Official Johnny Cecotto Fansite Reports

European Championship Formula 2 on June 13th in Francorchamps, Belgium 1982 First time visit to Formula 2 with Johnny Cecotto The    last    time    I    saw    Johnny    Cecotto    race    was    during    the motorcycle    racing    Grand    Prix    of    Belgium    on    the    circuit    of Zolder   in   1980.   After   1980   he   switched   to   car   racing.   In   1982 he    raced    Formula    2    with    March    BMW    in    the    European Championship.   Together   with   my   friend   Ardie   I   decided   to visit    the    race    at    the    circuit    of    Francorchamps,    Belgium. Meanwhile   I   had   my   motorcycle   drivers   license   and   so   we went   on   my   Honda   CB   650   to   Belgium   to   try   to   meet   Cecotto for   the   second   time   of   my   life.   It   was   a   long   drive   because   of the   bad   weather   we   had.   It   was   raining   the   whole   way   to Francorchamps.   At   the   circuit   we   got   ourselves   tickets   for   the paddock   so   chances   of   getting   close   to   Johnny   improved   a   lot. We   searched   along   the   paddock   for   the   March   BMW   team   of   Cecotto.   We   found   it   quiet   easily but    only    Cecotto's    car    was    there,    Johnny himself   wasn't   seen.   But   some   time   later   he suddenly   stood   in   the   door   opening   of   the "ROLOIL"   BMW   truck   in   full   racing   gear   and his   helmet   on.   I   made   a   picture   of   him   with a     simple     camera     I     had     with     me     and watched    him    going    to    his    car.    Without knowing   I   had   gone   into   the   working   zone of   his   BMW   team   and   stood   next   to   his   car. His    girlfriend    Martina    Wagner    was    also there.   She   wore   a   blue   raincoat   with   a   big logo   on   it   of   "Conte   of   Florence"   which   was Cecotto's    sponsor.    Before    he    stept    in    his racing   car   Cecotto's   boots   were   brushed   to clean   them.   I   was   very   close   to   him   for   the second   time   of   my   life   and   for sure     the     Jeb's     helmet     with strange   designed   streamlines was   very   impressive   to   me.   I   had   my   complete   white   Nolan   helmet   painted   up   with the   recognizable   red   pointed   lines   "á   la   Cecotto   design".   Pictures   were   taken   while he   was   sitting   in   his   car.   I   was   only   one   meter   away   of   him   now   and   made   my   step to   ask   him   to   put   an   autograph   on   my   self   made   Cecotto   helmet.   He   gave   it immediately   and   proudly   I   got   the   helmet   back   in   my   hands.   But   again   I   didn't   dare to   talk   to   him   like   I   didn't   in   Raalte   in   1978.   I   just   looked   up   to   him   too   much   to   get some   words   out   of my     mouth     except for      "Thank      you" when    he    gave    the autograph.   The   car   was   taken   to   the   race   track   with   Cecotto   sitting   in   it   and   the   rain had   stopped   for   a   moment.   When   the   race   started   it   already   began   to   rain.   I   took some   pictures   but   not   much   was   seen   on   them   because   of   the   rain.   Thierry   Boutsen was   way   ahead   of   the   rest   of   the   field   when   it   really   started   to   rain   heavily.   One   by one   the   cars   went   off   at   the   end   of   the   straight   in   "L'eau   Rouge".   It   looked   like   a parking   zone   after   a   while. But   the   harder   it   started   to rain   the   harder   Cecotto   was   driving.   The   big   gap   between   Thierry   Boutsen   and   Johnny Cecotto   was   decreased   every   lap   but   then   the   race   director   decided   to   stop   the   race.   I   think if   they   wouldn't   have   done   this   Cecotto   could   have   taken   first   place   from   Boutsen.   The BMW   team   seemed   to   be   pleased   with   this   second   place   and   another   six   points   for   the championship.   We   went   down   the   top   of   the   pit   box,   from   where   we   had   been   watching the   race,   back   to   the   paddock   to   hope   to   see   Johnny   Cecotto   once   more.   Behind   the   stairs to   the   victory   ceremony   we   waited   and   after   a   few   minutes   Cecotto   came   down   with Martina   Wagner   right   behind   him.   I   made   a   picture   of   him   while   he   had   a   big   smile   on   his face.   When   he   passed   me   I   gave   him   a   hand   and   congratulated   him   with   his   2nd   place   in the   race.   That   were   the   only   words   I   said   and   with   a   "Thank   you"   he   walked   away   back   to the   paddock.   He   disappeared   for   us   and   we   decided   to   go   home   after   that.   The   weather was   still   very   rainy.   It   was   a   long   way   home   on   my   motorcycle   in   these   kind   of   conditions. But despite that it had been a great day for me.
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