Senna

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jonnyfox
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Just watched it, and throughly enjoyed it :cool: but very very sad I guess.

I was never a fan of Senna, I was too caught up in the whole Mansell thing at the time in my tender years and generally saw him as the bad guy. I know different now and this film didn't need to tell me that but only reaffirm the incestuous bullshit politics I'd read about in the book Bernie Ecclestone King of Sport. Legionary stuff from a true Legend.......Fantastic incite.
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jfk
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Followed Senna from an early age ... his single mindedness and belief of what was right set him apart from the competition ... A lesson I took on board around May 1994 ....
RIP x
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moomin
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Yeah got the DVD last week, I was always a big Senna fan , It was a bit strange they missed Mansell out the film completely , I thought the chief medic bloke was ace saying to Senna at Imola " fuck this, lets go fishing " , Senna really looked like a condemned man at the start grid . Great film though.
Bomber
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I greatly enjoyed the film as it was good to see footage of F1 racing from the years I only just started to follow the sport.

A sad tale ultimately, but a great overview of the era, and a fantastic insight into the man himself and the ridiculous politics of the time.
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DavidEVO1
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Well, I was maybe 3 n a half years old when Senna died. But despite that, looking at the news paper headline of his death is genuinely one of my oldest and clearest memories...think that�s pretty telling...the word legend is much overused, but reckon Senna epitomises it.

David
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The83man
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The film is quite brilliant as a record of that period of racing - the disputes with the FIA, the drivers' strike, and the safety revolution among the potent features.

For me, Senna defined the period in racing where safety had completely changed the face of competition. As brilliant as he was, his deliberate crash with Alain Prost at the first corner of the Japanese GP, knowing that he would survive the accident and become world champion at the same time, signalled the end of the 'sport' part of 'motor sport'. It's ironic that an apparently innocuous off at Imola took his life and it reminded everyone that 'motor sport can be dangerous'.

His stature was such that the terrible accidents that befell Rubens Barrichelo and Roland Ratzenburger, who also lost his life, at the same meeting might not have been enough to cause F1 to really look at itself in the way that Ayrton's death did.

He did some brilliant things in his career, and was a much nicer person than many believed, but he was single minded in a way which marked him out as extraordinarily arrogant and ruthless.

I once wrote an article about Senna for a 2003 Race Programme at Donington, although it also talks about ERAs and the like - but there is a connection as you will see if you read it. If anyone is interested it is reproduced below........

The other evening, at dusk, I went out into my garden to smoke a cigar. The sky was cloudless and a deep Oxford Blue, but not quite dark enough for the firmament to be visible. There were just two pinpricks of bright light, one high in the eastern sky and apparently stationary, probably a distant star or maybe a planet of our solar system illuminated by our own star. The other was almost directly overhead but then, when I looked at it again, it wasn�t. It was unblinkingly moving in a steady westerly direction, obviously a satellite in a fixed orbit and going about its usual business. It was fascinating. How was it that something so new could share the celestial sphere with something so old and yet command equal curiosity. There are those who have suggested that this VSCC Tribute to Ayrton Senna is so far removed from Vintage motor racing as to be an anathema; a star to a satellite. This is not the place to debate such a topic but, conversely, there are those who find motor racing of all eras equally fascinating and who like to be involved with much more than the Vintage and Post Vintage Thoroughbred scene. Such people probably believe that modern motor racing has evolved from the earliest forms of The Sport and that its fascinations are no less dramatic or worthy.

One such person is David Morris. David has grown up surrounded by motor sport and for all of his life the family has owned ERA R11B. He has never known a day without access to this thoroughly desirable and historic motor car. He cannot remember whether his father, Martin H Morris, acquired the car or himself first, but they both arrived into the Morris household at roughly the same time.

R11B began its life much earlier of course, in 1936 as a 1.5-litre dark green car bought by Reggie Tongue. Tongue named the car �Humphrey� after ERA founding MD Humphrey Cook. In this first year Tongue took wins in hill climbs on the Continent and at Shelsley Walsh and he won the Cork 200 in Ireland. In1937 he raced R11B around Europe netting a good third in the Albi Grand Prix in France. The Hon. Peter Aitken bought R11B in 1938 to race in British events and a South African winter season brought him a second place in Cape Town. In 1939 R11B was used successfully by Aitken around Britain. Post-war, Reg Parnell handled R11B and sold it to Peter Bell for his driver John Bolster. The car was greatly modified during this period, including the use of a 2-litre engine, twin superchargers and having the pre-selector gearbox replaced by a standard box. Still in Bell�s ownership, Ken Wharton drove the car to the RAC Hill Climb Championships in 1951 and 1955. Modifications for the car�s hill climb and sprint life included a smaller 10-gallon fuel tank, the removal of the 5-gallon dry sump oil tank, a smaller radiator and setting the engine three inches farther back.

In the early 1950s, George Monkhouse, a photographer of racing cars during the �30s and a great friend of Richard Seaman, presented the VSCC with Seaman�s third place trophy from the 1938 Donington GP. It soon became known as the �Historic Seaman� on the grounds that it was presented to the winner of VSCC races for pre-1941 racing cars. In 1959 R11B won the Historic Seaman Trophy race in the hands of Douglas Hull. In the early 60�s new owner Martin H Morris began a lengthy and successful historic racing career in the car and was a regular winner of the Historic Seaman Trophy race, for him the most important race in which he regularly competed. �Young� David is so used to having his hands on this car that he cannot remember accurately when he first drove it competitively but he began to campaign the car in sprints and hill climbs about 20 years ago while father was still racing it. From the mid-1990s David Morris has taken over the racing from his father and it�s a fact that he and R11B have won the Historic Seaman no less than five times out of the last eight races, the most recent being at this meeting in 2002. What�s more on the three occasions that he did not win it, the laurels went to Ludovic Lindsay driving ERA R5B "Remus" maintained and prepared by � David Morris through his preparation and resoration business. But there are more arrows in the David Morris quiver���..

Ayrton Senna was born about the same time as David Morris. After dominating the UK Formula Ford scene in 1981, there soon followed drives in Formula Ford 2000 (1982) and F3 (1983 British Champion), which included some epic battles with Martin Brundle. In 1983 he also had his first F1 trial with Williams in FW08C at Donington in July. He wanted to enter F1 with Brabham but Nelson Piquet vetoed his recruitment and so he contracted to race with the Toleman-Hart Team in 1984. The Toleman was not really competitive at that time but the team would later germinate the very successful Benetton team. Despite the car�s relative lack of performance Ayrton Senna rattled a few of the established names. He scored 13 points that season, the same number as Nigel Mansell driving the Lotus 95T-Renault. When he all-but won the rain soaked Monaco GP, only his sixth F1 race, everybody took note, particularly Alain Prost who was leading the race but was being reeled in like a fat fish when the race was stopped early. Whilst he collected his second place prize on the podium, Senna�s icy stare made it quite clear that he thought he had been the victim of a Francophile stitch-up

Using the �get-out� clause of his Toleman contract to good effect, Senna moved to Lotus in 1985. This wasn�t the greatest period in the history of Team Lotus but the combination soon proved to be a winning one. In 1995 Lotus used the G�rard Ducarouge designed Lotus 97T-Renault. During that first season with Lotus, Senna took seven pole positions and soon over-shadowed team-mate Elio de Angelis. In his second race for Lotus at Estoril in Portugal on a rain soaked 21st April 1985 he took his first Grand Prix victory in chassis 97T/2 whilst de Angelis finished fourth and a full lap in arrears. This was the first Lotus victory since Colin Chapman had died in 1982 so it is easy to imagine how much this meant to the team. Senna went on to win the Belgian race in chassis No 97T/4 and collected a total of 38 points to net fourth spot in the Drivers� Championship which, with de Angelis�s 33 points, brought Lotus equal third in the Constructors� Championship.

1986 was pretty much a repeat of the 1985 season for Lotus. Elio de Angelis moved on to be replaced by Johnny Dumfries and so Ayrton was now No 1 Lotus driver in the new Lotus 98T-Renault. Officially, Renault had pulled out of F1 and the engines were supplied from France as ready-to-go units. The 98T was found to be somewhat under-powered but nonetheless the genius shone through. In Spain on the 12th April 1986 using chassis 98T/3 Senna gave Lotus their 100th Pole Position and then went on to win the race the following day. He backed this up with another win, again in 98T/3, on the street circuit of Detroit, a circuit he allegedly hated. He collected 55 points in the year to finish fourth in the Drivers� Championship, Dumfries just 3, to give the team third place in the Constructors� Championship once again. Late in 1986 David Morris joined Team Lotus as a test and race engineer and began working closely with, among others, Ayrton Senna.

There were to be big changes in 1987 at Team Lotus. John Player sponsorship was left behind and replaced by Camel, bringing about a change of basic body colour from black to yellow. The No 2 seat was taken by Satoru Nakajima who brought with him the 80 degree V-6 Honda engines which were so much more powerful than the Renault unit. The new car was designated 99T-Honda but was probably most notable as the first �active� suspension F1 race car. Lotus had been working on such a system for some years. There were push-rods and wishbones just like any other but there were no coil springs, each corner instead being manipulated by computer-controlled hydraulics operating pressure valves. The technology was certainly advanced and the team built some six cars, three of which were dedicated to racing at any one time while two of the others were used as test cars. All five of these cars raced at some point in the season but the sixth car (99T/2) was sent to Honda in Japan. Although he attended some races David Morris spent most of his season on the test team. He recalls that each car had 3 mechanics and that the testing never seemed to stop, a lot of it conducted here at Donington. He worked closely with Team Lotus engineering legends such as Bob Dance, who had been with Lotus since the days of Jim Clark, and Chris Dinnage. The hard work paid off; during that first, innovative, �active� suspension year the team scored two victories at Monaco and Detroit, both with 99T/4 in the hands of Ayrton Senna. Nakajima performed well enough and collected 7 points to add to Ayrton�s 57 points. For the fourth year in succession Lotus finished third in the Constructors� Championship while Senna improved his ranking in the Drivers� Championship to third. David Morris certainly played his part in those successes.

In 1988 Senna moved on to McLaren but David Morris stayed with Lotus until the end of the 1990 season. For each of the 1988, �89 and �90 seasons David travelled the world with Team Lotus a full-time race mechanic. Of his time at Lotus, David says that no other driver that he worked with inspired the team in the way that Ayrton Senna had done. Part of this was the fact that, at every subsequent test session, he drove the car faster than he had done at the last. That was rewarding enough for the hard-working test team engineers who were thus inspired to make the car ever better. When Senna left the team some of the inspiration went with him and the race results started to fall away. In public Senna always came across as very serious and without a trace of humour. That, says David, was only his public face. He was never really happy in public, which is why he came across that way. In the company of people he knew and trusted he was a happier person and a nicer person who was honest, dedicated and able to share a joke.

In a small world certain things have a pattern and since those Lotus days, David has maintained his links. Team manager at Team Lotus until 1989 was Peter Warr, who kindly acted as guest speaker at the VSCC Marshals� Dinner in 2002, and David married Peter�s daughter Susie. On at least four or five occasions when entered for the Historic Seaman Trophy at Donington, Bob Dance has attended to R11B. David believes that it is perfectly fitting for the VSCC to celebrate Ayrton Senna�s great win in a McLaren here at Donington in the rain-soaked European Grand Prix of 1993. During this weekend R11B will be here at Donington, as will three Lotus cars, the 97T, 98T and 99T, each of them once driven by Ayrton Senna. Also here, it seems, will be Bob Dance and Chris Dinnage. Whether Bob will be looking after a Lotus or an ERA has yet to be decided at the time of writing but we do know what David Morris will be doing � he will be driving ERA R11B in the Historic Seaman Trophy race. No doubt he�ll have a look at the 99T at some point and remember so much. Maybe the motor racing firmament does have room for the old and new to share the same space and time - just like the celestial sphere.
Mike Stripe
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Many thanks for posting the above Mike - a fascinating read & insight :grin:
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scoob
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Blimey, I thought, I've not got time to read all that!
But then I started



very good and thanks
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jonnyfox
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Yea I thought the same, cheers Mike enjoyed that.
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SeanB
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My Mrs bought it me on Blue Ray at the wekend, not had chance to watch it yet though.
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