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- 5 -  Notes roughly coordinated with Tam McPartland's Old Race Car site  - 5 -

Frank Monise: One Pomona race Monise spun and reentered the course through a flag station and into traffic, against the turn marshal's orders. On the cool-off lap he came around to discuss the incident with the marshal, who gave him a whack on the helmet with the yellow-flag paddle (wire frame with patio chair webbing, like the one you see here: Turn Seven).

At Riverside Turn Seven the flag station wasn't always on the outside edge of the track there. I worked both sides, and liked the inside best, from a safety viewpoint. I don't know where my partner was, if any, in this picture.

The classic "facing" position for flagmen was such that they could cover 360 degrees: the downstream-facer could watch the cars approach on the first and other early laps, but once the traffic strung out, he had to follow the action around the turn.

Contentious as well as competitive, Monise always had well turned-out equipment. He was a talented driver, but would shave the rules at every opportunity. It was almost a compulsion with him. I don't remember ever hearing a worker say he liked Frank. He did win races. I had a head-to-head with him when I was Chief Steward at Holtville. That time he understood and stayed out of trouble. Many other times, he did not.

His contentiousness was probably a factor in a call I made in favor of the BRE Datsun team at that Holtville National. One of their cars lost air from a tire. It was at the end of a practice session, and the Datsun 2000 was stopped in the entrance to the lane leading from the track to the paddock. It would not roll, and had the newly approved aerodynamics on the front end, so the track wrecker couldn't easily get it up in the air without doing some damage. We could not start another session with that obstacle there.

Of course the car was within jogging distance of the pits. The BRE crew trotted on down there, and were not about to let the wrecker guys mess anything up. This was before the advent of everybody-on-the-radio; they had no idea what was wrong, and had left their special jacks in the pits.

Holtville is in the shadow of the mountains, and it gets dark early, even in April. The organization was always under pressure to keep things moving. It was up to me to tell the race wreckers to hook up and drag the BRE Datsun 2000 out of the way, or give the BRE crew a few extra minutes to run back for a jack, haul it down there, lift the car, replace the flat, and wheel the thing out of the way. Monise was the driver. Everyone except BRE wanted me to say, "Drag his nasty self out of the way," and watch the fireworks.

I'd already had enough negative experiences with him to last as long as I could imagine. I overcompensated rather than take advantage of the circumstances, and told everyone to take five minutes to relax while BRE brought the car home. They didn't abuse the opportunity either, performing their rescue very quickly, even though once they were out there they could have spent a lot of time hemming and hawing.

I recently learned Frank Monise was involved in the very early stages of the making of GRAND PRIX, the movie.

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Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney: Wow. Two more heroes. Moss was and is, just magnificent. A man with a perspective and humor, and an amazing person. The URL of his page at my site is in the Ken Miles section.

Dan Gurney: With just one exception I know of, a good guy all around, and my choice for president many, many times. I have had several racing business contacts with him, in addition to the numerous races I have seen him drive. One of my experiences was set out on Rick Dikeman's USGP page (that seems to have vanished):

I was working as Safety Steward at Turn 12, Long Beach Grand Prix circuit, during the tour's first stop there. Someone had lined the inside apex of that turn and two or three others with a wide pattern of "Bott's Dots," those shallow-domed plastic buttons used to mark divisions between freeway lanes. Cars at speed were loaded to the opposite side, and their inside wheels just skipped over the markers. The actual limit of the track, both inside and outside the turn, was another artifact of the freeway age: concrete barriers. Several cars had meetings with one or another of those unyielding hip-high walls, shedding various components. Emerson Fittipaldi was one contributor to the turn marshals' parts cache.

Gurney had apparently had his ear bent by a driver or two, and came to the most easily accessed of the Botted turns. He and one of the operating Stewards came to my station in a narrow island between the pit lane entry and the track at Turn 12 (marked by a yellow dot near the extreme left edge of the LBGP map). They watched for a short time, discussing the situation. Gurney recognized my orange Steward shirt and asked my opinion as a qualified expert. I said I expected the dots were ineffectual as delimiters, but did have the potential to inflict unwarranted upset or damage. Gurney gave the other Steward a "told you so" look, and off they went. A little later a crew came by and during a break in the action they pried up the dots, and were gone.

When Gurney and Moss were racing Lotus 19s at Riverside, I was a flagman at Turn One. Someone had "liberated" a four-foot "Flagman Ahead" sign from a nearby road construction site, and it was propped up against a stack of hay bales near the apex of Turn One. That stack and the start of the race can be seen on the Team DNF video, "Haybales And Asphalt." The sign was out of sight on the other side of the hay.

It appers the video is no longer available: the owner/maker of the original found that someone copied his VHS to CD and was selling it, all without permission. "Outright theft", he said.

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Scooter Patrick: This guy really loved racing. He seemed to be able to parlay his skill and less-than-best equipment into respectable results. When I was helping to organize, and was promoting the Tijuana Road Races at the Bullring By The Sea, he was one of the ones I sent a flyer to. He actually showed up, but not as a racer. He just wanted to see how it was going to be done, and if it was worth his while to prepare for the next event. It seems not. I named a dog after him. It was an overachiever, too, and very durable.

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