Alan Stacey

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Alan Stacey
Born(1933-08-29)29 August 1933
Broomfield, England
Died19 June 1960(1960-06-19) (aged 26)
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Liège, Belgium
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Active years19581960
TeamsLotus
Entries7
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1958 British Grand Prix
Last entry1960 Belgian Grand Prix

Alan Stacey (29 August 1933 – 19 June 1960) 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 seven 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.

Stacey was an amputee, racing with an artificial lower right leg due to a motorcycle accident when he was 17.[1]

Sports cars[edit]

Stacey competed successfully in many sports car races driving Lotus cars, initially as a private entrant in his own car and later for Team Lotus. He drove with Peter Ashdown in a 1098cc Lotus Eleven in the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans but they failed to finish. He drove a Lotus XV-Climax to victory at Aintree, in a July 1959 race for sports cars of 1400cc to two litres. His time was 37 minutes 39.4 seconds.[2]

Formula One[edit]

Stacey made his Formula One debut for Team Lotus at the 1958 British Grand Prix. He was promoted to a full-time role in 1960. Stacey's best race came at the 1960 Dutch Grand Prix, where he ran third for a majority of the race, before retiring on lap 57 due to transmission failure.[1][3]

Due to his disability, he had a motorcycle throttle on the gear-lever during his time at Team Lotus. Friend and journalist Jabby Crombac believed it put him at a considerable disadvantage at Formula One level, due to the more precise throttle control the cars needed compared to lower-formula cars.[4]

Stacey's driving was "conservative" according to one observer.[who?][5]

Death[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[5][6] (the same type Lotus as Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Innes Ireland).[7]

Stacey's car went off the road on the inside of the fast, sweeping right hand Burnenville curve (the same corner where Moss crashed the previous day),[5] climbed a waist-high embankment, penetrated ten feet of thick hedges, and fell into a field.[8] 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 & Track magazine, Stacey's friend and teammate Innes Ireland wrote an 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 or inflicting a fatal head injury, before the car crashed.[9]

More recently[edit]

Stacey's original Lotus Mk 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 Formula One World Championship 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

Non-championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6
1959 Team Lotus Lotus 16 (F2) Climax L4 BUE GLV AIN
DNA
INT OUL SIL
1960 ? Maserati 250F Maserati straight-6 BUE
Ret
Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax L4 GLV
Ret
INT
4
SIL LOM OUL

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alan Stacey | The "forgotten" drivers of F1". www.f1forgottendrivers.com. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  2. ^ Jack Brabham First In Auto Grand Prix, The New York Times, 19 July 1959, Page S1.
  3. ^ "Netherlands 1960 - Lap by lap • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Chris Bristow & Alan Stacey: Two young to die". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  5. ^ a b c 2 Rookie Drivers Die In Grand Prix, The New York Times, 20 June 1960, p.40.
  6. ^ Kettlewell, Mike. "Spa: A Course for Courage", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 18, p.2105.
  7. ^ Man and Machine, The New York Times, 8 April 1968, p.66.
  8. ^ Why Men Race With Death, The New York Times, 1 October 1961, p.SM37.
  9. ^ Thomas O'Keefe, Clark and Gurney, The Best of Both Worlds, Atlas F1, Volume 7, Issue 5.
Preceded by Formula One fatal accidents
19 June 1960
Succeeded by