Same practice session at
RIR. Here Your OBedient Servant is about to try for an effect with a wide-angle
lens on a camera sitting at the edge of the racing surface. You can see some of
the remote release and its spool on the ground. It didn't work as well as I had
hoped, but some of the photos are dramatic.
This is also the location of my favorite Stirling Moss At The 1960 US Grand
I was Jack-of-all-specialties at Turn Seven on Wednesday
or Thursday. I was the only one there: I had a headset, a fire extinguisher, and
a set of flags, so I was Observer, Flagman, Turn Marshal, and Emergency Crew,
all in one. By Sunday I had promoted myself through flagman at several different
turns to Turn Marshal at Eight, for the competition.
Near the end of
that race Moss was a minute or so ahead of the second place man, and with about
four laps to go I reckoned he (and I, and everyone else) was bored and marking
time to the finish. I had been using the blue flag ("look out for overtaking
traffic") conscientiously for the entire run. I just casually strolled a
step or two closer to the course and flipped the flag out so Moss could see it.
He did, and I saw him give a quick look in his mirrors and nod his head. I thought,
"Ho, good joke!"
Next time he came by he was travelling perceptibly
faster than in the immediately previous laps, and at just a critical point, he
was out of shape and his car was sliding right at me! I jumped and scrambled,
and he gathered it up and motored around, head back and laughing.
As I remember, it was at about the position of the Mazda in this picture where
Phil Hill, driving a finance company (I can
almost remember the nameYeoman Credit?) sponsored car painted in an awful
yellow-green color began a spin that ended off course to the outside. He had to
get out and push the car to restart it. It seemed to me he and a team-mate were
nose-to-tail shortly after a refuel stop and Hill in the following car lost traction
in a spill of gasoline from the leading car. It eliminated any chance of a better
result after what had been an impressive drive until that point.
There is a race summary, with grid
and results, at Rick
Dikeman's (Dead link on 20110901) USGP site. Another
link . . . Or two.
To see frames from a remarkable film made at the 1960 USGP at Riverside
International Raceway, as well as scenes filmed in the 50s and 60s at
other historic California sports car racing tracks, go to Team DNF's
And Asphalt." (Dead link on 20110901, but you may be able to
get it on Amazon.com) (NOPE)
came across that Phil Hill reference in a list of members of the Novi, Michigan,
Motorsports Hall Of Fame. You know, I had personal
contact and at least one story about so many of the drivers listed on that page,
I began to wonder if all that was true or a wishful fantasy. I guess I'll just
have to go down the list name by name and tell at least a little of of what I
know about each, and the nature of the contact. That will describe them, and me,
in a way not available to most folks.
Of course I'll have to add Stirling
Moss to the racing driver list, and Bob Bondurant, and Nadine Brengle, and Phil
Binks, and Johnny Parsons, and Rob Walker, and Mickey Pleasant, and Bill Swan,
and Pat Daily, and Homer James, and Paul Vollmer, and Andy deVercelli and Tom
McLellan, and Dave Turner, and Lee Midgely, and John Paul, Jr., and Max Balchowski,
and Bob Challman, and Geneva Middlebrook, and Ken Miles, and Joel Opsahl, and
Ronny Hissom, and Alan, Alan, Alan Connell. who co-drove a Testa Rossa at LeMans
in about 1959, and Steve Robinson, and Harry Washburn, and Karel, Karel Janaçek
who described the Puerto Rico jitney trip before I knew I was going to Puerto
Rico, and Lani Spund, and Bruce Wilson, and Walt Walsh, who more-or-less paved
the road to Indy racing for the Jim Clark we all knew and loved. And others.
This may be bigger than I thought.
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