Story and photos by Graham Gauld
Had he lived, the great French driver Jean Behra would have been 96 last month (February). I say, “had he lived” because Behra was a hard, tough racing driver who had started out racing on motorcycles and had survived a number of accidents. He repeated this in his car racing career until that sad day when he was due to race his own Formula car, the Behra Porsche, for the first time in a World Championship Grand Prix.
Behra told me, ‘You are a stupid man!’ and slapped me on the face.
It was not to be, for a few hours earlier he chose to compete in a sports car race on the same high-speed banked Avus track in Germany in a Porsche RSK. He slithered on the banking in the wet and hit a pole at the top of the banking and was killed outright.