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.
Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
More marvelous scenes from El Salvador’s racing scene. Shot by Dr. Carlos Alvarez and provided to the Chicane by George Kehler, the little-seen footage of the 1960 running of the Santa Ana races on the streets of El Salvador has some fantastic vintage Formula Libre racing action.
Keep an eye peeled for two Porsche RSK Spyders driven by Americans David Lane (in the white RSK) and Chuck Cassel (in silver). Whether word of San Salvador’s racing scene had finally made it up to the States, or if Chuck and David were just hitting everything they could in the hemisphere, I don’t know. But I can’t help that think that he saw the writing on the wall for street courses and wanted in while he could.
By 1960, street racing was all but done in the USA, but it’s likely from Chuck Cassell’s participation at this race in San Salvador, and in Nassau two months earlier, that he must have wanted a taste of the thrill of true road racing before it disappeared entirely. These scenes both demonstrate why street courses are so amazing, and why they’re so very dangerous. Getting around these simple roads is, for me (and I think many of you agree), the purest form of racing. But those curbs and surface changes and light poles and, oh yes, surging throngs of spectators wandering much to far onto the racing line, make it clear that the format was meant for extinction.
More from the Alvarez/Kehler archives here.
Let’s ride along with team Triumph at the 1961 LeMans 24 Hours race, shall we? I don’t know why every TR4 owner doesn’t have their car painted in this livery. That huge gumball on the rear decklid is such a bold graphic statement that it makes other early-60s racing graphics immediately look so stodgy by comparison.
You know that I love seeing this track action, but the first segment of the film in the pits almost does more to place me in the era. After all, we’ll be able to attend events and see many of these very cars race again, but will be ever be able to wander the pits like this? Just another reason why I hope Goodwood’s ethos of embracing the entire era catches on with more vintage racing events.
Thanks for sending this one in, Mandy!
That sounds more than a bit obvious of course. But this clip is a rare opportunity to give you some basis of comparison. Of course, we usually only see Formula 1 cars being driven around other Formula 1 cars. One is a few tenths faster than another, but what are these machines like when running next to something we know, like a typical econobox, or even a high performance road car? McLaren answers in this unusual scenario they hosted at Estoril in February of 1991.
Here’s the setup: Gareth Rees leaves the starting grid in a 1.6 liter Honda Concert. 20 seconds later, Alan McNish leaves the grid in a Porsche 911 Turbo. For the next 55 seconds, we watch McNish catch up to Rees. What seems like an eternity (1 minute 15 seconds) after the Honda started the 2 1/2 mile lap, Ayrton Senna departs in his McLaren. A minute later, and still on the first lap, Senna passes them both.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that he would, but watching that McLaren’s closing speed on the road cars really highlights how an F1 machine is just an entirely different animal from a road car.
Final Lap Times:
1) Ayrton Senna – McLaren – 1:14:00
2) Alan McNish – Porsche – 2:08:00
3) Gareth Rees – Honda – 2:28:00
via McLaren Soul
From the Cinecetta soundtrack, so the gorgeous machines, to the charm of the man at the heart of this short documentary, “Porsche, Ferrari, Bizzarini and Other Fundamental Steps in Life” is beautiful and romantic.
Luciano Rupolo is absolutely inspiring. I envy those that were able to get into vintage racing in the 70′s; a time when you could buy a car like a Giannini 750 Sport as a teenager.
The man has built a hell of a garage in the years since. I love his admiration for his cars, his reverence for his cars, but also his more carefree attitude about them. I equally cringe and applaud when he spins donuts alongside a brick wall in his Iso Grif Competizione or sets his metal cornered briefcase on the bonnet of his Ferrari 250 GT/E. Be sure to watch through his story of finding and restoring what is arguably the oldest Porsche in the world.
The video piece created by Marcio Bukowski to accompany TV Globo!’s coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix got some attention right after the race but I hadn’t seen this “behind the scenes” feature on the transformations themselves until the animated gifs started making the rounds. Here’s a copy in HD glory. That moment when the Lotus windscreen rotates over the driver’s head and his helmet is suddenly Jim Clark blue—perfect. Really all the driver changes do so much to add to the soul of the piece.
For some context, you can also see them incorporated into the finished piece below. Fantastic stuff.
Let’s keep this train rolling and just go all-in on the Monzanapolis races with the “Monza Challenge” film from the ’57 race.
I’ve never seen this film before. Maybe this is widely known footage that I’ve just been missing out on, but even the thought of new footage surfacing decades later is compelling.
Enter the Austin Healey Sprite
Roy Salvadori takes the Sprite into a bend …a touch on the brakes …drop down to third …into controlled drift …foot hard down in third
On the reverse of this ad was printed the chassis and drivetrain. Holding the ad to a window showed an “x-ray view” of the car. Creating an interactive print ad in 1958 is pretty impressive.
What’s more, here’s video of Roy Salvadori’s referenced road test of the Sprite at Silverstone:
VSCDA Racer and occasional Chicane contributor Eric Dean is no stranger to stunning Formula Ford and Formula Vee restorations. For his most recent project, Eric has virtually opened up his garage and cracked a few Stroh’s so we can build a 1969 Merlyn Mk11A Formula Ford along with him.
You can really see the level of effort that goes in to making even a simple racing car this well prepared. Whenever I see these time lapse videos, I’m pulled in two directions at once. Part of me looks at these, and thinks, “There. That doesn’t look impossible. This guy is practically doing it by himself.” But time lapse is deceptive. If we slowed this video down and watched even a single afternoon of restoration in real-time, we would start to realize the hundreds of hours of meticulous work that is really behind these restorations.
Television audiences have come to expect that gorgeous automotive restorations can get done in 5 days. I think that devalues the real artistry, engineering, and skill that goes into shaving decades off a car’s age. Making a car as good as it was the day it left the workshop—or better—is no small task. It’s almost an insult to think that anything of this level of quality can be carelessly rushed.
That racers like Eric take on these projects is admirable. That they can then get in the pilot’s seat and put thoughts of the hundreds or thousands of hours of effort out of their minds while they squeeze a few more tenths out of a lap in high traffic… Well, that’s something else. I must be foolish to think that it’s not the risk to life and limb, but the risk of sacrificing all this effort that is some additional bravery.
Congratulations Eric, she’s gorgeous.