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Piers Raymond Courage (born 27 May 1942 – died 21 June 1970) was a British racing driver who was killed during the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix.

Helmet DesignEdit

Piers Courage Helmet

Piers Courage's helmet.

Courage wore a simple blue helmet. There was a white dashed line going through the middle of the helmet.

Like most of the helmets at the time, the helmet had no visor. It resembled the layout of a baseball cap.

Formula One CareerEdit

1966Edit

Courage raced his first Formula One race driving a Formula Two car. He had entered into the 1966 German Grand Prix, which was a mixed race between Formula One and Formula Two drivers and cars.

Courage was unable to complete the race after being involved in an accident on the 3rd lap of the race.

1967Edit

For the 1967 season Courage was signed with BRM to play teammate to Chris Irwin. Because of his "wild" driving style, he crashed more than the average driver and would do so at important moments. After only his second race with the team, BRM decided to drop Courage because of this.

He focused the rest of his season on Formula Two. He did manage to qualify for the British Grand Prix with BRM, but was unable to start the race. Although unsuccessful in Formula One, he would become great in Formula Two.

1968Edit

After losing most of his "wild" driving traits in Formula Two, BRM decided to give Courage a second change for the 1968 season. He still proved to be unsuccessful in Formula One after only finishing 4 of his 11 races.

It was announced at the end of the season, that BRM would again be releasing Courage.

1969Edit

Piers Courage 1969 British Grand Prix

Piers Courage in the 1969 British Grand Prix.

While racing Formula Two, Courage spent most of is times with a Formula Two team owned by Frank Williams. For the 1969 season, Williams had decided to create a Formula One team and that Courage would be one of the drivers.

The Williams car was quite competitive and Courage managed to finish runner-up in both the Monaco Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix, these being his highest finishes of his career in Formula One.

Perhaps the greatest race of the season was the Italian Grand Prix where Courage had managed to keep pace with the leading pack for the majority of the race, despite having an older car. He eventually finished 5th in the event when a fuel shortage forced him to lose pace on the other cars.

1970Edit

Following a business agreement with Alejandro de Tomaso, Williams switched to racing the new De Tomaso chassis for the season. This chassis was overweight and unreliable causing Courage to retire for all of his 1970 events.

He would be unable to complete the season after an accident in the Dutch Grand Prix took his life.

DeathEdit

Because of the severity of the accident, it is unknown what failed in the car and exactly how Courage died.

While racing in the Dutch Grand Prix, Courage's car suffered either a suspension or steering failure at the Tunnel Oost that caused the car to fly off of the high speed turn. The car flew over an embankment and disintegrated.

A tire disconnected from the car and struck Courage in the head forcing his helmet off, inflicting fatal neck and head injuries. The engine of the car flew off and caught fire. The burning magnesium allowed the fire to spread to many surrounding trees and bushes.

Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit

Formula One RecordEdit

Year Entrant Team WDC Points WDC Pos. Report
1966 Ron Harris / Team Lotus Lotus-Ford Cosworth 0 NC Report
1967 Reg Parnell Racing Lotus-BRM 0 NC Report
BRM
1968 Reg Parnell Racing BRM 4 19th Report
1969 Frank Williams Racing Cars Brabham-Ford 16 8th Report
1970 Frank Williams Racing Cars De Tomaso-Ford 0 NC Report

Career StatisticsEdit

Entries 30
Starts 27
Pole Positions 0
Front Row Starts 0
Race Wins 0
Podiums 2
Fastest laps 0
Points 20
Laps Raced 1188
Distance Raced 5680.7 km
Laps Led 2
Doubles 0
Hat-Tricks 0

Career ResultsEdit

Complete Formula One results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pts Pos
1966 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Germany Flag of Italy Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 0 NC
Ret
1967 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Monaco Flag of the Netherlands Flag of Belgium Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Canada Flag of Italy Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 0 NC
Ret Ret DNS
1968 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 4 19th
Ret Ret Ret Ret 6th 8th 8th 4th Ret Ret Ret
1969 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 16 8th
Ret 2nd Ret Ret 5th Ret 5th Ret 2nd 10th
1970 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 Flag of Spain 1945 1977 Flag of Monaco Flag of Belgium Flag of the Netherlands Flag of France Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Austria Flag of Italy Flag of Canada Flag of the United States Flag of Mexico 0 NC
Ret DNS NC Ret Ret


Key
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1stWinner Ret Retired
2ndPodium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5thPoints finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14thNon-points finish TD Test driver
NCNon-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
[+] More Symbols

External linksEdit

V T E F1 drivers killed while racing
1952: Cameron Earl
1953: Chet Miller
1954: Onofre Marimón
1955: Manny Ayulo
1955: Bill Vukovich
1957: Eugenio Castellotti
1957: Keith Andrews
1958: Pat O'Connor
1958: Luigi Musso
1958: Peter Collins
1958: Stuart Lewis-Evans
1959: Jerry Unser
1959: Bob Cortner
1960: Chris Bristow
1960: Alan Stacey
1961: Giulio Cabianca
1961: Wolfgang von Trips
1964: Carel Godin de Beaufort
1966: John Taylor
1967: Lorenzo Bandini
1967: Bob Anderson
1968: Jo Schlesser
1969: Gerhard Mitter
1970: Bruce McLaren
1970: Piers Courage
1970: Jochen Rindt
1971: Ignazio Giunti
1971: Pedro Rodríguez
1971: Jo Siffert
1972: Jo Bonnier
1973: Roger Williamson
1973: François Cevert
1974: Peter Revson
1974: Helmuth Koinigg
1975: Mark Donohue
1977: Tom Pryce
1978: Ronnie Peterson
1980: Patrick Depailler
1982: Gilles Villeneuve
1982: Riccardo Paletti
1986: Elio de Angelis
1994: Roland Ratzenberger
1994: Ayrton Senna
2015: Jules Bianchi
See also: List of fatal accidents
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