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Onboard a Porsche 935 at Laguna Seca

Turn up those speakers. Damn.

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Onboard for Bridgehampton’s Inaugural Race in 1957

“If you’ve known The Bridge at speed, you’re now in for an emotional jolt.”

True words. In addition to the truck motor under the bonnet, Daniel Stanfill’s hopped-up Austin Healey was also equipped with a miniature camera lens mounted under his rearview. It’s hard to remember how precious and rare this kind of footage was before the GoPro came on the scene and made this kind of footage a matter of course. Footage like this—particularly amateur footage—from 1957 is almost unheard of.

It’s amazing to me how very much these kinks and bends look like rural roads and how little they look like a world class racing facility. We’ve grown so accustomed to wide runoffs and debris catching fences that we’ve forgotten that the greatest racing courses were inspired by twisting country lanes and not inspired by maximum camera angles.

The insightful commentary by John Connolly speaking from his experience with Bridgehampton as his home track is a welcome peek into the track and her history. Hard to believe that he’s describing Bridgehampton of thirty years later as being just as sandy as we see here, where sections of the track are almost completely obscured by windswept sand drifts.

This was one of the good ones. Remember the Bridge.

via Andy Hartwell, who posted this to the Vintage Road Racing Archives.

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Porsche RSK Onboard

Let’s perch on John Higgins shoulder as he pilots a ’59 Porsche 718RSK around Laguna Seca for the 2011 Rennsport Reunion. Man, I’ve got to get to Rennsport one of these years.

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Over-the-shoulder Onboards Are So Passé.

One of the best things about the GoPro is that you can cram the thing anywhere… like the nosecone of a Cooper T-33. Let’s take a spin around the 2013 Silverstone Classic in the JD Classics prepped Cooper.

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Goodwood Goodies: GT40 Onboard

The live stream may be done for the day, but we can still enjoy some of the on-track action at this year’s running of the mighty Goodwood Revival. Let’s ride along with Kenny Brack in what looks to be a quite slippery session with and entire field of Ford GT40s. This is what a whole lot of power with not a whole lot of grip looks like. Kenny has fast hands.

Brave.

Thanks, Goodwood.

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Onboard for the Formula Vee 50th Anniversary Race at Road America

The Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association always has a fantastic grid for their Formula Vee group. With 20 or more racers, it has to be one of the most densely packed Formula Vee grids in the States. Last weekend’s Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival, though, brought even more out to the track to celebrate Formula Vee’s 50th anniversary together with a FV-only feature race. (Edit: Paul just wrote in to tell me that the event drew 34 Formula Vees for the weekend. Yowza!)

What I like most about Jeffrey Tschiltsch’s onboard footage here is that it really showcases one of my favorite aspects of the group: they manage to run really tight. Even towards the end of this video, there’s still five or six cars within a few seconds of each other; never more than a turn apart. Keeping together as a pack and drafting one another in the long straights at Road America makes these little 1200cc powered racers an exercise in true racecraft. After all, there’s not a lot of horsepower to rely on when you make even the smallest mistakes. Sure, taking advantage of every newton of momemtum and using every aerodynamic advantage to try and win is true for every race group, but this particular formula really manages to deliver on similar performance and racing characteristics across a variety of builders. It’s just such a joy to watch.

I have to also give kudos to Jeffrey for actually using YouTube’s usually annoying commenting tools to give some honest commentary for the video, pointing out some hairier moments, some near misses, and even his own mistakes to give us some insight into the on-track thoughts and analysis of the moments that defined the race for him. Thanks for sharing these, Jeffery.

Man, I love Road America.

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Onboard for the 2013 Vintage Revival Montlhéry

If you liked this week’s photos from 2013 Vintage Revival Montlhéry, then I have a feeling you’ll like the view from a 1918 Indian racer.

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More Onboard at the Südschleife

Yesterday’s post had me craving more of the forgotten Sudschleife and now I’m sure of it: If the Nordschleife weren’t right next door this would have been considered a fantastic track.

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Onboard with Fangio at Monaco

These weren’t little GoPros hanging off of the Maestro’s Lancia. Each of these cameras had to be loaded with film, started up, and run a few laps. Then they had to do it again and again so that you don’t see the giant camera in the other angles. It’s easy to dismiss the complexity of these earlier onboard films when we can easily toss a half-dozen or more digital video cameras on a car at every possible angle. It’s part of what makes early onboard footage so precious.

Looking through the slow motion montages in this clip, I have to believe it was part of the inspiration for Saul Bass’s racing sequences in Grand Prix.

via Retro Formula 1

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Onboard for the Fordwater Trophy at Goodwood Revival 2012

From green flag to checkers (and more), Ben Adams lets us ride shotgun for the entirety of the Fordwater Trophy race as he pilots a lovely little Turner-Ford MKII. Ben started in 9th and finished 7th. After a very good start, he spent the bulk of the race between the leading pack and the much larger group a ways behind. I’m glad that he chose to let us see the unfiltered video, rather than editing out the warmup lap and gridding up. It lets us really be a part of the whole experience. This is as close as most of us are likely to get to a seat for the Revival, and I send a hearty thanks to Ben for letting us tag along.

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