When Gerry hit the barrier it rose up and he was killed instantly. The youngest of three brothers, Graham, who was the oldest, was one of Scotland’s best Club drivers who went on to drive in F2, Ian, raced only once with a Mini then his employers, Highland Distillers persuaded him not to race as he was to become one of their leading blenders and Gerry the youngest. Sadly neither of them survived the year. He was now doing a lot of testing and promotional work for Ford, who were determined to see him progress into Formula 1 with the right team, and there seems no doubt that he would have made his F1 debut in the season. Second-placed Wisell also came a cropper, having his place taken from him after also breaking a wheel with a sharp whack on the chicane.
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With these in position the race took place the following day.
Home About Press Contact. For the heats the organisers took alternate times, so first lined up alongside third in Heat 1, while second lined up with fourth in Heat 2, and so forth. If such an accident were to happen on a modern circuit, even at those speeds, the driver would probably escape any sort of injury.
It lifted up on impact, and Birrell was killed instantly as his car passed underneath it. Wilson Fittipaldi wallops the chicane on his way to 5th.
About | Gerry Birrell
He was on the brink of a Formula 1 career when he was killed at the French Rouen circuit on Saturday June 23rdduring practice for the Formula 2 race to be run the next day. Worried, the journalists pointed this out to the race organisers, but nothing was done.
Roger Williamson in the brand-new Wheatcroft March posted sixth fastest time in 1m45s followed by Colin Vandervell in his March. The organisers had worked hard to ready the circuit, resurfacing of the entire layout had taken place, and work had been done on the Armco around the entire circuit. Sadly neither of them survived the year.
8W – Where? – Rouen-les-Essarts
Fittipaldi tested the track with the new chicane, and then the others came out for a minute untimed session. This is the reason for this site. His unhappy weekend was now over. He started out birrelo brother Graham and his first race came in his brother’s Austin A40 Pininfarina at Charterhall.
This page was last edited on 22 Marchat As they cleared the chicane Jarier gave the accelerator too much welly and spun the car, coming to rest pointing the wrong way against the Armco. This crazy decision did indeed cause a big accident for Ronnie Peterson, but thankfully no more deaths.
It took this accident to focus the attention of the other drivers, who included the likes of Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Mass and Tim Schenken, on the danger of the barriers lining this high-speed section.
Gerry was not only a quick driver but also a great engineer. In case there is any interest in birerll what happened, here is the detail of what seems to have occurred, based on informed reports published at the time.
Luckily no damage was done, and Jarier restarted his BMW engine and resumed, now just 3 gerrg ahead of the pack. Views Read Edit View history. On Saturday afternoon, in the final practice session, Gerry was setting a qualifying lap in the works Chevron B25, going through the fast downhill sweeping curves after the start at around mph, when a front tyre suddenly deflated.
After successfully racing a Singer Chamois cc Imp to win Scottish Saloon Car Championships, he started serious racing single seaters at the relatively late age of A great driver and a great man. G erry Birrell, born in Glasgow, Scotland, was very talented driver and engineer.
T he youngest of three brothers Gerry Birrell was a talented driver and engineer. Jarier sideways exiting Nouveau Monde on his way to a dominant win. Saturday Practice Previous to this, some racing had been possible!
He raced in Formula 3 in Retrieved 20 February The chicane had been built, four polystyrene bales placed two by two on either side of the road and separated by 10 yards. From then on he was a man to watch. But the inter-play within ANY team with which Gerry was involved was always easy because of his wonderfully eacing personality.