48 years of motor racing – or – The cars that tried to kill me!
The rejuvenated Skål Club of Pattaya and East Thailand, under new president Tony Malhotra, introduced a rather different speaker for the October meeting, held at the Pullman Pattaya Hotel G. This was one of Pattaya’s most recognized figures, Dr. Iain Corness, but a man with a history most Skålleagues did not know.
Dr. Iain, as well as being a consultant at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and a writer for the Pattaya Mail, races cars as a hobby. However, the depth of his involvement in auto racing was an eye-opener to most who listened to his humorous and edifying talk.
Tony Malhotra President of Skal Int’l Pattaya & East Thailand (center) with the team from Amari Orchid Pattaya (from left) Karnmanee Saengchan, Sales Manager, Brendan Daly, GM, Dueanpen Thongsombut, Asst Sales Director, and Sattawat Charoenlarp. Asst. Manager Sales.
He began by asking the Skål group about the connection between auto racing and the hospitality industry, and pointed out that at the Singapore Grand Prix, all hotels were fully booked, despite large increases in tariff rates. This was also seen in Kula Lumpur when the Malaysian GP is held. He then advised that ‘our’ event at Bang Saen attracts 200,000 spectators, some of which would stay in Pattaya. A niche market there for the taking. He did also mention that only one hotel property in Pattaya was advertising on a local race car and that was the Pullman Hotel G itself, but unfortunately, they were backing one of his competitors!
Dueanpen Thongsombut, Asst Sales Director, Amari Orchid Pattaya, Prangthip Nanthawijarn, Partner Foodtastic & Associates, Tony Malhotra Asst MD of Pattaya Mail Media Group and Janjira Buanlee, PR manager of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
Dr. Iain has been racing since 1965, and in those 48 years has had some lucky escapes, as well as a couple of championships under his fireproof race suit. He described the feelings of being caught in a wreck which was on fire, emphasizing just how necessary it was to keep a cool head in trying situations. In the big fire of 1992 he did get some burns, but raced the next day in a car that was made available for him. Getting back up on the horse or just showing what a drug motor racing can be?
The magnificent Dr. Iain Corness.
Even more recent was a multiple roll-over he experienced at the Kaeng Krachan circuit last year.
The action was caught on video and the members were amazed that he could step out of the wreck ‘shaken but not stirred!’ He also admitted that he did not tell his wife just how serious the accident had been, ringing his wife to say, “We’ve had a little bit of car trouble, and we’ll be a little late coming home.” A barrel roll four times was just a little more than “car trouble”.
He was asked by Skålleague Elfi Seitz (Pattaya Blatt) just what did he do in the roll-overs to stay in control, or was it that after the first roll you just don’t know what is happening? Dr. Iain replied that it was important to stay in control at all times and to stop his arm going out the window where the car could then roll on it, so he placed both hands on the top of his helmet and braced himself in the seat.
When the noise stopped he climbed out through the opening where the windscreen once was!
Before and after the address by Dr. Iain, the Skålleagues had time to network while enjoying the buffet prepared by Executive Chef Thierry with some wonderful quiches, Italian ham and French cheeses.
The next meeting of the Skål club will be advertised in the Pattaya Mail.
Membership director and treasurer Ingo Raeuber invites guests to buy Skal International paraphernalia to raise funds for the club.
Thai Garden Resort’s Hotel Manager Danilo Becker and General Manager Rene Pisters.
Som Corness, Janya Rattanaliam (BHP), Dr Iain Corness, Tepinya Rattikarn (BHP) and Jeena Papakan Saguansap, Tea Tree Spa Manager, Holiday Inn Pattaya.
Kandakorn Butarmart, sales & event executive Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, Janya Rattanaliam Head of Intern. Mktg. Dept. and Chadaporn Chomgrin, sales manager – MICE & corporate, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
Marlowe Malhotra MD of Massic Travel, Peter Cummins and Ferenc Fricsay.
(L-R) George Kenton, EAM-Rooms Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, Dimitri Chernyshev, EAM and Laurent Scire, F&B director of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, Robert John Lohrmann, GM of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya and Marc Merhej, F&B marketing and events manager Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
(L-R) Juergen Schlag, Ingo Raeuber, GM of Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort & Spa, Vicky and Marlowe Malhotra, MD of Massic Travel.
Dr Iain Corness with his lovely wife Som and Peter Malhotra.
Club secretary Papakan Saguansap and director Pedrenelle Maniquiz (Bangkok Hospital Pattaya).
Chonlatee Nakamadee, GM of dusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya with Janjira Buanlee, PR manager of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
Holiday Inn Pattaya’s Benchamat Phudthiradvittaya, senior sales manager (left) and Vassachol Khrueasan, senior sales manager.
Elfi Seitz and Horst Mueller. (Pattaya Blatt)
MGA, my introduction to motor racing in 1965.
My first MG 1962.
MGB on front row of grid 1970.
MGB winning at Warwick Farm (NSW) 1970.
Escort MK 1 – Castrol Team 1978.
Escort MK II – New lap record at Sandown 1996.
Escort MK II – Sandown 1996.
Porsche 911 in the mulga.
Championship winner Datsun 1600, Lakeside, QLD, 1995
Mt. Cotton Australian Hillclimb Championship Class winner Open 600, 1992.
Formula II – Lakeside (QLD) 1989.
Gemini Lakeside (QLD) 1992.
Formula 5000 Calder Victoria, 1990.
The Pizza Company Vios Team, Bangsaen 2006.
My close encounter with death, Gemini Fireball 1992.
Another close encounter at Kaeng Krachan 2012. (above) My escort did a four times barrel roll. (centre) A sorry sight but back on its wheels. (below) After two months in the body shop, returned to race again.