Alan Stacey

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Alan Stacey
Alan Stacey.jpg
Born (1933-08-29)29 August 1933
Died 19 June 1960(1960-06-19) (aged 26)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 19581960
Teams Lotus
Races 7
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1958 British Grand Prix
Last race 1960 Belgian Grand Prix

Alan Stacey (29 August 1933, Broomfield – 19 June 1960, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium), was a British racing driver. He began his association with Lotus when he built one of the MkVI kits then being offered by the company. Having raced this car he went on to build an Eleven, eventually campaigning it at Le Mans under the Team Lotus umbrella. During the following years he spent much time developing the Lotus Grand Prix cars, most notably the front engined 16 and then the 18. He participated in 7 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 19 July 1958. He scored no championship points. He also participated in several non-Championship Formula One races.

Sports car driver[edit]

Stacey teamed with P.H. Ashdown in a Lotus 1.098 c.c. in the 1957 24 hours of Le Mans. They finished 9th with an average speed of 159.458 kilometers per hour. The top four places were taken by British Jaguar Racing teams.[1] Stacey drove a Lotus-Climax to victory at Aintree, in a July 1959 race for sports cars of 1,400 cubic centimeters to two liters. His time was 37 minutes 39.4 seconds.[2]

Belgian Grand Prix tragedy[edit]

The remains of Alan Stacey's car after his fatal accident in the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix. In the inset, Stacey before the race.

Stacey was killed during the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps, when he crashed at 120 mph (190 km/h). after being hit in the face by a bird on lap 25, while lying sixth in his Lotus 18-Climax[3][4] (the same type Lotus as Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Innes Ireland).[5]

Stacey went off the road on the inside of fast, sweeping right hand Burnenville curve (the same corner where Moss crashed the previous day),[3] climbed a waist-high embankment, penetrated ten feet of thick hedges, and fell into a field.[6] He died within a few minutes of Chris Bristow, and within a few hundred feet of that wreck. In a mid-1980s edition of Road and Track Magazine, Stacey's friend and teammate Innes Ireland wrote a touching article about Stacey's death, in which he stated some spectators claimed a bird had flown into Stacey's face while he was approaching the curve, possibly knocking him unconscious, or even possibly killing him by breaking his neck, before the car crashed.[7]

Personality[edit]

Stacey was described as quiet and gregarious. His driving was conservative according to one observer.[3] He had an artificial leg and conspired with his team mates to fool medical examinations for Le Mans. He would cross his legs with the real leg on top as the doctor checked his reflexes. His teammates would then cough violently. Stacey would uncross his legs and then recross them when the doctor turned back to him with the good leg still on top. He used a motorcycle twistgrip on the gear lever to adjust the engine speed during downshifts, because he could not "heel and toe".

More recently[edit]

Stacey's original Lotus VI was purchased from its owner by the Stacey Family and underwent complete, but sympathetic restoration in the hands of Stacey's schoolfriend, VSCC, Bentley Drivers Club and Historic Grand Prix Drivers Association racer, Ian Bentall who had originally helped construct the car. The Lotus is still in the hands of the Stacey Family where it makes occasional appearances on the track.


Complete World Championship Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Pts.
1958 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 ARG MON NED 500 BEL FRA GBR
Ret
GER POR ITA MOR NC 0
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 MON 500 NED FRA GBR
8
GER POR ITA USA
Ret
NC 0
1960 Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 ARG
Ret
NC 0
Lotus 18 Climax L4 MON
Ret
500 NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
FRA GBR POR ITA USA

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jaguars Sweep Top Four Places, New York Times, June 24, 1957, Page 40.
  2. ^ Jack Brabham First In Auto Grand Prix, New York Times, July 19, 1959, Page S1.
  3. ^ a b c 2 Rookie Drivers Die In Grand Prix, New York Times, June 20, 1960, p.40.
  4. ^ Kettlewell, Mike. "Spa: A Course for Courage", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 18, p.2105.
  5. ^ Man and Machine, New York Times, April 8, 1968, p.66.
  6. ^ Why Men Race With Death, New York Times, October 1, 1961, p.SM37.
  7. ^ Thomas O'Keefe, Clark and Gurney, The Best of Both Worlds, Atlas F1, Volume 7, Issue 5.
Preceded by
Chris Bristow
Formula One fatal accidents
June 19, 1960
Succeeded by
Giulio Cabianca