"Point Pass Speedway”

1961 - 1968

  “The place, where the champions used to race"

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     "An Outstanding Accident"

 

¤          1964 Australian Championships        ¤          Marching Girls          ¤ 

¤       An Outstanding Accident    ¤    Local winning SA Championship       ¤

 

"An Outstanding Accident"

One of the most outstanding accidents occurred on the 18th April 1964 meeting, when "Brian Latz" had crashed in front of the pits at Point Pass.

The following is an extract of what took place, from a book compiled by Brian, titled:

 "The Tracks of my Life".

"I remember we had a big nights racing coming up at Pt. Pass, the "Hambour's Trophy" race, which was our local championship.

As my old car was not very competitive, we really did not expect to very well. A stroke of luck came my way, when Rodney Pfitzner offered me his car for the meeting.

Rodney had purchased a front engined TQ from Ron Burns in Adelaide. It was an old car, but had a "Dirt Track JAP" engine and was quite fast.

To Rodney's disgust, he found out that he had to attend a wedding on the day of the big race, which meant he could not drive. I was happy to accept his offer, as his car was considerably faster than mine.

I looked forward to my first drive in a competitive car. I managed to get used to the car fairly easily and went reasonably well in the heats, progressing through to the final. I had a fairly good run in the final and managed 2nd place.

This was my first major success and I still have the trophy sash today, occupying pride of place with some other trophies I won.

Later on that night, we contested the meetings last race, known as the "Butchers Picnic". This was a race for all available cars and was usually run over 15 laps, with start positions determined by a draw. I drew a start position well back in the field and fired by my earlier success really put "the hammer" down.

Joan (Brian's girlfriend at the time, but now his wife) was standing in the pits watching as the race started. I tried to pass some of the tail end cars quickly. As I went around the outside of a tailender, he drifted wide, taking me with him right out near the fence.

There was an almighty "bang" and I knew that I had hit the fence.

This all happened almost immediately in front of where Joan was standing. The car flew high into the air, way above the sleeper fence and only was stopped in its flight by one of the light poles. (I was later told) It then landed back on the track and rolled sideways about 3 times, before coming to rest about 40 yards from the point of impact.

I know all this happened, having been told by Joan and others, rather than being aware of them as they happened.

  All I could remember was bangs, crashes, flashing lights and finally everything was quiet.

I sat in the car, which had landed back on it's wheels, too scared to move. Was I was still in one piece? I wasn't really sure!

The track marshals and St John's Officer's arrived on the scene and assisted me from the car. I was in one piece! Joan and the St John Ambulance Officer's insisted I go to the First Aid Room, to be checked over. I was more worried about Rodney's car than my own health right then, but went along. I was OK. Just a bang on the nose. Joan took all this very calmly, which impressed me greatly. Could be worth marrying this girl I thought.

Rodney took the news rather well, despite the car being quite a mess. Fortunately, Don Adams (Brian's Mechanic) was quite handy with body panel repairs and assisted me to get the car back in shape. However, it took several weeks of solid work, as the damage was extensive.

The following afternoon, saw me out in the paddock on the farm, driving my old TQ, probably to see if my nerve was still there. All appeared OK.

I went to work the next day at Les Reimann's, but had the afternoon off, as I had developed a splitting headache. Slight concussion I was told as a result of the bang on the nose during the accident.

This was the only time I ever got a car off it's wheels and was the only bad accident I ever had in my racing career".

"I GUESS YOU GOTTA HAVE SOME LUCK IN YOUR LIFE".

The tyre mark that was left on the light pole that Brian hit, was measured to be 6 feet or 1.83 metres above the top of the 3 sleeper safety fence. In total this was 9 feet 6inches or 2.9 metres from the ground.

In Brian's words "Not a bad effort"!

 

¤          1964 Australian Championships        ¤          Marching Girls          ¤ 

¤       An Outstanding Accident    ¤    Local winning SA Championship       ¤

 


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This web site has been designed by Adrian Menzel, a former resident of Point Pass, who has a great interest in Speedway, especially "Point Pass Speedway".

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Last modified: December 31, 2008
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