For Racing Fans Only!
Written by Scott E. Townsend
It is a passion I have had for years...car racing. I love everything about it, watching F1 or Indy CART racing on TV, going to Grand Prix races and being part of the specticle, and reading magazines about all the various cars, drivers, and events. My first event was the IMSA race in Monterey when I was a kid of around 9--and that event stoked the flame of racing ever since.
Later, when I was living in Spain, I had the unique opportunity to catch some Formula 1 action. In 1972 I went to the Grand Prix of Madrid at the Jarama race track, and then in 1974 attended the Grand Prix in Barcelona at Montquich. More recently, I attended the inaugural Grand Prix for CART at the Chicago Motor Speedway just outside of Chicago last year. This year, being a Hoosier, I just had to go down to Indianapolis for the very first time. What a thrill...despite the rain!
But my favorite type of racing has to be the American LeMans Series races that use the same cars and drivers that the 24 hours of LeMans does outside of Paris, France each year. It must be the mystique of racing during daylight and going on through the night into dawn of the next day. The sight and sound of high performance race cars as there blazingly bright headlights shine on various sections of the track that leaves the impressionable very breathless.
One of the things that makes the LeMans events so unusual is that it is really three races in one. No other type of racing will have three classes of race cars on the track, at the same time, racing for the checkered flag. The LMR group is the unlimited open class and these are typically open cockpit races with immense horsepower and handling capability. The GTS class is more familiar, with the Dodge Viper, Chevy Corvette, and Saleen Mustang leading the pack. Finally, the GT class contains numerous Porsche and a few BMW M3's.
This year, I determined to become a little more than just a TV viewer, and set out to attend one of these events. After determining that the August 6th race just North of Toronto was the closest venue, I began to plan my trip. I needed some time to myself, to think, to reflect, and to recalibrate my life. I also wanted the experience of doing a major ride by myself, something that would take me out of my comfort zone, and challenge me to experience new adventures, new places, and hopefully make some friends along the way. I was not dissapointed.
|One thing I was absolutely resolved to do is to travel light! I left for my trip on Thursday August 3rd with just my TourMaster tank bag and a book bag filled with enough underwear to insure that if I got into an accident, the nurses in the emergency room wouldn't have a major problem :) Anyway, the weather was somewhat cooperating, in was overcast and threatening, but did not rain|