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racing like it used to be???


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#1 jmcgavin

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 08:23

I was watching the superbike racing from Brands Hatch, drivers swapping places at the front, a driver starting slow then working his way through the field as those in front started to lose their tyres, no fuel stops or tyre changes and it struck me from reports of f1 in the 60's, was that what F1 was like?? Just want to make it clear i'm not trying to start any kind of is racing now better/worse than it was then as thats been done to death....

Sorry if mentioning bikes in here is a form of heresy

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 08:57

It's entirely too true... it was like that. You had to wait and see how a race would develop, each driver working a strategy that suited him and his car... except for Clark, who always seemed to jet off out in front.

#3 jmcgavin

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 11:01

Really, wow i have to admit i've really been enjoying some of the superbikes races for this reason, it almost seems to be a bit of taster of what f1 used to be like, they had Derek Warwick interviewed on the grid and he was saying he'd now take superbikes over f1 at any time.

Not sure about that but some of the scenes ie drivers throwing their gear into the crowd. One driver on intermediates closing in on others on wets 3 secs a lap as the track dried out a the end.

If that was the case i sort of wish i was 20 years older...

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 11:09

Do you want to swap ages with me?

#5 jmcgavin

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:04

28, so i really didn't get into f1 until about 82, the earliest race i can remember watching was the Austrian GP that year, althoough I'm sure I can remember watched Pironi winning at Zandvort and of course Gilles crashing. So any pre-82 has been strictly movies and books

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:05

Maybe I shouldn't have rashly offered this trade... check the Amon thread for why...

#7 Maldwyn

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:17

Was there really so much more overtaking in the 60's compared to the modern day?
I was never fortunate to see Clark,Gurney,Amon etc "live" and so my view is coloured by video highlights which concentrate on the great Monza slipstream battles for example, but was it always like this?

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:52

In races I saw, which include no World Championship races, but sticking to Tasman Cup events, passing did happen.
There were, for instance, a number of changes of the lead in the 1964 Sandown event before one of the protagonists blew their engine.
At Warwick Farm we saw Matich take the lead away from Brabham on the third lap, holding that until he spun, while Hill was overtaken by both McLaren and Mayer as they chased after Brabham.
In 1965 Warwick Farm saw a demon outbrake-and-run-around the outside of Hill for the lead, while Brabham passed Matich for third late in the race. At Sandown Brabham had to successively pass Matich and Clark to hit the front, while Bib Stillwell had a lunge at Phil Hill and passed him, following this by duelling with McLaren for a while before assuming a position of dominance.
More was to come out in front, however. Clark turned up the wick and repassed Brabham, but was in turn repassed four laps later. All the while Frank Gardner and Jim Palmer, in similar Brabhams, were passing and repassing.
The following week at Longford left me with indelible memories. You might say, of course, that its long straights encouraged slipstreaming, but there was more to the circuit than, say, Rheims, and Phil Hill's passing of Jim Clark over the Long Bridge (surprising all who were watching), was a highlight.
In that race there were four drivers who held places three to five at some time... and three who held one to four at some time, the whole order being in a state of flux for the duration of the 120-mile race.
Then, with most others going home, only Matich and Clark of the front-runners went to Lakeside the next week for a non-title race. They were to change places many times as they battled, before Matich had to pit, then he returned and resumed station ahead of Clark, but a lap behind.
Yes, I'm sure you'll agree it all had an air of greater expectation about it. No planned pit stops, no certainty of strategies. Just racing.

#9 Maldwyn

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 14:04

I guess that answers my question :) It was called motor RACING after all...no wings and fins of course.





#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 14:07

You bring to mind Hawthorn's account of the 1958 German GP, where he was tooling around with Collins when Lewis Evans (or was it Brooks?) came up behind them, and then went by. Collins, with his engine down on power, took up the chase, and there was a bit of shuffling of places before he crashed.

#11 Maldwyn

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 14:21

Wasn't Brooks following Collins and Hawthorn just before the accident? I need to refer to Mon Ami Mate again.

Fangio's drive at the Nurburgring the year before was classic racing by all accounts.

#12 jmcgavin

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 16:49

One of the the main elements that seems to be missing these days from what you're saying is pacing. With pit stops drivers are obliged to race flat out start to finish.
One of the major skills with older drivers seemed to be pacing yourself, the car, the tires, most drivers unless Clark perhaps if they went racing off into the distance would then be in serios problems by two thirds of the race

Would you say this was right, blistering pace, but employed when necessary???

#13 CVAndrw

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 17:09

Originally posted by Maldwyn
Fangio's drive at the Nurburgring the year before was classic racing by all accounts.


A can of worms here, indeed. Funny thing, it's drives like Fangio's that I've thought of on Schumacher's greatest afternoons: that ability to string together what are basically 10/10ths qualifying laps when everyone else is in race mode- a performance that really has nothing to do with passing, as the other cars on the circuit become irrelevant.

Yeah, I've watched Arnoux vs. Villeneuve over and over, and that kind of stuff is entertaining, no argument. But it's not as inspiring as for example, DSJ's account of walking through the Karussell after the race and picking up the bits of concrete Fangio had chipped off the curbing, hitting the apex within an inch lap after lap after lap. I'm appalled to admit I actually agree with Mosely, that too much passing or scoring can cheapen the whole spectacle, whether it be Superbikes, NASCAR or the NBA- you can easily skip the whole event and just tune in for the last lap or the last five minutes.

But what the hell- maybe Sam Posey got it right last Sunday: if we really want a return to the on-track thrills of yesteryear, forget changing wings or those goofy tires, just make all the circuits half again as wide (sorry, Monaco). I would imagine a current Superbike at full lean with the rider hung off the saddle occupies about the same amount of circuit as a 1.5 liter GP car tracking around (remember, they didn't drift at that time). So rejoice- Indy and Sepang seem to be the current state of the art.

As for me, I'd still rather watch the in-car from Senna's Monaco qualifying than a hundred passes like Mika's at Spa...

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 21:32

Whether it was Brooks or Lewis-Evans, just before the accident they were following, then when Moss dropped out of the lead they came up and passed, with a dice with Collins ensuing...

#15 oldtimer

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Posted 25 October 2000 - 03:51

Definitely Brooks in the 1958 German GP. Lewis-Evans was not entered. Brooks was let off the leash when Moss went out, and made up considerable time on Hawthorn and Collins before passing them, almost a strange repeat of the previous year when Fangio did the same thing.

Brooks could be considered a maestro on the Nurburgring. Apart from the Vanwall drive, there were some great wins and drives for Aston Martin in the 1000km sports car races at the Nurburgring.

Who is Tony Brooks? A racing driver who had a very refined understanding of slip angles of the tyres they used in those days. I've never saw him, or any picture of him, with the rear end out of line.

#16 jmcgavin

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Posted 25 October 2000 - 10:47

Thanks for the Amon posting Ray, its sad to think in some ways that an entire era has passed and I never got to see any of those drivers at first hand. All anyone my age or younger has got books, a few fairly small video clips and the Grand Prix film apart from that you relay on memories which is why forums like this are so important.

When myself and some friends were watching the GP film the over-riding impressions were

everything looked so DANGEROUS, Spa in the wet!!!
the drivers talked about the possibility of dying or were asked about it all the time

It really bought it home that attitudes were totally different, you really did have a very high chance of never getting to retirement.

Its totally different for people of my age, even goign back to when I started watching GPs 18 years ago, the numbers of F1 drivers who've died including in testing you can count on the finger of one hand. Far cry from 67-73, you hear some of the stories of racing and safety and it seems to come from a different world

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 October 2000 - 12:23

To be honest, when I started out on that little adventure, I thought not of where it was leading. I just wanted to picture what it was like last night... after NZ had gone to bed and the lights were all out, and the thought of Teretonga came to me, and it's raining here, so why not there?
The rest just rolled along, and I was inspired to take that line, to think about who was left, to think about who was gone.
It's nice that some have complimented me in such a way as they have over it, and I thank you all.
After all, once we have learned something here, the next purpose in our existence is to contribute...