Tag Archives: Schultz

Americana Paddock Questions – Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

At the end of May Geoffrey Horton popped along to the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival and kindly sent a large number of photographs, including those selected today which have an American theme.

Kurtis 500S, Tom Claridge, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival,

Built in 1953 Tom Claridge’s Kurtis 500 S #022 was originally supplied with a de Soto motor, after an accident in 1954 the car was rebuilt with the current Chrylser Hemi # C53-8-I5990, this car has been seen at the Goodwood Revival meetings.

Chevrolet Corvette, Bruce Miller, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival,

I am not sure of the racing provenance of Bruce Millers Sunoco liveried 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, but I understand the chassis number is #30867S118408, if you know more please chip in below.

Mercury Cougar XR7, Ike Keeler, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival,

The racing provenance of cars raced in the 60’s is never easy, there are references pertaining to Ike Keeler’s #14 Mercury Cougar,chassis #7F91C597587, being the Bob Estes sponsored #79 driven by Mark Waco which do not tie up on the dates I have found elsewhere on the internet, a Burien Mercury sponsored #14 Cougar was driven at least twice in 1967/68 by Dave Tatom, again if you can clarify these anomalies please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Doug Schultz, Dodge Daytona, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

I beleive Doug Schultz’s #7 Hilton Charger is a 1969 Dodge Daytona driven by 1966 and 1973 NASCAR Camping World Series West Champion Jack McCoy who recorded 54 wins during his career from the late 1950’s to early 1990’s.

Ford Boss Mustang, Jim Hague,  Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival,

Ken Epsman’s #16 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 appears to be the car Bud Moore entered for Peter Gregg in the 1971 Trans Am series.

Pontiac Firebird, William E. (Chip) Connor, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

After an accident during practice for a Trans Am race at Road America Jerry Titus lost his life in August 1970 after crashing his #8 Terry Godsall Racing Pontiac Firebird similar to the one belonging to William-E.-Chip-Connor above.

Chevrolet Camaro, John Hildebrand, Sonoma Historic

2011 Indy Rookie of the Year JR Hildebrand was inspired to start racing after watching his Dad John race the #56 Peerless Racing Chevrolet Camaro that I believe was raced by Craig Carter from late 1978 to 1979.

If you have any additional information on any of the vehicles above please do not hesitate to chip in below. My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Americana Paddock Questions” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at five favorite Ferrari’s that have appeared at Silverstone Classic. Don’t forget to come back now !


Group B Race Car – Porsche 961#WP0ZZZ93ZFS010016

One afternoon soon after taking over as CEO of Porsche AG American Peter Schultz noticed a chart on the wall of the office of his Chief Engineer Dr Helmut Bott which outlined the developement schedules for Porsche’s three models the 924, 928 and 911, the first two extended far into the future while that for the 911 came to a stop in 1981.

Porsche 961, Le Mans 24 Hours

Schultz took a marker pen and walked over to the chart and drew a line extending the 911’s development clear off the chart, much to the relief of Dr Bott who set about initiating the design of a new concept car which would become a flagship for the future development of the 911 called the Porsche Gruppe B.

Porsche 961, Le Mans 24 Hours

The Gruppe B, which was first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in October 1983 was designed with new GT regulations for race and rally cars in mind and made use of emergent all wheel drive technology and a version of the Bi Turbo 750 hp 3.2 litre 195 cui flat 6 with 4 valves per cylinder in water cooled cylinder heads that had been developed for the 1978 Porsche 935/78 known as Mody Dick.

Porsche 961, Le Mans 24 Hours

The Gruppe B was developed into a rally raid version called the 959 which won the Paris Dakar Rally at it’s second attempt with René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne in the cockpit in 1986. A US$ 225,000 road version of the 959 appeared in 1985 of which 300 examples were built up until 1987.

Porsche 961, Le Mans 24 Hours

Porsche also developed a single road racing version of the Gruppe B, today’s featured car, known as the 961. It had been anticipated that several manufacturers would build Group B race cars but in the end only the Ferrari 288 GTO saw the light of day and then only as a street car.

Porsche 961, Le Mans 24 Hours

The Porsche 961 made it’s competition debut at the 1986 Le Mans test weekend with twice Paris Dakar winner René Metge sharing the wheel with Claude Ballot-Léna, because there was only one 961 in existence instead of the mandated 20 required for Group B the 961 was entered in the even more relaxed IMSA GTX class. Metge set 10th fastest time in the official Le Mans Test Session but the car retired from the first of two sprints with transmission failure.

Porsche 961, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The 961 still running in the GTX class, then appeared at the 1986 Le Mans 24 hours, as seen in the top two photographs, for which it qualified 26th and came home a respectable 7th. The only Group B runner in this race was a venerable BMW M1 a design dating back to the 1970’s which crossed the finish line with it’s hazard lights on to a huge cheers from the crowd but 60 laps behind the 961 and unclassified due to running it’s last lap too slow.

Porsche 961, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In October 1986 Günter Steckkönig and Canadian Kees Nierop drove the 961, now entered as a GTP Prtotype in the Daytona 3 Hour endurance race for which they qualified 29th and came home 24th after experiencing multiple tyre failures on the banked section of the track.

Porsche 961, Goodwood Festival of Speed

For 1987 the 961 carried the Rothmans livery like it’s sister Group C 962C’s and was driven at the Le Mans Test day by Steckkönig and Claude Haldi who set 16th fastest time with the car now entered in the rationalised IMSA class.

Porsche 961, Goodwood Festival of Speed

A month later Haldi was teamed with Metge for the Le Mans 24 hour race and after the Porsche team ran out of 962C’s Nierop was added to the 961’s driving strength in place of Steckkönig too.

The #203 961 qualified 31st on the grid and was running as high as 11th when around 2/3rds distance Nierop crashed at Indianapolis corner after experiencing a gearbox problem. While trying to return to the pits the 961 caught fire and eventually came to a stop and retirement.

With no sign of any Group B competition on the race track Porsche abandoned the 961 with just one example built and never having actually entered the car in the class it was designed to compete in. The 961 was subsequently rebuilt for the Porsche Museum and demonstrations, it is seen in the last four photo’s at Goodwood Festival of Speed running on out of period pattern BBS wheels.

Thanks for joining me on this “Group B Race Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for a look at some Porsche Automobillia tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Surtees Hill Lola – Lola Chevrolet T70 Mk II Spyder SL71/43

Team Surtees started running Lola T70’s in sports car races in 1965, for 1966 the teams proprietor, 1964 World Champion, John Surtees ran a Chevrolet Mk II spyder variant, chassis #SL71/17, in the Canadian American (Can Am) Challenge winning the inaugural Can Am race at St Jovite from pole with the car.

Surtees retired from the next couple of Can Am races with a broken oil pipe and then after a start line accident at Bridgehampton and Mosport respectively. At Laguna Seca the team had a new chassis #SL71/43, today’s featured car, which he qualified 7th but retired for a third time after 92 laps with suspension damage.

Knapfield, Lola T70, Goodwood Revival

John Surtees returned to chassis #SL71/17 at Riverside where he qualified second and won, 1962 World Champion and 1966 Indy 500 Winner Graham Hill was drafted into chassis #SL71/43 and came home third from 5th on the grid in the cars final appearance for Team Surtees.

Knapfield, Lola T70, Goodwood Revival

Surtees went into the final round of the 1966 Can Am Challenge at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas sharing the series lead with 1961 World Champion Phil Hill who was driving a Chaparral 2E.

Despite qualifying 4th behind Jim Hall on pole with his Chaparral team mate Phil Hill beside him and Chris Amon in a McLaren Elva in third, John Surtees forced his way through to the lead on the opening lap. John did not relinquish that lead for the entire 70 lap race and so secured the inaugural Can Am Championship.

Chassis SL71/43 was acquired by George Ralph for 1968 his best results with the car were two 11th place finishes one in the USRRC Championnat Nord-Americain race held at Mont-Tremblant from 17th on the grid and the other in the Road America Can Am race from 21st on the grid.

Current owner Paul Knapfield is seen driving the car at the 2011 Goodwood revival in these photo’s.

My thanks to Tom RA Announcer Schultz for kindly visiting his den to dig out the chassis details of today’s featured car from his copy of Lola T70 – The Design, Development & Racing History Hardcover – December 1, 2012 by John Starkey and Franco Varani.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Surtees Hill Lola” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !