The Man Who Introduced F1 Racing to America
December 2, 2021 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Robert Daley: The Journalist Who Broke the Biggest Story in Motorsport History. He was also deputy commissioner of the NYPD and wrote 31 books (his official site), among them Prince of the City.
posted by goatdog (3 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks. Great piece.

From the article (warning - unpleasant details):

He filed the story on Friday, May 10, 1957. The next day, Portago crashed his Ferrari in the race. After the accident, as Daley later put it, Portago was found twice. His body had been severed in two.

a little more detail on that incident:

the wreck also claimed the lives of nine spectators, among them five children.[10] Portago was apprehensive about competing in the Mille Miglia[citation needed], a race he considered too dangerous to be run, as he was concerned about the almost complete impossibility about knowing every corner (even with a navigator) and every possible road condition over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) of open public roads with very limited information on what to expect in the race.[citation needed] A tire blew on Portago's third-place[16][17] Ferrari 335 S causing it to spin into the crowd lining the highway.

I've heard it said of the "good ole days" of motor sport that there was a sort unspoken agreement between the drivers and the spectators -- that both were putting their lives at risk. But that attitude was dying fast. The Mille Miglia (the race in question, a one thousand mile run on normal roads around Italy) would not run again after that year.

And then there's what had happened at Le Man two years previous.
posted by philip-random at 9:11 AM on December 2, 2021

Nice pictures.

When I was a teen the closest movie theater was built for Cinerama. The second movie I saw there was Grand Prix, and I sat up in the front row.
Great way to watch a race.
posted by MtDewd at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also more detail on the Portago crash: moments before it happened, he received the Kiss of Death in the Ferrari pit.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 11:55 AM on December 2, 2021

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