The dramatic moment violence erupts at famous race

Written by By Staff Writer

Caravaggio is one of the world’s top tips for filmmakers, who have been using the Italian painter’s style to flesh out their projects in recent years.

Seven years after he took a series of pictures at the circuit with his Stable Miniature camera, the photographer returned to recreate the shot on the Alchetti plains of Bologna.

Karting enthusiasts Paul Crippen and Nick Troiano were competing in the grand prix race, during which a spectator came to blows with the two.

The collision occurred during the second round of the Drome de Fiorano Bologna competition at the Nelson Piquet GT speedway on November 10.

It came during a racing period where drivers are prohibited from using the driving seat — Crippen and Troiano were both wearing their helmets.

“I was at the back and to my horror I heard screaming,” explains Crippen. “There were many people running to the motor and to my horror Nick was knocked out by the attack.”

Painstaking shoot

As security staff and drivers regained control of the track, Crippen and Troiano battled to the side of the track to get a clear view of the man who had attacked them.

“We found him doing nothing, just standing in the bush,” continues Crippen. “He had to be dragged off by security officers. Everyone was quite shaken up and seeing him standing in the field gave us a greater sense of urgency.

“The scene was terrible. It was a lucky escape. We were lucky that he had no other cameras, no drugs and that no one was waiting to get him back on the track.”

Having worked on various professional racing drivers’ projects, Crippen got to know Troiano and Crippen says he has no doubt they were going to be attacked during the race.

“I bet Nick would have lost if he had gone outside his car,” says Crippen. “I am not against fans coming up to the track to support their teams. However, I do take a lot of personally when a camera crew loses a friend.”

Unspeakable violence

Michele Sitera, racing director of the AIMR (Axial MXracing), a hybrid of motorcycle and stock car racing, says the attack took place during a particularly dangerous period.

“During the second round of the championship we were lying on our deathbeds,” Sitera says. “We are competing with ourselves, learning where to go.”

Lucky that the incident took place during the second round, Sitera says, since the following round of the championship had them in the midst of all-out assaults.

“One week before we flew to Valencia, we had one of the worst incidents in the history of the championship when police forced us out of the circuit.”

The team were forced to avoid any further attacks and, although, they said they were left with less than two hours to get ready for the Valencia round of the championship, they fought on.

“We weren’t able to spend the evening together,” says Sitera. “It was a crazy couple of days, totally out of our control. One of us was injured and the other had to leave the team.

“Fortunately, we were there, we were able to finish the championship safely.”

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