.

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.
Le Mans Poste 106
June 2003

(Left to Right)
Peter Weedon, Peter Scillitoe, Colin Hicks, Bob Moorman and Steve Tarrant
Click for larger image

Steve's recovery

Daily Echo

2nd August 2000

Goodwood crash man recovering by Paula Tegerdine

A Poole man left fighting for his life following a 150mph accident at the Goodwood Festival of speed is slowly making a recovery.

Stephen Tarrant was a race marshal at the event on June 25 when a Lotus crashed during a timed hill-climb, killing the driver and another marshal. Since then, the 39-year-old from Esmonde Way, Canford Heath, has been undergoing specialist treatment at Charing Cross Hospital.

His wife Jackie said "He was very badly hurt but he is quite bright in himself. Now he has had a tracheotomy removed he can talk normally."

Driver of the car, the Hon. John Dawson Damer and race marshal Andrew Carpenter, 40, from Eastbourne, were both killed in the crash.

The 59-year-old Eton-educated driver was behind the wheel of a restored 1969 three-litre Lotus which was once used by ex-world champion Mario Andretti. It crashed 100 yards from the finish line, smashing into a safety hay bale, then ramming into a wooden finish line gantry before hitting the two marshals.

The results of an inquiry into the accident are due to be published in August.

Stephen Tarrant has undergone a series of operations since the accident and was only allowed solid food for the first time last week having been fed intravenously up until then. Skin grafts have been taken from his left thigh and used on the remains of his right leg which is healing well. But a 10 hour operation to remove muscle from under his right arm to graft into the left leg to replace what was torn off in the accident has failed and the muscle has had to be removed.

Damage to the lower left leg is now expected to take a long time to improve and he is not expected to leave hospital for at least two to three months. Mrs. Tarrant added, "Up to now Steve has been kept in the prone position, but following his latest operation he will be able to sit out of a chair." She added, "Our thanks to everyone who has sent cards and asked about Steve, and particularly our two employers Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and Abbey Life who have been most supportive."


21st September 2000

Miracle marshal is fighting back by Andrew Wright

Determined Poole man Stephen Tarrant, who has cheated death four times, is now on the way to recovery and smiling through the pain.

Twelve weeks ago, the 39-year-old computer and telecommunications engineer survived being hit by a Formula One racing car travelling at 140mph. Further miracles followed as Stephen battled in hospital to cling on to life - surviving blood poisoning, gangrene and a blood clot - as his wife Jackie maintained a bedside vigil. "My husband was incredibly lucky to survive. We nearly lost him four times since the accident," said Jackie, 38, who works for the Liverpool Victoria insurance company in Westbourne. "He's got to learn to walk again - he's really keen to get going," added Jackie, who confessed the past 12 weeks had been "awful" with her not knowing if her husband would survive his first nights in hospital.

The horrific accident happened on 24th June at the Goodwood Festival of Speed's hill climb in West Sussex as Stephen of Esmonde Way, Canford Heath, was a volunteer race marshal at the finish line. The Lotus racing car lost control, spun and smashed into hay bales, killing another marshal and the driver. Now Stephen, who worked for Bournemouth insurance company Abbey Life and remembers nothing of the accident, has been transferred to Poole Hospital after treatment in London. "I was very lucky - it was a case of someone obviously looking after me for some reason," he said. "You can lay back in bed and become a vegetable or you can accept you're only halfway through your life and you've got to start doing things again. Nothing is impossible. I'm totally optimistic about the future - there's no point in being any other way," he added.

The accident meant Stephen lost his right leg, had the bones in his left leg shattered, suffered internal injuries and lost a lot of blood. Since the life-changing accident, he has had skin and muscle grafts to replace tissue that had been ripped away. "Without the support Jackie has given me, it would have been very difficult for me to manage on my own," he explained.

The shattered bones of his left leg are held by pins and he will have to wear an adjustable metal frame for at least a year. After the treatment - including the fitting of an artificial right leg - Stephen wants to return to work and his leisure passions of cycling, driving and motorsport marshalling. "Motorsport has been part of me for 35 years and I see no reason to stop it just because of one accident," said Stephen, who has been under heavy sedation during his first four weeks in hospital.


28th February 2001

A huge step for race crash man.

Steve Tarrant says he is lucky to be alive. It was an emotional moment for the man who survived after being hit by a 100mph racing car. Poole man Steve Tarrant took his first outside steps on his new artificial leg at a New Forest pub that was the venue for his parents-in-law's wedding anniversary dinner.

After more than three months in hospital - and cheating death four times because of medical complications - Mr Tarrant, 40, was nervously watched by his family. The computer and telecommunications engineer not only managed to get out of the car but step on to the pavement and walk around the pub. "I was ecstatically happy, if shattered. It was a very big moment," he said. "Every step is almost a challenge - learning what you can and can't do, and how you go about doing it," added Mr Tarrant, who survived blood poisoning, gangrene and a blood clot.

Now, step by step, Mr Tarrant, of Esmonde Way, Canford Heath, is walking his way back to health after cheating death at last June's Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex where he was a volunteer race marshal. "I consider myself very lucky to have survived that and the illnesses in hospital afterwards so now I can walk," he said. Surgeons saved his almost severed left leg - fitting an adjustable metal frame to fuse the shattered bones - and performing delicate skin grafts. That frame has been removed with the leg recovered so it can support Mr Tarrant's 18 stone without assistance.

His horrific stomach and head wounds have also healed. But he could not have recovered without the support of his wife Jackie - and the messages of support from friends and family. "She has stood by me all the way. It has strengthened the marital bond between us. I've been given a second chance," he said.

At this July's Festival of Speed, Mr Tarrant will lay a wreath in memory of the race marshal who was killed. That weekend he will be carrying out a desk job in race control but he hopes to get back to marshalling during mid-July.

"Each and every day I realise how lucky I am to be alive. I now look on life differently - you tend to do more today rather than keep putting it off for tomorrow," he explained. "I've been given a second chance but some people aren't that lucky."



21st July 2001

Marshal returns to Goodwood Festival

The safety marshal who lost his leg in the accident that killed colleague Andy Carpenter and driver John Dawson-Damer at last year's Goodwood Festival of Speed returned to the event this year.

Steve Tarrant was working in race control last weekend, but was also treated to a high-speed ride up the course with Jenson Button in a Renault Clio V6. "That was fantastic," he said. "From having no recall of the Festival, I now have ultimate memories."


9th -16th June 2003

Jackie and I attended the Le Mans 24 Hours. Worked on post 106, the same one Andy Carpenter had done for the 10 years prior to the accident and where some of his ashes are buried. Took over a chaplet that we put in place on the Tuesday before the event started, and which remains there now.

NEWS [ 792 ] - 28 Jun 2004


On Sunday morning in Donington Park, during the autograph session, Alessandro Zanardi met Steve Tarrant, an amputee motorsport marshal. Four years ago, Tarrant lost his right leg when he was hit by a racing car during the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed; an accident that cost the lives of the driver, John Dawson-Damer, and another marshal, Andy Carpenter.

“He sent me a few messages right after my accident, which were both moving and encouraging. And when he contacted me again a few months ago, saying that he wished to meet me personally at Donington, I was very pleased,” Zanardi said.

“For me this was a great emotion. Both Alex and I we love our sport very much, and we are still participating despite what happened to us. Life’s going on, this is our passion and we’ve got to live it,” added Steve Tarrant, who runs a website on his own career: