Grand Prix. The Killer Years. Tonight Sunday March 4th, 2012 On Discovery Velocity.

You love racing, all kinds of racing. What about the way it was in the early 60’s and 70’s. In automobile competition, safety was an after thought. Mechanical failure, lethal track design, and lack of training caused many young drivers to perish on the track, right before fans eyes. Each Grand Prix was the most glorified – yet dangerous – mechanical sport. This shocking film explores how Grand Prix drivers grew tired of their fellow drivers – and closest friends – being killed behind the wheel. After a disturbing track record of fatalities, the prestigious Belgian and German Grand Prix would be boycotted, with drivers insisting that safety be put first. But it would be a long and painful time before anything would change, and a lot of talented young men would be cut down in their prime. Grand Prix is their story and how pilots like Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees, rallied to save the sport of racing. On Discovery Channel/Velocity Sunday March 4th at 8 pm (ET)

11 Responses to “Grand Prix. The Killer Years. Tonight Sunday March 4th, 2012 On Discovery Velocity.”

  1. 1 Dog Williams Mar 4th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Fantastic Mr Huze, thanks for the tip . . . . hope we don’t have to wait a year for the pleasure of enjoying it, cheers muchly.

  2. 2 rob Mar 4th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The best channel on TV…………………..

  3. 3 badams Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    very well produced, more history like this is what motorsports channels should put out there.

  4. 4 Dyno Mar 5th, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Watched it. Great documenary. We need same for motorcycle racing.

  5. 5 Knucklehead Mar 5th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Damn I missed it. Old timers. I so do remember these times. When I was an early teen we went by Jimmy Clark on the highway I-80 I think. His car was in tow. That was a big day for me. Always wanted to drive in a Grand-Prix.

  6. 6 Top Cat Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Not so different than what King Kenny and others did for Moto GP. The promoters were often family and friends of the racing sanctioning body and there were many races held at venues that were not even race circuits and were very dangerous for the early riders. Thanks for the heads up Cyril.

  7. 7 Jim Gianatsis / Mar 5th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Motorcycle racing on it highest levels, has never been as deadly as car racing (with the exception of public road courses like the Isle of Man) . Much of it has to do with the cornering speeds, which on race cars with wider tires and aerodynamic downforce, the cornering speeds were /and are much higher, and when you loose control in cornering a race car the resulting impact speeds are higher. Today Formula One and World Sports cars are regulated to corner at around 4.5 Gs maximum at high speed, which is about all a human can handle for sustained periods of time.

    Race cars would be a lot faster but tire width, aerodynamic downforce and horsepower has been controlled in all forms of car racing since the 1970s to keep the cornering speeds slower.

    I did a little survey back in the early 1980s and in both Formula One and World Sports Cars (Lemans) the fatality rate among drivers was around 10% per year. Many top drivers then raced in both Open Wheel and Sports cars. So if a driver raced for 10 years he could be assured of being killed. That is why some drivers like Jackie Stewart quit racing in their prime after winning the World Formula One Championship.

    These days in motorcycle roadracing the cornering speeds are significantly higher because of the tire technology, and MotoGP and World Superbikes corner beyond 60 degee angles which is generating 1.5+ Gs, But now when they crash the tracks have so much run off area the riders are pretty safe.

    Fatalities now in roadracing come from head and neck injuries from high sides. Dainese now offers airbag race suits which protect the neck, but they are very expensive and only the top sponsored riders can afford them.

  8. 8 Racetrack Style Mar 6th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I caught the very ending and it was tragic (but necessary) history. In some respects, we still need to improve safety at local tracks by installing air fences instead of relying on hay bales and tire walls.

    Roadracing World has an Action Fund that helps finance those air fences. Check out their website.

  9. 9 alan Mar 7th, 2012 at 7:41 am

    one of the best show on tv at this time

  10. 10 Shifter Mar 7th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I know that Cyril is a fan of Formula 1 racing…

  11. 11 Tom gumm Mar 9th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Tremendous! Wish I could purchase the video to watch again and again and share with my Formula One friends who missed it. Please run again!

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Cyril Huze