(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000 Родился: 02.02.1948 Лейчестер Умер: 29.07.1973 трасса Зандвоорт, Голландия Сезонов в Ф1: Лет в Ф1: 1 Гран При: Старты: 1* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд:
трасса Зандвоорт, Голландия
Сезонов в Ф1:
Лет в Ф1:
1 Гран При: Старты: 1* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд:
1* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд:
1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд:
Williamson is remembered as a smashing bloke, completely without pretension, and a terrific talent, who was needlessly to pay the ultimate price in front of millions of TV viewers that tragic day at Zandvoort in 1973.
Roger had a successful karting career behind him when, with encouragement from his father, he took up circuit racing in an 850 Mini, winning 14 races in 1968. Deciding to try single-seaters, he purchased a Cooper T71, which was unfortunately burnt out in a garage fire. However, Roger took the engine and fitted it to a Ford Anglia and it proved to be a potent combination. In 1970 he won the 1000 cc class of the Hepolite Glazier championship with ease, and decided to try Formula 3 the following year. Despite his inexperience, he was soon a front-runner, with his spectacular driving in a March 713 catching the eye. He was fortunate at this time to be helped financially by local businessman and racing enthusiast Tom Wheatcroft, and the pair became firm friends, with Tom guiding his rise towards the top.
Having won the Lombank F3 championships Williamson stayed in the formula for a further year and convincingly took both the major F3 titles that season. His foray into Formula 2 was not so happy, but it was good experience for a planned season in 1973 with GRD. The car turned out to be no match for the dominant March chassis, and Wheatcroft swiftly provided his charge with the equipment he needed. Almost immediately Roger won the Lottery GP at Monza, and would have taken another victory at Misano but for engine problems, establishing himself as a truly serious talent. A season in Formula 1 was the goal in 1974, and to this end Wheatcroft hired an STP March for a couple of races to allow Williamson to become acclimatised. At Silverstone he was eliminated in the now notorious Jody Scheckter-induced carnage, and then came Zandvoort. It is thought a tyre failed, sending his car into an inadequately secured barrier which launched it across the track. The March came to rest upside down and on fire, with poor Roger trapped in the cockpit. Scandalously, nobody came to his help, apart from the brave David Purley, who single-handedly attempted to right the inverted machine. Then the fire caught hold and a truly nightmarish scenario was complete. For poor Williamson it was a cruel and gruesome end.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000
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