MAY 29, 1995

Jean Ragnotti's crash course car

SATURDAY morning practice in Monaco was disrupted by a bizarre incident when French rally driver Jean Ragnotti crashed into Takachiho Inoue's Footwork - when it was being towed back to the pits.

Ragnotti was driving a souped-up Renault Clio course car with FIA External Affairs Department boss Francesco Longanesi as his passenger. Eyewitnesses report that Ragnotti was driving far too fast when he arrived in the Swimming Pool complex to find Inoue's Footwork trundling along behind a tow truck.

Ragnotti braked heavily but slid into the Footwork, this caused the car to roll, with Inoue still in the car, wearing his crash helmet but not his seat belts.

The combined effect of the roll and the tension of the tow rope caused the rollhoop to collapse, destroying the Footwork chassis.

Inoue was taken to the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco where he was found to have no serious injuries but he was not allowed to practice in the afternoon because of concussion.

The accident comes under the jurisdiction of the Automobile Club of Monaco which will now have to reach some form of settlement with the Arrows team to pay for the damage caused by the flying Frenchman.