A Racing Weekend

I could have gone to the United States Grand Prix at Austin or the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead, but there was a lot going on here in Florida this weekend. The HSR vintage weekend was in full swing at Daytona International Speedway, so that was my first stop.

I couldn’t find a better place to be than Daytona, as I got to spend time with Jochen Mass, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, and Amelia Island’s Bill Warner and listen to the group of them swap old racing stories.

Of course, Jochen Mass was James Hunt’s teammate at McLaren in 1977, and it was interesting talking to him about driving in that era. By the way, he said that that 1977 McLaren was a beast to drive. Jochen actually did some of the driving in Ron Howard’s movie “Rush”. I asked him his opinion of the film, but he has not seen it as of yet. He said he would get around to seeing it one of these days, but is not in too big of a hurry as his memories of that time are still fresh in his mind.

Jochen Mass will be the honoree at the upcoming 2014 Amelia Island Concours and is looking forward to it.

After spending some time at Daytona, it was time to get on the road to Sebring, where the TUDOR United Sports Car Series was holding it’s first open test session to give the teams in the new series the opportunity to see how the new rules packages would come into play for next season.

There were 25 entries for the Sebring test and the time charts for the weekend were topped by Action Express Racing in their Corvette DP which turned in a very respectable lap time under 1:54 around the old airport circuit. I must admit, it was strange seeing a DP car circulate around Sebring, one of many changes I will have to get used to.

Flying Lizard was there with their brand new Audi R8 (actually a couple of them), having made the switch from Porsche. Audi will be giving full support to the new series, as evidenced by the appearance at Sebring of Audi factory drivers Benoit Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis, who were taking laps in the R8. They are both looking forward to giving the R8 a run in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.

This week, the TUDOR cars proceed to Daytona, where off season testing will continue.

I, for one, can’t wait for the start of the new season.

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