Passing of a racecar legand Carroll Smith

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Triaged, May 19, 2003.

  1. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

    Feb 21, 2001
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    CA (LA/OC area)
    As some of you may know I was at this event this year (as well as 2000 and in the UK event in 2000) I have read all of Carroll's books and met him in person on more than one occation. Following is a transcript of the anouncement made at the 2003 Formula SAE banquet. For what it is worth we (CalPoly Pomona) came in 14 out of 110 schools.

    A Tribute to Carroll Smith
    18 May 2003

    (This is the speech that was given to the FSAE banquet for the Carroll
    Smith Mentor's Cup Award by Dr. Bob Woods, UTA)

    As the first recipient of the Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup Award, Carroll has
    asked me to announce this year's awardee. As is painfully obvious to
    everyone here, Carroll could not attend this year's competition. What some
    of you do know is that he had some health problems. What you don't know is
    the extent of his health problems. Each person has the right to deal with
    their health problems as they see fit and Carroll has chosen to keep his on
    a personal and family basis. I agree with him. However, Carroll asked me
    to bring you up to date on his situation at this time.

    Two weeks ago, Carroll was diagnosed with level 4 pancreatic cancer. We
    all know Carroll to be a fighter and a winner, but this is one battle that
    he did not win. Carroll returned from the hospital to his new ranch in
    northern California on Friday. He was at home, happy, comfortable,
    peaceful, and within a short period of time, Ginger said that he simply
    quit breathing.

    The good news is that he had enough time to realize his illness, come to
    grips and make peace with it, but it was not prolonged and uncomfortable as
    it could have been. The bad news is that FSAE has lost an incredible
    force, and many of us have lost a good friend. I spoke with Carroll about
    a week ago and he said that nobody could ask for a better life than he has
    had nor better family and friends.

    We all mourn his passing and feel a personal loss for the interactions we
    could have had with him in the future. But we also know Carroll well
    enough that he would prefer that we celebrate his life rather than mourn
    his passing. So let's do that. Carroll was formally educated as an
    engineer… almost everyone in the room here today thinks that is quite an
    accomplishment. Carroll was a teacher for a while... quite a few of us
    admire that. Carroll was a military pilot… most of the population thinks
    that is an exciting occupation. Carroll became a racecar driver rising to
    the top in high level races in Europe and around the world… we certainly
    envy that. Probably everyone here will agree that being a racecar engineer
    is even a higher position than a driver and Carroll certainly rose to the
    top of that. I once asked him what he considered his best achievement and
    he said the GT40 program. I guess so, they not only won one of the most
    prestigious races in the world, but they took a 1-2-3 finish in Le Mans and
    then went back to win again the next year. Ford is going to put the
    essence of that Le Mans car in production, and the "Carroll Smith Edition"
    of a GT40 replica is being built in Australia already. Perhaps an equaling
    accomplishment is to engineer a Formula Atlantic for your son to drive to a
    national title… what a great father-and-son project. Carroll shared his
    knowledge by writing six books on racecar engineering in a series that has
    be acknowledged around the world as the "bible" and is the "required
    textbook" for this competition. Last year Carroll was awarded the SAE
    "Excellence in Engineering Education". Even though he is not a professor,
    he deserves this award due to the thousands of students that he has
    influenced and helped educate in the Formula SAE competition.

    In the last ten years, Carroll has taken on as a mission the design judging
    of the FSAE competition, and has organized top judges from around the world
    and turned it into one of the most prestigious and anticipated events at
    the competition. He has been respected and admired by the students at the
    competition. This photo of Carroll really says it all. Here you see
    Carroll, in focus, in shining light, encircled by layers of students
    catching on every breath eager to hear any utterance of wisdom that he
    might share. Carroll's Australian slash hat is world-known as a part of
    the icon of this great man.

    (a poster photo of Carroll Smith was shown at the banquet)

    Carroll's accomplishments are numerous. Most people would be honored to
    have just one of the seven major career achievements mentioned above that
    he has had. He was an icon and a legend in his own time. He was
    respected, admired, envied, held in awe, and sought after for his knowledge
    and experience. For a few of us that got to know him personally as a
    friend, we were richly blessed… what a great friend!

    Please join me in applause for Carroll followed by moment of silence.

    (Followed by a standing ovation of more than 1000 and a long applause.)

    For those of you that really knew Carroll, at this point he would say in
    his matter-of-fact style "come on, get over it, let's move on". So it is
    now my pleasure to announce the SCCA "Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup" awardee
    for 2003. In 1999, I had the honor of being the first awardee. When I
    wrote him a letter and told him how honored I was, he said "I feel even
    more honored to have an award in my name". In 2000, Dr. Al George from
    Cornell was selected. In 2001, the awardee was Dr. Andrew Deakin from
    Leeds University in the U.K. In 2002, Dr. Ken Cunefare from Georgia Tech
    was honored. This year's awardee has been an advisor in FSAE for 10 years
    and in Mini Baja and other competitions even longer. His teams have always
    been at the top in FSAE even since his first year. He has taken teams to
    FSAE and Mini Baja competitions all over the world. He is active in SAE at
    national levels. He is just as deserving of this award as the others that
    have been selected before him. This year's "Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup"
    awardee, selected by Carroll himself, is Dr. Alan Nye from RIT.

    -Dr. Bob Woods
    Faculty advisor, UTA

    P.S. The photo is available in either high or low resolution. I can send
    it to you, or we will put it on our website <> (no www), or we
    will try to get it on Carroll's website <>. We are
    working on getting a video of the speech at FSAE. The website <>
    has some discussions about Carroll.
  2. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

    Apr 26, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Mayberry (Auburn, WA)
    R.I.P. Carroll!

    You want to study someone who was an excellent engineer then this was the guy.

    ASE gave him a lifetime achievement award and guys like Carol Shelby hooked up with him to win 24 hours at Daytona and LeMans and may other races.

    He worked with many of the greatest drivers in the world: Amon, Andretti, Bond, Cobb, Foyt, Gurney, Hulme, Ickx, McLaren, Millen, Ongais, Posey, Rahal, Redman, Ruby, Revson, Vasser and many others.

    His contributions to the world of racing are immeasurable.

    If you are into fabrication as a hobby or if you do it for a living, buy his books:

    [​IMG] Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing

    [​IMG] Engineer to Win

    [​IMG] Tune to Win

    [​IMG] Prepare to Win
  3. Hardcore

    Hardcore 1/2 ton status

    Apr 25, 2003
    Likes Received:
    New Orleans, LA
    Man, that is sad. I too read all of his books and still have them on my shelf at the house. I went to the 2000 FSAE competition and competed in the 2001. Great event.
    Our car:
    I even got to shake his hand, for a first time team he said we had great potential.
    He will be missed
  4. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

    Feb 21, 2001
    Likes Received:
    CA (LA/OC area)
    If you were there in 2000 no boubt you remember our car.
    It was the one with "Really Big Wings"
    This is a picture I took of our car with good ol' Carroll in it.

    He had a good 45min. conversation with us about everything that was wrong with came in 3rd.
    It was great to meat him and he is being missed already.
  5. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

    Jun 30, 2002
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    Salem, Or.

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