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Author Topic: 1969 Trans-Am season review  (Read 19815 times)
Jon Mello
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« Reply #105 on: November 12, 2012, 02:19:12 AM »

I agree that it's neat seeing James Garner with the Sunoco Camaro. The "Technical Excellence at Speed" book does not definitively state whether he did or did not drive the car. Based on how it is written in the program, it appears that he did. Garner was at Sears Point filming scenes for his racing movie called "The Racing Scene" which was incorrectly identified as "In The Scene" in Michael Argetsinger's book. The movie was an attempt to document the exploits of Garner's A.I.R. racing team and did not end up getting released. I do feel fortunate to have seen a screening of the movie at the first Riverside Raceway Museum event two or three years ago.
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« Reply #106 on: November 12, 2012, 02:32:06 AM »

Sears Point Trans-Am coverage as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)



































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Jon Mello
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« Reply #107 on: November 12, 2012, 11:14:53 AM »

How is the Sears Point track layout different to-day compared to the T/A race in 69?  I'm trying to compare the lap times of the HTA gang that ran at the Festival this year.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #108 on: November 12, 2012, 03:33:14 PM »

Hello Robert,

Though Sears Point has been changed much less than so many others, including Laguna Seca... It's still been altered a bit.  Most of the changes have come in the last 20 years, where the drag strip is no longer used between turns 11 and 2, and the overall approach and shape of turn 7.  Turn 7 has a couple different configs that can be run today, even when you're not running the NASCAR short shoot.  

There are probably more changes that someone more familiar with the track could explain, but those that I note can be seen in red below.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 03:56:53 PM by OCTARD » Logged
Jon Mello
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« Reply #109 on: November 12, 2012, 04:43:05 PM »

Laguna Seca (and earlier) Trans-Am coverage as found in Road & Track, courtesy of Mike K (Swede70).



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Jon Mello
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« Reply #110 on: November 12, 2012, 06:05:30 PM »

I'm just trying to figure out if to-day's lap times compare to those of 69.  I never got to race there, but I understand it is a challenging track.

Robert
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« Reply #111 on: November 13, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »

Robert, the track doesn't look like it has changed too much from the original layout. I'd have to think the time would be pretty comparable between 1969 and now.
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« Reply #112 on: November 13, 2012, 07:02:58 PM »

Robert,
Having run Sears Point in regional races in the 80's, before they modified it, (mostly due to Nascar) I can tell you that they straightened out the es turns between 7 and 8, 8A  They also narrowed the front straight quite a bit.  We used to share a large portion of the Dragstrip there and now it is a completely separate entity. Turn 4 used to be a blind corner (the hill was in the way) but they moved all the dirt away so you can see around it now. Lap times were very similar but both tires and suspensions have improved a bunch since then so it's kinda like comparing apples to oranges.  I was looking at the times as well Robert and I can tell you I had the lap record for ITA (for a while anyway) at 1:59. Mazda RX3 with suspension mods, Yokohama A008's, no engine mods.  So these guys were hauling butt back in 69'.

Mike Camicia
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #113 on: November 13, 2012, 09:56:00 PM »

Mike, thanks for your input and for straightening me out on my incorrect assumption. I also got the following input from Gary Goeringer who drives the ex-Bill Maier '68 Mustang in the Historic Trans-Am Group.

"The track has changed quite a bit since it first opened.  Just a few of the changes:  The front straight has been narrowed and realigned to prevent crossing over the drag strip, T1 also had to be modestly realigned to accommodate the changes in the straight.  The camber of T5 was changed significantly when the NASCAR extension was installed....... and (IMHO) the biggest change was to the configuration of T7--there is now two used configurations of various lengths and corresponding apexes, exit widths--it makes a big difference for me.

Parnelli's pole time in '69 of a 1:45 is clearly 'flying'.   I'm not sure Epsman's ex-Follmer Javelin with Kenny on board (the fastest driver/car combo in the group) could come close.   To put it in real world terms, and this isn't a comparison to PJ, I can turn 1:54s pretty much all day.  On a 'flyer', I have been to the high 1:51 range once or twice, but generally, in the 1:52s.   Kenny's is generally about 2-3 seconds faster--that would put him in the 1:48-1:49 range.   And remember, our tires are WAY BETTER (and way smaller) than what was on the cars in '69.  Bill Maier's best times (that I have seen), were mostly in the 1:58-2:00 range--with slicks!!!"
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #114 on: November 14, 2012, 08:12:22 AM »

Sears Point and Riverside Trans-Am coverage as found in Car Life magazine, courtesy of Mike K (Swede70).













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« Reply #115 on: November 14, 2012, 08:15:27 AM »

Riverside Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)







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Jon Mello
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« Reply #116 on: November 16, 2012, 02:26:10 PM »

The 1969 Riverside Trans-Am program from the Bob Sanders Collection, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk.
Note, the layout of the track was changed beginning in '69 and there was a larger radius curve now
(turn 9) leading back to the main straight and the start/finish line.
















































Entry list








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Jon Mello
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« Reply #117 on: November 17, 2012, 12:48:14 PM »

Riverside Trans-Am race report from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)






























« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 07:23:44 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #118 on: November 19, 2012, 11:12:33 AM »

Riverside Trans-Am race report as found in Sports Car Graphic. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #119 on: November 20, 2012, 05:17:28 PM »

Riverside Trans-Am turn 7, George Follmer leads Ronnie Bucknum and others.
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