Recent updates

14 days

News and results

Hey You!

Michael & Andrew Cotton



Scrutineering Bay

Kerry Morse

Not that it's any of my business

John Brooks

Notes from the Cellar

Across the Border


Focal Point








Mail  to a friend


Penalty Box


Family and friends

Your comments

Postcards from the edge

Index Index
Back Back


Urban Sprawl
The Right Crowd and No Crowding
Hugh Hefner's Handbook
Mama, when you see me, don't forget I'm your Boy too...........
Norm and the God Ole Boys
Strange but true...........a Spurs fan in the Central Highlands
Now where DID I put it?
A Daytona Prototype Prototype
Never seen at Le Mans.............LITE beer whatever that might be...........
Pole Position
A Real Lady.......No Checkered Past Here
The Right Side of the Tracks
Oh the shark has such teeth, dear and he shows them pearly white
sportscarpros Notes from the Cellar

Features and pieces by John Brooks

Bring me your Huddled Masses or Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia?

We the people……..
To the Central Highlands of Florida and the classic event known as the 12 Hours of Sebring. Here participation is not confined to those pounding around the bumps of the track. The crowd itself is famous for joining into the spirit of things creating an atmosphere unique in racing. This tradition attracts more than a fair share of exhibitionists, lunatics, deviants, perverts, saddoes and genuine race fans.

Gotham City
This lusty mob turns up in force (115,000 this year, allegedly) and comes fully equipped with RVs, caravans, tents, etc., creating a small town with a style like no other. On the gate there was listed out the usual collection of dos and don'ts (mainly the latter, this being the USA), no scaffolding over 61 feet, no peting, and no guns past this point…maybe some of these ordinances had been altered by the will (or the spray cans) of the people, democracy in action at grass roots.

The Right Crowd
Don Panoz has as the catchy marketing hook for his series the expression "for the fans." I decided that this needed investigation… would they be they be the American equivalent of the crowds that flock to Wimbledon, Henley, Ascot hampers bulging with canapés and Champagne or would they be more like our soccer fans……?……..On night practice at turn ten I encountered a howling bunch indulging in the familiar manly pastimes of drinking heavily, talking bollocks and trying to charm any passing female with witty repartee.

Tax Return
I fired the camera at the mob to record the scenario for posterity and was met with enquiries as to my affiliation (actually they didn't use that expression!) and being English and trying some gay banter of my own I replied that I was with the IRS. This seemed to dangerously excite the masses who hurled abuse, cans and bottles in my general direction. As I beat a hasty retreat I felt a pang of sorrow at the voice crying plaintively above the rest "Where's my cheque?" It is a sorry indictment of public servants that their sloth had driven a man so low as to behave like a beast…..all because of a tax refund.

Blondes Have More Fun
My appetite was wetted for further exploration and I decided to go back next evening before the sun went down and the moon returned to inflame the passions of the hordes. My colleague for the journey into uncharted lands was Sabine Hoffman; BMW's photographer and on the way we bumped into JJ Lehto and Tommy Kristensen, the race pole sitters, and persuaded them to come too.

La Bomba
The first outpost reached was that of a collection known as La Bomba Racing. Quick to recognise their illustrious guests the offered hospitality and ended up signing the two drivers for next year's event……at least that's what I think they said…. remember folks you heard it here first.

I have come from Akaba
From here we toured deeper into the dwellings till we came upon the howlers from the night before who actually turned out to be really hospitable offering food and drink to weary travelers in the manner of Bedouins. JJ and Tommy made themselves very popular by joining in the spirit of the thing and having a ball like everyone else…real regular guys except they could drive fast too. Autographs signed we moved down the lot.

In Every Dream Home a Heartache
A strange phenomena observed but nevertheless widespread in Green Park was the presence of mannequins and blow up dolls at many of the tents and RVs …. maybe Sebring offers a chance to have a date with the girlfriend without too much notice being taken, certainly it was more prevalent than is healthy.

Vanilla Fudge
Also at the extreme end of the scale was an RV dedicated to Frank Zappa and his early seventies classic album "Live at the Filmore East" (remember albums?). The focus was on a little ditty called "Mudshark" which is an everyday tale of rockers, groupies, drugs, drink and of course mud sharks fished out of the creek at the Edgewater Inn, Seattle. Why you ask? Who knows or cares? Gimme another beer.

Close but no Cigar

Other weird sights were men dressed up in cow suits with plastic udders, looking for all the world like the Laughing Cow Cheese packet. Also a life size cut out of Hilary Clinton with cigars inserted in inappropriate places. Saddest were the signs offering wet T-shirt competitions, show us your tits requests, etc., surely no takers except in their little minds.

Refreshments were served
As we wondered around, the boys signing programmes, T-shirts or walls and we two snapping away I was struck by just how friendly everyone was. We were greeted as royalty wherever we went, mind you that may have a lot to do with the two blondes we had with us. Sure it was still light and the drink (or other recreational diversions) had not yet taken hold but the girls (and boys) just wanted to have fun.

Party Poopers
Naturally among a six figure crowd there were some who were not so good natured, in particular a bunch of deviant assholes near the hairpin who put a dent in the roof of my car when I would not stop and listen to their dribble or "pay duh tax". I hoped that the car behind was driven by a 340-pound ex-third string tackle from the Alabama State University still bitter about not making the first team. Mind you what can you expect from the sort of chaps who wear ski goggles, ice hockey goalie masks and sport some sort of suede codpieces and have a baby doll nailed to the hood of their car? These mutts needed putting to sleep.

Soul Survivor
There were many similarities between the Sebring and Le Mans crowds….most seemed to be real race fans who liked to party hard…also the heat and dust that pervaded the atmosphere would have been familiar to any visitors to La Sarthe in June. Another common feature of the two classics is the state of the survivors in the spectator areas when dawn breaks after a night on the liquor. The 1000 yard stare, the can of beer for breakfast and the horrendous hangover made much worse by the howling din from track as the loonies in the race pound on remorselessly are commonplace. The Sebring crowd looked a shade worse than the other mob at La Sarthe, Altamont compared with Woodstock.

Raw Meat against Steak Frites.

John Brooks

Top of Page