In the Pits

By: Bruce Reimer

Before I jump in and tell you all about the IMSA Race at Laguna Seca Raceway on July 22-24, I have some tips for you if you are heading up that way soon, maybe for the Historics. Mr. Didier Theys was kind enough to share with our group a very special restaurant in Carmel. The Casanova Restaurant located on 5th Avenue between San Carlos and Mission (408) 625-0501.

The food, atmosphere and, yes, even the prices were fantastic. The wine cellar at this location is ranked 4th or 5th in the world according to Didier. Also, this is where it happens on the weekends that the Indy cars run at Laguna Seca. It seems that all the drivers and car owners love this place as much as we did.

The IMSA race was too good to be true. The weather was warm, skies blue and the race cars fast and hot. I was given the opportunity to pilot a 348 in the Supercar race. Gerry Jackson from the 348 Challenge Series was also there in his crowd pleasing yellow 348 with the Nicole Miller art work.

My only racing experiences at Laguna Seca had been on motorcycles. The learning curve in a 348 Ferrari would be a pretty short one. Not! Gang, it was tough. Not the car, but the track. My 348 was a beautiful red beast but the track turned out to be a much bigger beast than I or my trusty steed had expected. The two locations on the track that seemed to get my attention the quickest were the famous corkscrew and the very last turn #11, which is a very tight left turn that heads down the front straight-away.

The cavallino had no problems making the turn - it was those nasty concrete walls we kept getting so close to as we accelerated hard out of the turns that made me nervous. My crew chief, Dana, asked why I wasn't using all the track coming out of the turns. Over the radio I tried to explain to him that concrete walls had dollar signs all along them - he didn't understand. If you have ever been to the body shop with your Ferrari I think you get it.

The Exxon World Sports Car race was the main attraction of the weekend. The 333 SP Ferraris were to die for. Their sound was music to all of our ears. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Russell Spence, driver of the Westinghouse-sponsored 333 SP campaigned by Cy and Michael Yedor. All of them seemed to express the same feelings about the 333 SP. Russell Spence: "Fantastic" (with an English accent). Mike Yedor: "Fantastic" (with the Hollywood accent). Cy Yedor: "Fantastic, but did you see the blonde in the white shorts!?" That's my buddy Cy. Of course, a 333 SP won the race that day.

I also spent a lot of time with a young driver who is very good at his profession, David Donohue. It seems that he has a father who is somewhat famous. David is a great driver and a great guy. But, did I see him checking out the Ferraris? Rumor has it that there may be a test day coming up for the young Donohue.

Gerry and I had a great time and we hope to make the IMSA race in Portland next. Until then, brake late and never lift!

Results of the IMSA World Sports Car Race at Laguna Seca
Ps NoDriver(s)/Home town(s)Engine/Chassis Laps
Mill Creek WA/Barcelona Spain
2 30 E. SALAZAR/G. MORETTIFerrari 333 SP 82
Santiago Chile/Milan Italy
3 2 JEREMY DALE Oldsmobile Spice H 82
Toronto CDN
4 50 JAY COCHRAN/RUSS SPENCE Ferrari 333 SP 82
Palm Beach, FL/Yorkshire England
5 16 JAMES WEAVER/ROB DYSONFerrari Dyson 348 81