More MG-in-Action
   at RIR and elsewhere
GIF:  RIR logo decal
Where you see a "C" there is a third version available
   Thumbnail: MGB at the Riverside International Raceway Start-Finish line C    Thumbnail: MGB Tourer near the entry apex, Turn Six, RIR C
Thumbnail: MGB Tourer headed for the exit apex, Turn Six, RIR  

It seems to me these three color photos were made by the same photographer as was the one on Pits Page 2. I'm at a loss to explain their quality, although the views are revelatory of some RIR features at Start-Finish and Turn Six entry and exit.

  Thumbnail: MGB Tourers of Homer James and YOBS in the tech line at Tecate, Baja California, Mexico landing strip    Thumbnail: Sandy at the wheel of the MGB Tourers in the tech line at Tecate, Baja California, Mexico landing strip

Here are two Instamatic shots from a famous—or notorious—Sunday slalom at Tecate, Mexico. Los Angeleno Homer James stands by his black MGB with which he beat me every time, as I remember. He had some original ideas for MGB preparation, and they involved BIG tires rather than lower chassis. He had a Studebaker limited slip he machined to fit the MG carrier.

Sandy was a frequent participant in these days. She is in the driver seat here, queued up for Tech.

I was in three events
at this landing strip south of the border town: two "Tecate Event" autocrosses, and a South-of-the-Border club drag race. At one of the slaloms we had been operating for an hour or so when an airplane buzzed the course, making it clear the pilot wanted to land. We quick-hurried to move aside enough pylons to clear an avenue, and he touched down. It turned out it was a special-delivery air mail plane. He handed out a parcel to someone who was there to meet him, and took off. In no more than 15 minutes we were back up and running.

I'm not certain if it was the same event, but one time we had to wait while some local vaqueros rounded up their remuda, which had strolled onto the course.

When he showed up to run his Spitfire in one of these events, Don Devendorf was just about to begin an impressive road-racing career, including Datsun-Nissan factory racer. On the occasion I remember, he and Mickey Pleasant (SD Region SCCA bugeye Sprite racer) had a rivalry that came near yielding a Top Time Of Day.

"Tecate Event" signified parallel or mirror courses with contestants starting and running at the same time, and alternating courses between runs. The concept was popular, and was called by its original name until SCCA co-opted it for its Pro Solo series. One of my best-ever performances was at Tecate. I went off on the left course against Bill Swan on the right. In drag-race parlance, and on actual time, he beat me by a couple of tenths of a second, but the left course was longer or slower, or both, and mine was the second-best time on that side that day. The only one faster was James Gauthier in his 289 Cobra.

I heard "Tecate" is a phoneticism derived from principal consonants in the town's actual Nahuátl name, unpronounceable and unspellable by more modern locals. "Tecate" is the Hispanic pronunciation of "T K T." (Can you say, "Apocryphal"?)

The Mexican-organized drag race was a wonderful experience, and I'd retell it here and now, but I still have hope of finding the writeup that appeared as a letter to the editor in Hot Rod Magazine some time between November, 1966 and June, 1967.


This may be from the same day as the first trio of photos above. On one occasion I hurried back from RIR to run this slalom at the circular theater northwest of 395 and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. It may have been because championship points were important. I think Bill Bean took this photo and a number of others that day. Maybe even those at RIR.

I think the pylon picking person with the flag has some characteristics in common with Bruce Bassham.

Other -centric pages on this site:
MGB on Riverside International Raceway, 1968
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