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JPG:  RIR logo jacket patch
VEGA Kammback  on the tracks

Thumbnail: VEGA wagon in Riverside Turn 5

         Turn 5, Riverside International Raceway, 1971
Photo by Dick Bame, whose name I may or may not have remembered correctly. One of several prints I bought from him. These guys (photographers) were from the same tribe as those who place themselves along marathon routes and rough water ride courses. It must be worthwhile. I certainly appreciated them.

I drove this car 60,000 miles, a couple of thousand of them as fast as it would go on race tracks and autocross courses, without major problems. Dick Guldstrand, Corvette driving and development legend, made a few laps in it at Riverside, and pronounced it underpowered, but otherwise "pretty good." In this car, on Formula 1 front tires (Mexico City surplus Dunlops), I held the Solo I B-Sedan lap record at Willow Springs (you could look it up).

Here's a copy of results from that November 25-26, 1972 Solo I Time Trial at Willow Springs. Although they list the Vega in A-sedan, the rule book for the next year showed the 1:56:23 as Solo I lap record in B-sedan.

Click the thumbnails to see larger versions.

Thumbnail:  Willow Solo I results page 1   Thumbnail:  Willow Solo I results page 2


A less intimate view of the Kammback:  at the exit of Turn Two, riding the crest of the adrenalin wave and looking by this time past the left-edge notch of Turn Three at the Turn Four apex. That spot on the track was a place where the right side wheels were relatively unloaded. Even the lightweight cars customarily hung a wheel out over the edge, dragging some dirt onto the asphalt at every pass.

Eventually there was a good-sized ditch along the inside of the turn. Not much dirt lifted out of it then, but it required another decision: was the straighter, theoretically faster line worth the upset of that inside wheel dropping into the depression and bouncing back out? I don't know, but it seemed to me I could feel forward momentum, the most precious of all commodities for a Vega, draining away in the down-and-up-and-down motions engendered by dropping the corner of the car in the hole, so my custom and practice was to leave just half the tire width hanging over. *

I'm not sure if this picture is from the same weekend as the nice shot at the top of the page. This one is obviously made on a cheap camera and I can't distinguish enough to say. I have photos showing three distinct number designs on the Kammback at Riverside.

That grandstand up there is the same backdrop seen in the P.L. Newman photo on another page.

*The #43 Petty photo showing an elevated right front tire is another fine effort among Mike Smith's Riverside International Raceway and other racing photos that can be seen at this Web site: Turbo's Racing Photos

Thumbnail: Kammback approaches Turn Six, long view of Esses to Four

Another long view, this giving some perspective on the Turn Four through Five section of the Esses, seen from a spot near Six first apex. See a reverse view in the advertisement at RIR Pictures page 3.

See more Wagon on tracks
See the Coupe at Ontario
See the Coupe at RIR Turn Seven
To see video and frames from a lap of New RIR recorded on 8mm film,
click here:  RIR PICTURES 8 
GIF: clickable 20 x 20 RIR logo
RIR LAPS video

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