A LEGENDARY WEEKEND IN RIVERSIDE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Tue, Apr 6, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Carroll Shelby at "Legends" Racing Photographer Mark Yeager traveled West to join us at "Legends" on March 26-28, 2010. This was his take on the weekend. Many of his photos will soon be up on the legends site. Thanks, Mark. We all had moments like yours. - Doug Stokes Last weekend I went back to Riverside. Most of you know the track is long gone, but there's a museum dedicated to the track a couple of miles away. I had no idea it even existed until we stumbled across each other by accident about a month ago. Dave Wolin is one the people making this incredible reunion happen. He emailed me and basically said, "You gotta be there." After I looked at who was there last year and going back this year, I started making plans. There was not one person at the reunion that I'd seen since 1988, my last year on the circuit. Some I hadn't seen since 1980. Yikes! Thank God I hadn't gotten older because they sure had! It was pure magic. That's the only way I can describe it. The event is not just set up as a reunion for the drivers, mechanics, press, etc. They also offer it to the public, giving race-fans a chance to go meet their favorite drivers in an informal and no pressure atmosphere and talk with them. Moments in time: Seeing George Follmer more relaxed than I've ever seen him. All of you know him. One of the most intense drivers I've ever met. There's a reason he won those championships. Meeting Tony September for the first time. He was America's first Formula One driver. Tony Adamowiecz talking on his cell phone then tossing it to John Fitzpatrick with the words, "Here, it's Jennifer, Peter Revson's sister. She wanted to be here and couldn't. Just introduce yourself and talk to her." Over my shoulder at that moment was Peter Revson's McLaren M6B. Listening to Dick Gulstrand embellish an old Can-Am story a little too much on the stage only to have Scooter Patrick grab the audience microphone to ask, "Hey Dick, are the tail lights on a 904 round or square? You ought to know since you looked at them all that year!" The audience broke up laughing. Bob Bondurant talking about qualifying at the Targa Florio and Jerry Grant jumping up to bust his story with the words, "You rotten scoundrel, you're supposed to TELL your teammates when you come back in how the car is doing, did it act up anywhere, how was the track, did you HIT A SHEEP???? For cryin' out loud, I get in the car, start my lap, get into a village, find the road blocked by an angry crowd and get a shotgun pointed at my head by the farmer who owned that stupid sheep!" Pete Lyons masterfully MC'ing the Can-Am symposium, bringing drivers up one at a time to talk about their experiences. Follmer talking very matter-of-factly about the very real problem of a Group 7 car getting airborne over a hilltop. John Morton talking about the Nissan prototype that tried to kill him at Lime Rock and his 'moon shot' in the movie Gumball Rally. Scooter Patrick talking about what a thrill it was to win the final Can-Am at Elkhart. George talking about the Captain calling him and asking him to replace Donahue for the rest of a season after Mark broke his legs in a crash. Lou Sells talking about the origins of the F/5000 series. A series that more just 'happened' than was planned or thought out. The only two 'planning sessions' for it were both held in topless/bottomless bars and the notes were kept on napkins. Carroll Shelby, this year's honored guest talking about the homologation games played at Le Mans by everyone, especially Ferrari. Dan Gurney with that same boyish smile on his face signing autographs for fans. Linda Vaughn being--well being Linda Vaughn. Still with that huge smile on her face and a laugh for everyone. Elliot Forbes Robinson, Lothar Motschenbacher, Howden Ganley, Parnelli Jones, Rick Knoop, Denise McCluggage, Tolli Arutunoff, Tom Meehan, the list just goes on and on. It was moments in time. Unforgettable moments. Don't miss this next year. The website is already up. - Mark Yeager For more information about Legends of Riverside, click here