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New Mark Donohue biography by Michael Argetsinger


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#1 VWV

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 00:11

I just saw this at the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) web site. I can't wait to attend. http://www.racingarchives.org/

IMRRC and WGI announce exciting programs for the April 25-26 weekend

OPENING WEEKEND AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL TO FEATURE A MARK DONOHUE TRIBUTE

Weekend Long Celebration Includes the Release of the Donohue Biography Authored by Michael Argetsinger

Watkins Glen, NY (January 23, 2009) - Opening Day at Watkins Glen International has traditionally been the day that fans can drive the historic 3.4-mile road course to celebrate the opening of a new season. Watkins Glen International (WGI) and the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) announced today that the 2009 activity will feature both the opening of the 61st racing season in The Glen and a two-day tribute to Mark Donohue and his cars. Highlights of the weekend will include; the first release of the new Mark Donohue biography (not yet titled) from David Bull Publishing, authored by Michael Argetsinger, a display and tribute laps with historic Donohue race cars at the track, and public availability of Donohue’s friends, family, and team personnel.



On Saturday, April 25th Mark Donohue racing enthusiasts will have a chance to get up-close with Argetsinger during the monthly “Center Conversation” hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) from 1 to 3pm. Michael Argetsinger is the son of Cameron Argetsinger, the man credited with bringing road racing to Upstate New York and making Watkins Glen and Watkins Glen International household names worldwide. Argetsinger's first book,” Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War American Road Racing” was critically acclaimed and received a Gold Medal for biography and was named Best of Books for 2006 at the International Automotive Media Awards. The talk will focus on Argetsinger’s new book and will feature comments and recollections by some of the people who were part of Donohue’s career including; Karl Kainhofer, Malcolm Starr, Jerry Kroninger, Walter Czarnecki, John Woodard, Don Cox, Daniel Luginbuhl and Mark’s oldest son, Michael Donohue. Admission to this event is free and several of the former Donohue racecars will be on display before and after the presentation.

On, Sunday, April 26th, Watkins Glen International will be the place to be for every Mark Donohue race fan. The new Donohue biography will be available for purchase to the general public for the first time and race fans will have the opportunity to have the book autographed by the author and several Donohue personalities. From 12-12:30pm fans will also be treated to” tribute laps” by some of the race cars that were driven by Donohue including: a Lola T70 Can Am car, a Eagle-Offy that raced in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, a 1968 Trans Am Camaro, Donohue's first race car - the 1961 National Championship winning Elva Courier, and the 1965 Shelby GT 350R that he drove to win the 1965 SCCA North East, B production championship - to name but a few. Immediately following the tribute laps, the cars, drivers and many of the people associated with Donohue’s career will conduct a meet-and-greet in the Gatorade Victory Lane, offering fans a chance to see the cars up close, take photographs and another chance to have their copy of the Donohue book signed by Argetsinger and the many personalities who will be in attendance.

Opening Day at WGI will once again offer fans the opportunity to drive The Soul of American Road Racing. For only $20 fans will be able to drive three laps around the same turns as Mark Donohue and many other motor sport legends. Gates will open at 9:00am, with laps starting at 10:00am and ending at 3:00pm, including a half hour break for the Tribute Laps at noon. Sunday will also be the final opportunity for race fans to purchase tickets at Advance Sale discount prices. Further event and ticket information for the 2009 season at Watkins Glen International can be found at www.theGlen.com or by calling the ticket office at 866.461.RACE

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#2 weisler

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:28

Great to hear!

"The Unfair Advantage" is one of my favorite racing novels. I'm looking forward to this biography. Mark is one of my all time favorite drivers as well. Being an engineer myself, I've always had a lot of respect for his ability to develop and race a car.

Thanks for the heads up!

#3 red stick

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:14

On the basis of the Hansgen biography, I'm very much looking forward to this.



"The Unfair Advantage" is a novel? :rolleyes:

#4 RA Historian

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 18:10

Originally posted by red stick
"The Unfair Advantage" is a novel? :rolleyes:

maybe just to the scrutineers......
Tom

#5 philippe charuest

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 19:03

not a judgment specific about "the unfair advantage" that i never had the chance to read ,but many of those drivers bio are often more a novel then anything else. about the "though early days" booohh when we all know that they were coming from stinking rich family ;) buying there f3-fford whatever with there "pocket money"

#6 B Squared

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 19:24

"not a judgment specific about "the unfair advantage" that i never had the chance to read ,but many of those drivers bio are often more a novel then anything else. about the "though early days" booohh when we all know that they were coming from stinking rich family buying there f3-fford whatever with there "pocket money"" philippe charuest

How sad to be so jaded. The wealth of car builders, sponsors, benefactors, track owners, and race drivers' families (in some cases) is as old as the sport itself. If that is something to which you have such an aversion to... I simply must ask, how can you stand to even be a fan of the sport with money so rampant throughout?

Michael - I can't wait to see the final product! Thank you for taking on this fantastic project. Sincerely,

Brian

#7 philippe charuest

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 20:11

Originally posted by B Squared


How sad to be so jaded. The wealth of car builders, sponsors, benefactors, track owners, and race drivers' families (in some cases) is as old as the sport itself. If that is something to which you have such an aversion to... I simply must ask, how can you stand to even be a fan of the sport with money so rampant throughout?



Brian

i dont know myself .its a guilty pleasure ;) its sure that in a utopic society motorsport wouldnt exist anymore for so many reasons . still theres some case of drivers who "really came from blue collar family gilles villeneuve for instance, i always have more respect at a kart track for a 18 years old guy who start in karting with a used kart carried on the top of a rotten toyota that he paid with his work then for a ten years old with a 50 foot truck full of spare frame and engines and so on ,with mechanics and a 2 thousand dollars paint job on his helmet

#8 B Squared

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 21:16

phillippe - My main objection is that your comments about the rich, do not apply to Mark Donohue. He is from the mould which you describe as having more respect for; those who "work for it".

You certainly don't need to read all of "The Unfair Advantage". The following is from the introduction of that book.

"Mark Donohue wasn't born a great racing driver. Slowly and painstakingly he made himself a great racing driver - through sixteen years of incredibly intense hard work. It was the kind of effort that could have made him just as successful in any other career.

I've known and worked with Mark for a number of years, and I can safely say that he is as real a person as anyone who reads this book. He has many of the same faults, virtues, feelings, problems, illnesses, and worries as all of us "mere mortals" who have watched him rise to fame. Some less successful drivers have become racing legends through amazing traits or physical abilities, or a colorful off-track life, or a flashy driving style. But the quality that has made Mark a legend is his motivation.

From what I've learned about technology and psychology, and now about Mark Donohue, I'm sure that many drivers could be made into as good of race driver - given enough time and money and his intense motivation. That's not to say that Mark did it because he had wealth or a great deal of idle time. He started out like any other average, hopeful amateur racer. But he overcame his shortage of time and money through a natural friendliness, which caught the attention of people who could help him realize his potential. The question is not whether a person could become a Mark Donohue, but whether it was worth the personal sacrifice."

by Paul Van Valkenburgh

While you may have some valid points about "stinking rich" drivers - they should not be part of a Mark Donohue discussion.

Below is a picture I just located yesterday that I took of Mark immediately after his 7th place rookie finish of 1969 in Indy. Until late magneto trouble, he was placed 3rd or 4th. I think the team was a bit disappointed, despite their fine effort. I was using a Kodak "Flashfun II Hawkeye" camera - If I would have had todays equipment, I could have duplicated the famous 1953 Bill Vukovich after race shot! Mark is to the right of the wall clock, sitting on the bench.

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photo: B2 Design

Brian

#9 weisler

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 22:49

Originally posted by red stick
On the basis of the Hansgen biography, I'm very much looking forward to this.



"The Unfair Advantage" is a novel? :rolleyes:


Yikes! Novel was a very poor word choice on my part!!!! :drunk: Note to self: re-read post when writing after more than 2 scotches....

Mark is one of my all time fav's, and "The Unfair Advantage" is one of my all time favorite racing biography's !!!

#10 Lotus23

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 23:28

If Mike's Donohue bio is half as good as his Hansgen book was, I plan to buy it as soon as it becomes available.

I saw Mark run on a number of occasions, and had a couple of post-race chats with him. He and I were about the same age, and we were both trained as engineers at New England schools, so I always felt something of a kinship with him.

I was surprised that Mark was just 26 days younger than Roger Penske. RP always seemed much older.

#11 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 14:14

I sincerely hope that everyone who can possibly make it to Watkins Glen on 25 April to hear Mike's discussion on Mark Donohue will do so. I truly regret that I will not be able to make it that weekend, but I have not figured out how to get around the 13,000+ mile commute.....

#12 terry mcgrath

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 14:50

does anyone have an email adress for Michael Argetsinger
terry


Michael Argetsinger

#13 Kpy

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 14:55

Originally posted by terry mcgrath
does anyone have an email adress for Michael Argetsinger
terry


Michael Argetsinger


Have sent PM

#14 B Squared

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 15:17

"I sincerely hope that everyone who can possibly make it to Watkins Glen on 25 April to hear Mike's discussion on Mark Donohue will do so." HDonaldCapps

I have the dates marked off in my calendar. I'm going to do my all to be there. Sorry that we'll be unable to meet. Surely another time after your safe return.

Brian

#15 red stick

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 18:12

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
I sincerely hope that everyone who can possibly make it to Watkins Glen on 25 April to hear Mike's discussion on Mark Donohue will do so. I truly regret that I will not be able to make it that weekend, but I have not figured out how to get around the 13,000+ mile commute.....


Bit of a reach for a weekend pass . . .


Thankfully, the IMRRC has been very good at making their discussions available later as podcasts. I've listened to a few presentations (the Dresangs and the Donohue Eagle, Milliken's presentation) that way and it really is the next best thing to being there.

And finally, a plug. I've been a member of the IMRRC for several years and thoroughly enjoyed a visit there when I attended the 2005 IndyCar race at the Glen. If you care about preserving motorsport's history and have an opening in your budget for a charitable organization, they're well worth your consideration and generous donations.

#16 red stick

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 18:14

Can't find where I saw it now, but is it true that Mr. Argetsinger's book approaches 600 pages?

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 21:04

I don't know how many pages it will be... but I know the content is incredible...

For a start, all the tapes that Paul Van Valkenburgh made with Mark, and there was many hours of them, were given to Mike by Michael when Mike went to visit him. It totally overwhelmed Mike at that stage as much of the book had already been written.

But as he drove back across the country to Chicago he played them and gleaned some extra information from them. The big difference, of course, between the biography and The Unfair Advantage is that Mike's book focusses on the person rather than the technical... so much of what Donohue had to say in those tapes was superfluous to the first book.

Naturally enough, a great deal was edited in to the existing chapters, which means, of course, that there is some direct Mark Donohue input into the book. Fresh, never been published before, quotes from a man unfortunately snatched from our midst over thirty years ago.

In addition, Mike had over four thousand photos to choose from as he and David Bull sat down (I believe he told me it took three days to do the preliminary sift) to get the best shots to depict Donohue's life.

Don't forget, too, that the subject is a direct carry-on from the Hansgen book. This told the story of a top driver of the time against the background of the politics and influences of US racing of his time. Hansgen had also taken Mark under his wing to a significant degree, so the continuation is quite direct and the development of US racing continues in the background of this book.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the book myself. I have no doubt it will be even better than the Hansgen biography and will be an appropriate reward for Mike's two (or three?) solid years of work on it.

#18 red stick

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 21:18

Thanks for the insight. I was looking forward to it, now I'm looking to pre-order. :up:

#19 B Squared

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 21:44

I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with Michael in Chicago shortly before the Christmas holiday. His attention to detail is astounding, his passion for the sport infectious. He was meeting with Mr. Bull the following day to begin final photo editing. I am quite anxious to see the final product. I'm sure it will be a fine tribute to Mark & all involved in its making.

Brian

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#20 B Squared

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 10:06

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I had posted this for day 66) in the countdown to Australian GP in Racing Comments. More appropriate here. As I'd stated over there, this is the day after unexpectedly losing the pole at Indy in 1971 to Team McLaren's Peter Pevson. You can tell by Mark's posture that he is still less than thrilled by his second place position on the grid. This scenario reminds me so much of 1964 when Jim Clark beat Bobby Marshman to pole after Bobby had dominated the month of May. Come race day, they both were walking away from their respective competitors when they suffered car failures.

It would be great if stories, photos, and Donohue memoribilia could be shared on this thread as a lead up to the release of Michael's book.

I got my first speeding ticket the day Mark's death was announced. I had a 1969 Corvette at the time. It was raining, I was nearly inconsolable. I took the car out for a drive that turned into a "run". The police officer saw me do a beautifully executed four wheel drift exiting a nice set of corners and pulled me over to "compliment" me on my driving skills. :lol: The years since have passed far too quickly.

Brian

#21 red stick

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:21

Originally posted by B Squared
It would be great if stories, photos, and Donohue memoribilia could be shared on this thread as a lead up to the release of Michael's book.


Excellent suggestion.

I was only ten when he died, and learned most of what I know years later. That said, he was my earliest racing hero, if only because he drove a blue car (my favorite color) and was tastefully named Mark. I was aware that racing could be deadly, having seen Indy '73, but was still unprepared when it happened to my hero.

But then, I was considerably older when Senna died and the feeling was just as empty.

#22 B Squared

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 13:05

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photo:Peter Andersen Collection

Another picture of Mark and Roger Penske together that I posted last year in the Paddock Photos thread. They are on the steps of the old tower at Road America in 1968. Below, a couple of autographs garnered that weekend by my late, dear friend Peter, on the event program cover. Mark's among them.

Mark - red stick, thanks for your support.

Brian

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#23 B Squared

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 13:13

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USAC News photo

I'm unaware of the circumstances that led to the above photo. It is at Indianapolis in 1969, Mark is in the roadster that is presented by the Speedway as the John Zink car which Jim Rathman drove to victory in all three heats of the 1958 Monza "Race of Two Worlds".

Brian

#24 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 00:32

Looks like I'll go broke buying books this year.

Jack

#25 RA Historian

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 15:08

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Looks like I'll go broke buying books this year.

Jack

Know the feeling. And the Doug Nye/Phil Hill book is still in the works!
Tom

#26 red stick

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 15:27

Originally posted by RA Historian
Know the feeling. And the Doug Nye/Phil Hill book is still in the works!
Tom


!

Forgot about that one. :head slap:

#27 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 20:55

Originally posted by RA Historian
Know the feeling. And the Doug Nye/Phil Hill book is still in the works!
Tom


Well, I have the Rodriguez Brothers to keep me occupied until Doug finishes. I'm really looking forward to that one. I expect it to be his best ever.....which would be going some!

Jack.

#28 fbarrett

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 21:28

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Looks like I'll go broke buying books this year.

Jack


Jack:

Looks like I'll go broke selling them, too!

Frank

#29 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 21:30

Originally posted by fbarrett


Jack:

Looks like I'll go broke selling them, too!

Frank


bada-BING!! :lol:

Jack.

#30 vashlin

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 22:06

We would dearly love to make it to the Glen in April. But the plan right now is to be in North Carolina that week. The usual "we need to see some actual spring weather!" trek south.

Hope to hear about the weekend on TNF to know what was missed.

Always was a fan of Mark Donahue, not the least because my first car was a '68 Camaro. Loved to see him race that. Below are a few pictures from Watkins Glen 1974. (The one of Mark standing by the car was posted quite some time ago in the photos from the Paddock thread. )


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Lin

#31 B Squared

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 14:07

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photos:B² Design

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Mark Donohue's Lola IndyCar from 1970. The top photo, in 1994, was when I saw it for the first time since David Hobbs drove it at the Speedway in 1971. The lower photo is from Feb., 2004 when it was being restored to its original specs..

Lin, thanks for sharing the great photos from Watkins. I think that the shot from above might be the best I've seen that illustrates the PC1's beautiful lines. (except for that, to me, ugly airbox)

Brian

#32 B Squared

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 17:40

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photo:B² Design

This is a Formula A Lola T190 or T192 at Michigan in 1996, the week of the U.S. 500. I'm sorry, but I do not know enough about this car to correctly identify it. If I remember correctly, it is a true Penske/ Donohue car. My apologies in advance if this is incorrect info. Beautiful nontheless.

Brian

#33 B Squared

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 14:29

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photo: B² Design

Mark's Penske Eagle from 1973 seen at MIS for a vintage event in 2003, IIRC. Owner at that time, Chuck Haines, is seen in the red drivers suit.

Brian

#34 jdanton

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 14:51

Where is the place to stay for the Glen? The wife and I are thinking about making our first trip.

#35 Pils1989

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 15:03

I favor Seneca Lodge and its cuisine but it's wise to book the room two-three weeks in advance.

#36 watkins

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 16:19

If the Lodge is full, try the new place in town...The Harbor Hotel.
http://www.watkinsglenharborhotel.com/

#37 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 16:29

Originally posted by jdanton
Where is the place to stay for the Glen? The wife and I are thinking about making our first trip.


Here is the B&B where we usually stay when we go to Watkins Glen: Echoes of the Glen

It is literally within walking distance from the IMRRC. Plus, Barb & Tom are just great people. We have enjoyed each and every one of our stays there. I highly recommend you try to book the weekend with Barb.

#38 WGD706

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 17:32

Originally posted by B Squared
It would be great if stories, photos, and Donohue memoribilia could be shared on this thread as a lead up to the release of Michael's book.Brian

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In the USGP in 1971, Mark was in the second McLaren M19A but was sharing the car with David Hobbs as he had to fly backwards and forwards to Trenton, where a delayed USAC race was taking place.

#39 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:33

Originally posted by WGD706

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In the USGP in 1971, Mark was in the second McLaren M19A but was sharing the car with David Hobbs as he had to fly backwards and forwards to Trenton, where a delayed USAC race was taking place.


Interesting picture, because the car was no.10 in the race. When was this taken?

Thanks

Nigel

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#40 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:59

Are you sure, Nigel? All the references I have (including the Autosport report) show it as #31, with #10 being Revson in the third Tyrrell. Donohue had been #10 in Canada, though.

#41 WGD706

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 17:20

Originally posted by Nigel Beresford

Interesting picture, because the car was no.10 in the race. When was this taken?
Thanks
Nigel

If I remember correctly, it was taken on Saturday morning during practice and qualifyng.
Warren

#42 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 18:28

Originally posted by Tim Murray
Are you sure, Nigel? All the references I have (including the Autosport report) show it as #31, with #10 being Revson in the third Tyrrell. Donohue had been #10 in Canada, though.


Doh! You're right...I was thinking of Canada. Duped by the rarity of seeing Donohue in the car at Watkins...

Thanks

Nigel

#43 B Squared

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 14:22

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photos: B² Design

Mark's son, David, @ Mid Ohio in 1996. He was then running for PacWest in the short lived CART North American Touring Car Series. David finished the season third in points. I had met Mark in the early '70's, this is the first time I ever met David. He was cordial & friendly and spent about 15) minutes with me, mainly talking of his racing and, of course, Mark.

Brian

#44 Lotus23

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 16:20

iirc, the first time I met Mark was immediately following his Can-Am win at Bridgehampton ('68?). He was very gracious in his hour of triumph.

Many years later I met his son David at the first (and last) Savannah (GA) Hutchinson Island race. David was equally gracious, showing genuine interest as I rattled on about his dad, telling him stories I'm sure he'd heard a dozen times before from geezers like me. Class acts, both father and son.

I remember reading a short article in one of the U.S. magazines (R&T? C&D?) about Mark testing a USAC sprint car just for giggles. He adapted pretty quickly to its idiosyncracies.

The first year of the IROC (International Race of Champions), when they ran Porsches, my dad and I attended the Daytona running of the event. I'm not certain, but I believe Mark won there as well.

#45 B Squared

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 16:46

I spoke with Michael Argetsinger this morning. He wants to convey his sincere thanks to all for the interest in his forthcoming book. He related that the book title has been decided. The title is "Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Speed"

Brian Brown

#46 B Squared

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 15:34

The latest from Michael Argetsinger regarding the April 25 and 26, 2009 Mark Donohue Tribute at Watkins Glen International:

David Donohue will be able to attend the tribute after racing his Brumos Porsche in the Grand Am event at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, April 25. He joins the list of previously announced guests which includes his brother, Michael Donohue, Karl Kainhofer, Malcolm Starr, Jerry Kroninger, Walter Czarnecki, John Woodard, Don Cox, and Daniel Luginbuhl.

Also Michael is pleased to relate that two additional race cars of Mark's will also be at the event. The Penske PC1 Formula 1 car and Mark's 2nd place 1970 Indianapolis 500 Lola are to join the previously listed cars at the Tribute. These include: Lola T70 CanAm car, 1973 Indianapolis Eagle Offy, 1968 TransAm Camaro, 1961 National Championship winning Elva Courier, and 1965 Shelby GT350R.

This is a "must attend" event for me. I hope I'll be able to meet fellow TNF members at Watkins during this event. A look back at a truly great American racing icon. For details and schedule, please see the initial thread announcement.

Thank you,
Brian Brown

#47 LOLE

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 22:58

Pictures of Mark Donohue (copyright Ed Peter)


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#48 B Squared

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 17:35

LOLE - Thanks for the photo contribution :up:

A photo of the Indy Roadster demo'ed by Mark at IMS in 1969, seen in post 23. 1958 Monza winner, Jim Rathman up, Zink owned, Leader Card sponsored. I can't find a chassis buider listed. I think it's a Watson. I've got a call in to Mr. Watson to confirm. I'll know the full history later in the day. This is at IMS in late 1994 or early 1995.


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photo: B²

Brian

#49 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
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Posted 02 March 2009 - 04:48

Originally posted by B Squared
I think it's a Watson.


Kuzma, according to this...Monterey Historic, 2007...

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Vince H.

#50 fines

fines
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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:16

No, it's a 1957 Watson. The Kuzma (a 1957 model, though originally built in '55) won in 1957, as the plaque says.;)