Endurance racing in 1960s unbelievably dangerous

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Houston, Texas
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Imagine driving the fiberglass over tube frame Porsche 917 at Spa, Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, etc at over 200 MPH on the Mulsanne Straight (when it was still straight) in heavy traffic filled with slower cars (and amateur drivers) at night in pouring rain on bias ply tires with hand carved rain grooves

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CT8

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Idaho
There was no shortage of drivers. Racing is still dangerous, Technology helps with safety but still racing is dangerous,that is why people do it. Take the Isle of man TT for an easy example or the air races? I used to have those slot cars.
 
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wi
It's fun to watch them old race cars at Road America get around the track during vintage weekend.
 
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wi
Originally Posted by A_Harman
I can't get enough of watching 60's and 70's era sports car racing.
I understand where you're coming from the history is very rich and endless. Finding the old timers to talk about it and raced it is the best running into David Hobbs at the track or better yet at a bar restaurant in town I could talk and listen to history and stories of sports car racing and F1 from him for hrs.
 
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547
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Houston, Texas
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I've never had the pleasure of hearing them first-hand but have read some Le Mans stories such as the Ferrari driver who's car was turning into a bathtub in heavy rain. This got to be too much so he pitted early in order to have holes drilled into the floorboard. There was also the driver who's prototype windshield repeatedly fogged up. A mechanic ran off to the carnival and returned with a potato cut in half, rubbed it on plexiglass, and sent him back onto the circuit. One guy tried to drive the entire 24 hours solo but crashed out in the final hour.
 

928

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Sacramento, Ca.
I knew a driver that competed in the 24 hours of Daytona in the early 70's . He was on a Corvette team, and said the Corvettes were about the hardest to drive. Due to (at that time) multiple classes you had to look in the mirrors constantly for the Ferraris, gt 40, 917 coming up on you. Meanwhile you had to watch for lower class cars that you were coming up on.
 
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Tonville, Colorado
in the late 70's, I was fortunate enough to see/hear Mark Donohue's Sunoco 917/30 drive at Riverside. The howl that car made coming down the backstretch made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I consider that experience one of the treasures of my life. I can still smell that car after it returned to the pits. Still gives me goosebumps. smile
 
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Kalifornia Kollective
The 70's had some real great racing and some mind numbing engineering in some classes. Just the Chaparral Team stuff was enough to blow your mind. Leaf blower vacuum fans for down force. Air-Brake wing articulation. Automatics tied to cammer SBC's. The list is long and insane by today's thinking ...
 
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783
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Austin Texas
Originally Posted by IMSA_Racing_Fan
Imagine driving the fiberglass over tube frame Porsche 917 at Spa, Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, etc at over 200 MPH on the Mulsanne Straight (when it was still straight) in heavy traffic filled with slower cars (and amateur drivers) at night in pouring rain on bias ply tires with hand carved rain grooves
Minor corrections: a) fiberglass over ALUMINUM tube frame P 917,... b) almost 240 MPH on Mulsanne They used compressed gas in the aluminum tube frame to detect weld failures. They would check the held air pressure every 4 hours in race conditions to see if the frame was coming apart.
 
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