Savannah Speed Classic 2018

This past weekend saw the return of the Savannah Speed Classic to the track on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia. Over 100 cars, ranging from a 1919 Ford Model A Speedster to a pair of 2018 Ferrari 488’s. The event is sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing, and the cars are grouped together for races based on weight and engine size. As at any vintage event, there are always lots of Porsches, and this year’s event was typical, with several 356’s, many variations of 911’s, and a few 914’s. Lots of…

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Homecoming Weeks

This weekend the Formula One travelling circus comes to Spa, and next week to Monza, the spiritual homes of the sport, and the best tracks on the current list of circuits. Spa is still a very challenging circuit, though a shadow of its former 8.7 mile scary glory. It is now a little over 4 miles, with many challenging low and high speed corners, a long straight, and the classic Eau Rouge complex, still the same heart-pounding challenge it has always been. Drivers have measured their skill and courage for…

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Le Mans: My Memories

Having been born in 1950, my first memories of Le Mans come from the early 60’s, when ABC’s Wide World of Sports began covering the race and showing highlights. In those days it was a race on two-lane country roads, with trees and stone walls lining much of the circuit, leading to many deaths, as racing and safety were seldom used in the same sentence. In 1961, ABC had a crew there and showed a few hours of the race. Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien won the race in a…

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One Thousand Two-Hundred and Sixty-Two Miles

This coming Sunday, May 27, is one of the happiest days of the year for race fans. All in one day the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and 600 mind-numbing miles for the NASCAR boys and girls at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The races are sufficiently spaced through the day that, unless there is a rain delay at Indianapolis, any serious fan should be able to see all those miles, a total of 680 laps around the three tracks. The traditions at Monte Carlo and Indianapolis…

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The Joys of Vintage Racing

With all of the videos on Youtube and other services where you can see legends like Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, A. J. Foyt, Ayrton Senna, and dozens of others racing in their primes, in those beautiful cars, even people who were born after 2000 can be nostalgic for a time for which they have no memories of their own. For those of us who watched the exploits of those champions in person or on tv, a trip to a vintage racing weekend can be just the cure for that nostalgia.…

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My First Grand Prix

In the spring of 1977, I was living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and was only following Formula One through my subscription to Road and Track. One of my neighbors had formerly been an engineer at Ford, and suggested the possibility of driving to Los Angeles for the Long Beach Grand Prix. I had friends living in Los Angeles, was able to get time off both my jobs, so I said yes. We left Steamboat on a Tuesday morning, and drove through some spectacular scenery in Western Colorado and Utah, including…

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Sebring 1965

Growing up in Washington, DC, in the 50’s, my sports interests were limited to those I played myself. Baseball, football, and basketball, depending on the seasons. The only racing I was aware of was the Indianapolis 500, since it got lots of coverage in the daily newspaper, usually when someone was killed there. In 1961, when I was 10 years old, ABC began showing a program called “The Wide World of Sports.” They showed things like logrolling, barrel-jumping , and other oddities, but they also showed some auto racing.  From…

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Porsche 962 debut at Daytona 1984

The Porsche 956 debuted in 1983, and the factory cars dominated the Le Mans 24 Hours, leading to customer orders for dozens of cars. However, the 956 was not legal to race in the US, as the IMSA GTP rules differed from those of the FIA. The GTP rules called for the driver’s feet to be behind the centerline of the front axle. Knowing the US market was crucial to their success, Porsche built a new variant of the 956 to comply with the IMSA rules, and called it the…

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Dan Gurney 1931-2018

In the week since he died, many glowing tributes have appeared from all over the world, and rightly so. I first heard Dan Gurney’s name in the early 60’s, when ABC’s Wide World of Sports began showing Grand Prix races and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gurney’s good looks and relaxed demeanor in interviews made him instantly appealing, and I began using my allowance to buy Road and Track and Sports Car Graphic at my local drug store, so I could keep up with his racing career. The one…

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Daytona 24 Hours, 1983

1983 was my 4th year at the Daytona 24 Hours, and for those of you accustomed to the type of cars raced there this century, you’d be quite surprised to go back to a year like 1983, and see 79 cars take the green flag, with 92 having been entered, including a Studebaker Avanti. This was the first year for the new GTP class, IMSA’s version of Group C, with one key rule difference. IMSA’s rules required that the driver’s feet be behind the centerline of the front axle, for…

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