Another Sunday morning comin' down
The old El Toro airbase is located a few miles from my house in Irvine. Last
Sunday morning I was looking at a 911R that was in a warehouse just the
opposite side of the base when my friend Chris O' Donnell pulled up in his Cobra.
We were standing outside near a fence that surrounded the base when a shrill,
high pitched sound and rapid gear changes emanated from the old military
runway. "Hewland ?" wondered Chris. "Nah, sequential", I muttered. Nothing like a
mechanical rhapsody for a Sunday. We decided to drive over to the base and see
what was going on.
The weather last Sunday was that weird, is it fall, gray skies look that doesn’t
happen much out here. Upon entering the base, it reminded me more of a typical
English morning and what should be parked at one side of the long runway but
the green transporter of the Aston Martin team. How RAF the place looked…
George, Sarah, the rest of the team, Lamy, Sarrazin, etc. And surprise ! Rick Dole
was in attendance snapping away. The reason for the visit to El Toro was to finish
a story for a major U.S. automotive rag and the old airbase was a perfect place to
conduct acceleration runs. The ripping sound of a DBR 9 running solo is a
beautiful thing, the separation of sound with nothing else to interrupt the flow.
The night before it was more the GQ look of Aston PR major dude Geno Effler as
the team were at a VIP gig in Beverly Hills. One of those dealer shows in a town
that is important to Aston sales and by all accounts, a great turnout. As the
transport pulled out and headed up for the short trip to Monterey, a few of the team
wandered over to inspect Chris' alloy bodied snake. As one of the team members
said, nice to have a no pressure Sunday.
Give me steam !
The ongoing linear narrative of the ALMS has been for several years, "if you knew
what I knew".
I would like to know what exactly it is that we don’t know. A few years ago there
was a major press conference held at Sebring announcing Mazda back in the fold
as a supplier. By all accounts, the program has done nothing for Mazda and the
only benefit for the series has been a grid filler for a class that should have a
dozen entries. And please, that silliness issued earlier for the on going non-
showing of the Norelco due to damage suffered from a race how long ago ?
Where were the parts coming from for the repair, Pluto ? Contrast that with what
Intersport went through rebuilding their car after horsewoman Halliday put their
LMP2 through a hurdle or two. The result was they were out front for most of Petit.
There is a word for that kind of effort: commitment.
So off I go to Laguna Seca ( one of Mazda's better uses of funds ) in the morning to
get some answers from the players involved. Based on what I have seen in 2006 it
wont be difficult to sort the plastic from the cash and the culture from the trash.
Besides, Tony Dowe called and wants me to explain to him why he is doing what
he is doing.
Sure Tony, and find a bar for us that can make a proper Pimm's Cup. It’s a good
tonic to end the season with…