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25th June 2000

Two men killed at Festival of Speed.

Two men were killed and one injured when the driver of a vintage Formula 1 car crashed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed yesterday. The Goodwood Festival of Speed was marred by a double tragedy when a driver and a marshal were killed in an accident on Saturday afternoon.A second marshal was listed in a critical condition after losing a leg.

The driver who died was the Hon John Dawson-Damer, a historic racing veteran who lived in Sydney and was Australia's representative on the FIA. Briton Dawson-Damer, who was a friend of both Jim Clark and Colin Chapman, owned a collection of classic Lotus F1 cars. At Goodwood he was giving the 1969 Type 63 4wd machine a rare outing. The Gold Leaf-liveried car was originally driven by Jochen Rindt and John Miles, without much success.

Dawson-Damer appeared to run wide onto the grass at the exit of the fast lefthander before the finish line. He lost control and demolished the finish line gantry, where the two marshals were stationed with chequered flags. The car, which was totally destroyed, was said to have passed the timing beam at 104mph. One marshal, who was apparently struck in the chest, died on Saturday evening. His name had not been released by the police as of Sunday. His colleague Steve Tarrant, who lost the lower part of his right leg, was listed in a critical but stable condition at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester. The cause of the accident has not been determined.

The previous driver up the hill, Lotus 49 driver Geoff Farmer, reported that rain had been falling on the last section of the course. However, some observers have suggested that the complex machine may have suffered a mechanical failure. Although cars didn't run on Saturday after the accident, Sunday's events went ahead as normal. Event boss Lord March said: "We have done everything possible to make the Goodwood course as safe as it can be for both our competitors and our spectators. We have worked very closely with the MSA and the BARC to ensure that the appropriate safety standards are in place."

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