Gary Leggatt, trying dreadfully hard for a good time with the four-cylinder engine to get under the cut, had it all go wrong at the worst place - McPhillamy Park. The Cinzano Alfa hit the high-side fence almost head-on, then bounced back across the circuit, crushed back to the firewall. It turned around, once, and then hit the inside concrete wall head-on.
There are several versions of what happened. It seems certain that the seat broke from its mountings and that Leggatt's head hit either the steering wheel or the steel fence, or maybe the side of the car. Certainly, the front bulkhead was jammed back, crushing and trapping his legs. It was a terrible crash, the worst, in terms of driver injury, the Great Race had seen in 22 years. One of the first on the scene was Leggatt's good friend, Peter Lander, in the Audi. He stopped to help, as marshals tried frantically to free Leggatt.
They bent the jaws of the Porta-Power trying to cut away the front door that was trapping him; it turned out later that the Alfa has a door locking mechanism designed to hold the door shut in just such a crash. They took off his helmet, but Leggatt had compound skull fractures, and one doctor later said it would have been better had they not removed the helmet. A doctor climbed in through the windscreen to keep the man alive as the crews worked for 20 minutes to get him out. It took that long for an ambulance to get there.
Leggatt was rushed to Bathurst Hospital, and then flown that night to Sydney's Westmead. Lander drove back to the pits crying, but Heyer sent him out again straight away to settle him down, but he stopped soon after and found his road car and headed straight for Sydney. Up at McPhillamy they hosed the track and threw cement powder everywhere, and anybody trying for a serious time decided to pack it away for the day, because the surface was history.
Australian Endurance Championship
Alfa Romeo GTV
Bathurst (Mount Panorama)
James Hardie 1000
Bob Williamson; Scott Farquharson; Nelson Schumacher; John Eldred; Bill Tuckey
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