Monthly Archives: October 2013

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The Power of Three

1999 SRWC Barcelona

Lap one of the Sports Racing World Cup in 1999 has just been completed and a sea of metaphorical red heads towards Elf (the French Petroleum company not the Nordic pixies). In 1999 the Ferrari 333SP was the weapon of choice in the SRWC until DAMS got their Lola fired up.

Long ago and far away.

John Brooks, October 2013

Buy the ticket, take the ride……………………

1999 12 Hours of Sebring

A few hours will pass and the American Le Mans Series will be just a memory. The final flag will drop appropriately enough at Road Atlanta, motorsport’s Georgia Peach. Although the first ALMS race was Sebring in 1999 as seen above, the spiritual home is, and always will be, Braselton.

1998 Petit Le Mans

Fifteen years ago the world of endurance racing was turned on its head with the alliance of Don Panoz and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the first Petit Le Mans. For the most part this has been a successful partnership, though not without its issues. New management has arrived, let’s hope that they can build on the heritage of the past.

1998 Petit Le Mans

I sit here on a grey, soggy afternoon in Surrey I recall the races and places and faces…………….however I don’t think I can add much to my thoughts written 12 months ago on the way to Georgia HERE

2002 ALMS Washington

God Speed American Le Mans Series, and thanks…………….without you I would have missed out on seeing some fantastic racing and, much more importantly, missed out on meeting some amazing people. Too many to list but you know who you are……………let’s hope for a safe race today on both sides of the world, there have been too many reminders of our shared mortality this year.

Ciao…………….

John Brooks, October 2013

From Blackpool to Brooklands

 

2013 Brooklands TVR

Motoring events pile up thick and fast during the spring, summer and autumn months and if they are not dealt with immediately they slip down the pecking order. A TVR day at Brooklands in May fell victim to the demands of the Nürburgring 24 Hours and then the big race in France.

2013 Brooklands TVR

Nevertheless it was a pretty good turnout of cars with the sun doing its best to give us all a lift after a pretty grotty couple of months. There was even a fly past by a Lancaster, rather appropriate considering the history of the venue.

2013 Brooklands TVR

And if Blackpool’s fastest were not wholly to your taste there were the other distractions……………always something to see between Weybridge and Byfleet.

John Brooks, October 2013

Cat Flap

Earlier this month the excellent Brooklands Museum was the venue for a gathering of the Morgan clan. My brother in law, Marcel and his missus the lovely Sue, were taking their Moggie along for an outing, so I thought I would join them, I’m glad I did.

John Brooks, October 2013

Post Time with Jürgen Barth at The Monterey Motorsports Reunion

More from our favourite Bond Girl, who put this fine piece together for us a few weeks back. Life imitates Morse and I have been extremely tardy in posting, apologies to all, will do better, yeah, right!

Our correspondent - ps

 

As a lifelong equestrian, it’s both humbling and awe inspiring to watch a professional trainer take an already awesome horse and elevate said beast to new levels of jaw-dropping excellence.

double d - ps

Such a presentation calls for a unique combination of talent, drive and experience. As an amateur, I usually want to hurry home, saddle my own horse and attempt to replicate that caliber of horsemanship.

a venti latte - ps

A racecar isn’t a horse and vice versa, but the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion provided race enthusiasts with the opportunity to witness the same type of demonstration.

Barth on the Grid practice -ps

In general, vintage events tend to restrict the run groups to amateurs. Professional involvement is usually kept to a minimum and for good reason. However, with Porsche celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 911, the organizers encouraged the participation of several pro drivers by creating a special run group of 911’s built from 1964 to 1973.

Nine eleven Hell - ps

Over forty entries were accepted for Group 8B known as the Weissach Cup. One of those drivers on the grid was Jürgen Barth. Barth embodies the motorsport professional. Experienced in virtually every aspect of the game, the Barth resume includes driver, with overall and class victories at Le Mans, factory development driver, race organizer, international steward, and established author. His steed for Monterey was indeed a special 911 and one that Barth was very familiar with. The 1970 911 ST, chassis number 911 030 0949, is one of the factory lightweight rally cars. Its impressive history includes such famous names as Waldegard and Larrousse taking turns behind the wheel.

For 1971, the car was used by Barth as a service car for the Monte Carlo Rally and then sold. The new owner retained the services of the young driver and the 1971 Tour De France should have been the high point for Barth and this particular 911. Unfortunately, a loose flywheel and a damaged the crankshaft resulted in a DNF. Barth finally got his first 911 win later that year in this same car at a French National race.

In 1998, with Porsche celebrating a 50th anniversary, owner Roy Walzer asked Barth to drive this special car at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races. In that race, Barth started 5th and was to lead every lap right up to the last few feet of which Hurley Haywood got by in the Brumos 914-6.

The MAN - ps

Reunited again in 2013, the car sported the Tour De France colors, the same colors that took Barth out of the hunt. This was the second “go” for both Barth and the machine at Laguna Seca. Attrition and incidents cut the field down in Group 8B for Sunday afternoon’s race and thirty 911’s filled the grid. The organizers made the decision to split the field and utilize two safety cars, with the first group getting the green flag approximately fifteen seconds ahead of the second.

Grid 1 - ps

Due to an electrical problem that sidelined Barth on the track during the morning race, he started in 29th position – the back row of the second group. Simply making the start was an achievement of sorts, the electrical problem meant Barth would be driving with no functioning instruments, including the tachometer. His race would be accomplished by the sound and feel of the car, a professional at work. Additionally, the Barth 911 was one of the few cars in the field to race with the correct motor displacement, however, talent can overcome such occasional inconveniences. At the end of the first lap he had dispatched the entire second group of cars and took off after the first group with a beautiful display of consistent driving and carrying far more speed in and out of the corners than any of the other 911’s. After eight laps it was all over and Barth settled for 8th place with a lap time that on paper would have been third or fourth against more powerful RSR’s.

Jurgen Knocked em - ps

In the end, and in horse-speak, Barth “spanked” the field. But, for us amateurs, it’s not a punishment. It’s a lesson. A little tutorial that provides an aspiration for the next time we ride into an arena or drive out of the pits.

Lizett Bond, October 2013

Mea Culpa, I failed to credit David Soares for the photos………….

Salt Fever

2009 Bonneville Speed Week

Bonneville Salt Flats and the Speed Week. It is like nowhere else on earth, they tell you….

2009 Bonneville Speed Week

Yeah, sure……….but they are right………..there IS nowhere like it.

2009 Bonneville Speed Week

The pure speed, the free spirit, the sense of freedom and the almost infinite space………………I hear that salt gets into your blood…………….I tested positive for Sodium Chloride…………

2009 Bonneville Speed Week

One day I will go back to the remote salt flats, perhaps you never leave…………..

2009 Bonneville Speed Week
Ry Cooder caught the mood of the addiction to speed on the salt………..

Three o’clock, this morning, I woke up in a dream.
Thought I heard a FlatHead motor roar, I thought I smelled gasoline.
A feeling came upon me, that I ain’t had in years.
Something like a hot dry wind, whistling past my ears.
Saying “Time, Time, Time is all you got”.
There’s a memory that’s still burning, way down in my mind.
And that’s why, I’m going out and trying, a FlatHead one more time.

I ain’t seen my racing buddies in thirty years, or more.
One by one I lost them, out on the dry lake floor.
We learnt to push those FlatHead cars as hard as they could go.
Just like old Whiskey Bob, down on Thunder Road.
I hear their voices calling, just across the finish line.
And that’s why, I’m going out and trying, a FlatHead one more time.

I’ll get back to you baby, don’t you have no fear.
‘Cos I been there, and I wrecked that, and baby I’m still here.
But I can’t take you with me, when I cross the finish line.
And that’s why, I’m going out and trying, a FlatHead, one, more, time.

Time,

Time,

Time is all you got………………………………….

2009 Bonneville Speed Week

John Brooks, October 2013