at Play on the Palm Springs Airport
in the
Mid-50s (3)
GIF: Annotated course diagramColor view of Maserati and SpyderColor backlighted view of (?) LotusMonochrome 300SL hits the balesView of spinning PorscheView of pits north of the 300SL incident
Yes, I did find a course map (North American Motorsports Pages). You can see the difference between what I remember (substantiated by the bottom photo on Page Two) and what I found. The latter (black line) is what was there on the one occasion I worked this track in the 60s.

07-25-02: I now have other course layouts to show you, one from a program for an April, 1958 event. You'll have to stand on your head or turn this one over in your mind: for some reason they oriented it 180° out from the one above. I see someone has marked a shortcut on the program, making the course in that area correspond to my memory of it.

During the years 1960—1962 I worked as flagman and turn marshal at every race I could reach. Saturday Mike Houston and I were the flag team at the bend in the back straight (black line course). Sunday we took Pat Asbill and Hilary Lind to the races with us, and arrived just a minute before the first session hit the track. We acted as if we knew what we were doing, drove the '55 Olds right across the racing surface and over to the flag station, girls and all.

An MGA had a fire under the hood and stopped up-course from us so we tossed the extinguisher in the Olds and hurried over there. The fire wasn't that bad. We doused it with powder and left him to the Emergency towtruck.

At the end of a formula car practice session one of the drivers rolled up to us at the flag station. He said there was a wrench down-track from us, that it was "...about a ¼ Whitworth." It had been flipped up in the air and whizzed past his helmet. Mike and I went looking, and sure enough, there it was. One-quarter Whitworth. We passed it to an Emergency worker. I suppose the Public Address announcer paged anyone who was missing such a wrench. I also suppose no one claimed it. They almost never do. Can you guess why?

Photo: Click picture to get a closer look at the Porsche spin

I believe this shows that the course in 1956 and '57 had the configuration I described. See the bales and cars in the left background? Click the picture to see a closer view of the Morgan leaving a spinning Porsche in its wake.

I see from the April-May 1956 issue of West Coast Sports Car Journal that this was the first Porsche Carrera on the West Coast...

This is approximately in the place we drove the Olds across the track to reach the bend in the back straight, five or six years after the above picture was taken.
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