A leading British sportscar driver died on Sunday (16 March) during the World Championship six-hour race at Brands Hatch.
GV Cars in pits
GV Car belonging to Mark Thatcher, son of British Prime Minister
CU Mark Thatcher talking to colleague
SV Car No. 3 with driver Martin Raymond talking to mechanics
TV Cars leave start with Martin Raymond's Chevron swerving down track and competitors rounding bend (2 shots)
GV Car No. 3 rounding bend and overtaking car in fifth position
SV Car No. 3 driving into pits
SV Car No. 9 leaving pits
GV Firemen and ambulances at scene of crash
SV PAN From ambulance to men sweeping glass from track
CU Martin Raymond's car being lifted from track and lowered on truck with other smashed vehicles
CU PAN Along wrecked cars on lorry (No. 5, 12 and 3)
SV Winner of race, Ricardo Patrese, being flagged in at end of race followed by No. 20, Eddy Cheever of USA, in second place
CU Cameramen filming
CU Winner with winning laurels receiving cup
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A leading British sportscar driver died on Sunday (16 March) during the World Championship six-hour race at Brands Hatch. He was struck by a car after abandoning his own vehicle with mechanical trouble. The race was won by the Lancia team of Ricardo Patrese and Walter Rohrl. The driver who did, Martin Raymond, was a friend of Mark Thatcher, the son of the British Prime Minister, and who was also competing.
SYNOPSIS: The race, at Brands Hatch, was the first European competition for the 1980 World Manufactures' Championship. Mark Thatcher, in his track debut with full sponsorship, finished eleventh overall, but came second in his class. Last year's class-winner, Martin Raymond, entered a two-litre Chevron.
Thirty-five cars started the Le Mans-style endurance event, but racing had to be suspended when marshals noticed oil leaking onto the track. Raymond, in car number three, was an experienced competitor in long distance races and a former class-winner in the 24-hour event at Le Mans.
Raymond was lying in second place when the interruption came. After the restart, his Chevron developed an engine fault, which forced the 37-year-old driver to a trackside halt. Cars approach this part of the circuit, known as Dingle Dell, at speeds up to 120 miles an hour (180 kilometres per hour). Raymond had just climbed out of his car and retired when the accident happened. The Porsche 911 of fellow countryman Paul Edwards, and the Osella-BMW of Italy's Marco Rocca, collided as the drivers braked for the tight right-hand corner. Both cars spun, and one of them struck Raymond. He was flung more than twenty-five feet (eight metres) into the trees bordering the circuit, and died instantly.
All three cars were wrecked. Rocca, who sustained leg injuries, and Edwards, with a broken hand, were both taken to hospital. With the track cleared and the race restarted, Formula one driver ricardo Patrese held off the challenge of American Eddy Cheever as Lancia Turbos took first and second places. Patrese and co-driver Walter Rohrl completed they 147 laps in three hours 51 point five seven seconds.