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Old 8 Mar 2019, 19:33 (Ref:3889216)   #1
mab01UK
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British Saloon Car Championship 1973 - Silverstone GP

Accounts of the tragic Capri / Escort / Mini accident in the British Saloon Car Championship round at the British Grand Prix July 14th 1973......

Daily Mirror 2017 write up and photos:-
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebri...eated-10523107



Back to the drawing Broad
(Motorsport Magazine Archive)

The exhaustively named Broadspeed Lindrick Finance Ford Capri RS2600 turned heads when Dave Matthews raced it in the 1973 British Saloon Car Championship. It was the car’s end, however, that cemented its name in the history books – a horrific crash at the British Grand Prix support race which left it ready for the scrapheap and Matthews with career-ending injuries.
The British GP support started well enough with Matthews third on the grid. But seven laps into the race Matthews’ Capri, Dave Brodie’s Norman Reeves Escort 1600 and Gavin Booth’s BMC Mini were involved in one of the worst accidents in BSCC history.
“I’m a little bit tapped around by it but I remember what happened,” says Matthews, who can laugh about events now. “People who get banged on the head don’t usually remember a damn thing, but I remember everything. I remember the car, the colour of it, the sun on it…
“When you’re in a quick car lapping slower cars, you get to know whether they’ve seen you or not. I knew Gavin hadn’t seen me. I wanted to get after Frank [Gardner] and at Abbey I just popped down the inside of Gavin, giving him more space than I would have usually because my corner was spoiled anyway. The next thing I remember I was looking at the road.
“Witnesses thought Gavin had seen me coming up the inside and tried to pop in to get a pull. But with the speed differential in those cars, he was never going to get a pull anyway. It was just an unfortunate thing.
“I was going quicker than he was, sort of timing it so that as he drifted out, I drifted past on the inside. I remember the next thing he touched my offside wheel and pulled the tyre off the rim. I think the photographs showed it. And then the wind got under my car, and I don’t know how quick I was going but it was still quickish. Anyway, the car got up in the air and that was that.”
Matthews suffered head and eye injuries, and to this day has no sight in one eye. He subsequently missed out on an offer from Peter Ashcroft at Ford to race for the team in 1974, and has competed on few occasions since thanks to problems passing the medical for a race licence. But Matthews realises he was lucky to escape at all: “I owe my skin to the Broadspeed qualities in that car. I’m not sure many people have got away with a bigger one than that. I thank that car for getting me out of it.”
https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/a...-drawing-broad

Lunch with... David Brodie
(Motorsport Magazine Archive)

"The black Escort was also converted to run in Group 2 form, and at the British Grand Prix meeting in 1972 on the long Brands Hatch circuit Brode had one of his best races, vanquishing Dave Matthews’ similar car after a frantic battle resolved by a brave move around the outside at Hawthorns. In 1973 Ford acknowledged his success at national level by giving him a works Group 2 drive.
The black Escort was also converted to run in Group 2 form, and at the British Grand Prix meeting in 1972 on the long Brands Hatch circuit Brode had one of his best races, vanquishing Dave Matthews’ similar car after a frantic battle resolved by a brave move around the outside at Hawthorns. In 1973 Ford acknowledged his success at national level by giving him a works Group 2 drive.
“I was contesting the British and European Championships, and the car was going in and out of England like a yo-yo. In July 1973 we went to the British Grand Prix round at Silverstone, with me now overall leader in the British Saloon Championship. On lap eight Frank Gardner’s Camaro was out in front, and the battle for second was between Dave Matthews’ three-litre Broadspeed Capri, my Escort BDA and Andy Rouse’s Escort BDA. I’d disposed of Rouse and was planning how to get past Matthews when, approaching the fast sweep of Abbey Curve, we came up to lap the 1-litre Mini of Gavin Booth.
“Matthews slammed into Booth’s Mini like it was a snooker ball and his Capri cartwheeled, with him hanging out, arms flailing. The Mini went off and then came back onto the track travelling in the opposite direction, and hit me head-on. I was doing about 130mph and he must still have been doing 70, so it was a 200mph head-on impact. Matthews ended up with two broken ankles, but he was out and about in a couple of weeks. I had a leg broken in three places, a busted jaw, toes, teeth, ended up in hospital for a long time. I needed a couple of corrective operations on my legs, and it took a while to learn to walk properly again. I heard that Booth had head injuries, but when I tried to contact him to make sure he was OK, no record of him anywhere. (Sadly Gavin Booth later died from his injuries).
https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/a...h-david-brodie


Dave Brodie Photo Gallery:-
http://davidbrodie.co.uk/gallery/
http://davidbrodie.co.uk/wp-content/...ni-head-on.jpg
http://davidbrodie.co.uk/wp-content/...50mph-roll.jpg
http://davidbrodie.co.uk/wp-content/...rt-head-on.jpg
http://davidbrodie.co.uk/wp-content/...th-head-on.jpg
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Old 8 Mar 2019, 20:50 (Ref:3889224)   #2
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Thanks for this. Never realised there was ever a fatal BTCC crash till I found about this. Weird Brodie didn’t even seem to realise Booth died after all that time

Still Brodie, what a great interviewee, very down to earth, yet pulls no punches. No wonder he was so popular
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Old 9 Mar 2019, 16:46 (Ref:3889332)   #3
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I seem to remember that Gavin Booth died quite some time after the accident.
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Old 9 Mar 2019, 18:27 (Ref:3889344)   #4
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I do wonder how Booth could be hit by Matthews then come back onto the circuit in the opposite direction and hit Brodie that quickly
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 08:06 (Ref:3889410)   #5
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I do wonder how Booth could be hit by Matthews then come back onto the circuit in the opposite direction and hit Brodie that quickly
I think it's a bit of 'poetic license' in Brode's description...
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 10:36 (Ref:3889426)   #6
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Well he was certainly there and has certainly always been a good driver, along with a good story or two
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 11:07 (Ref:3889430)   #7
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Originally Posted by S griffin View Post
I do wonder how Booth could be hit by Matthews then come back onto the circuit in the opposite direction and hit Brodie that quickly

You have to take into account that the banks and/or armco type barriers were considerably closer to the track back then. With the type of incident that is being discussed here, if a car hit the barrier/bank, there was a likelihood of you arriving back onto the live track far quicker than on today's circuits.
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 14:22 (Ref:3889455)   #8
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You have to take into account that the banks and/or armco type barriers were considerably closer to the track back then. With the type of incident that is being discussed here, if a car hit the barrier/bank, there was a likelihood of you arriving back onto the live track far quicker than on today's circuits.
Probably a better explanation than "the mini was driven back onto the circuit" especially if Brodie was right up the Capri's chuff !
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 19:02 (Ref:3889503)   #9
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Well it could have happened, but not as you say if the cars were close together
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 19:17 (Ref:3889515)   #10
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Seeing as the accident was 46 odd years ago, and sadly one of the drivers involved eventually died as a result, speculating now about the circumstances seems rather unnecessary, in my opinion.
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Old 10 Mar 2019, 20:51 (Ref:3889549)   #11
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Yeah it happened before race tracks and cars were properly safe, so it’s probably no use going on about it. I guess we will never no considering the time it happened in
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Old 11 Mar 2019, 10:47 (Ref:3889609)   #12
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Seeing as the accident was 46 odd years ago, and sadly one of the drivers involved eventually died as a result, speculating now about the circumstances seems rather unnecessary, in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more Mike I witnessed this accident it happened right where I was spectating. It all happened so quickly I couldn't say what happened.

Just remember the Capri up in the air with the driver partly hanging out of the window.
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Old 11 Mar 2019, 11:01 (Ref:3889610)   #13
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Well as I said it was a time when safety standards weren't as high. Thankfully they've got better since then. Just seems one that just happened because of circumstances
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Old 11 Mar 2019, 16:56 (Ref:3889694)   #14
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It seems that they weren’t as strong in those days, thanks to today’s safety features it’s very unlikely to happen again
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Old 17 May 2024, 09:44 (Ref:4209262)   #15
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I would just like to let everyone know that Gavin Booth is actually alive and did not die in that accident. He’s my grandad and we all live In New Zealand now. No one in my family knows why it says he died as he did not. He was very badly injured and stayed in the hospital for 12 weeks.
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Old 17 May 2024, 10:33 (Ref:4209267)   #16
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I would just like to let everyone know that Gavin Booth is actually alive and did not die in that accident. He’s my grandad and we all live In New Zealand now. No one in my family knows why it says he died as he did not. He was very badly injured and stayed in the hospital for 12 weeks.

This was addressed in the BTCC crashes thread. I can only speculate that because people hadn’t heard from him since the accident they wrongly assumed he died
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Old 17 May 2024, 12:19 (Ref:4209278)   #17
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I would just like to let everyone know that Gavin Booth is actually alive and did not die in that accident. He’s my grandad and we all live In New Zealand now. No one in my family knows why it says he died as he did not. He was very badly injured and stayed in the hospital for 12 weeks.
That is the best bit of news I have heard for a long time. I was there on that day but at a different part of the circuit so did not witness the crash. I don't think the full enormity of the crash was known (other than to those who witnessed it or who saw the wrecked cars afterwards) to most spectators there that day.
I spoke to Dave Brodie at Castle Combe in the late '90s and he mentioned that he had tried to contact Gavin Booth but was unable to get any information on him.
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