AUTO RACING IS ONE OF THE RARE SPORTS WHERE COMPETITORS FACE DEATH EVERY TIME THEY GET BEHIND THE WHEEL. SAFETY EQUIPMENT HELPS DRIVERS SURVIVE CRASHES, BUT FATALITIES ARE ALWAYS A CONSIDERATION.
AUTO RACING IS PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST INTENSE COMPETITIONS HUMANS ENGAGES IN, REQUIRING TOTAL DEDICATION, COMMITMENT, PRECISE PREPARATION AND CONSTANT DEVELOPMENT OF THE CAR, THE EQUIPMENT, AND THE DRIVER.
AUTO RACING HAS NO MARGIN FOR ERROR. I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DRIVE THE VARIOUS RACE CARS I HAVE OWNED AND THOSE OWNED BY FRIENDS. MY FAVORITES REMAINS THE PORSCHE 962, MY BRE 240Z, AND MY BUG-EYE SPRITE. TOTALLY DIVERSE CARS RANGING FROM THE BUG-EYE'S 150 HP TO THE PORSCHE'S 850 HP, FROM THE BUG-EYE'S TOP SPEED OF JUST OVER 110 MPH TO THE PORSCHE'S TOP SPEED IN EXCESS OF 230 MPH.
WORLD LAND SPEED RECORD CHASERS
BRE 240Z. My favorite race car I'll always regret selling,
The two men responsible for my becoming a driver, Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney. In 1968, in Gurney's Anaheim, CA shop I asked what I needed to do to become a racing driver - I was 19; Dan gave me a serious glance and sized me up, Carroll simply commented: "You're a shitty driver now, kid. Get yourself a cheap-ass race car and learn to drive. If you're good, you'll keep getting better cars. Good luck, kid." Life lesson learned - Tell it like it is. Carroll became a dear and respected mentor after getting reacquainted with him in the 1990's. Our offices at that time only 2 miles apart, and we ended up having lunch periodically while I managed Sprint's Gardena office. His response to my asking why those chassis and spare body parts were sitting there and not being turned into cars: "There are a lot of shitty drivers. People crash their cars. We help 'em keep their Cobras on the road."
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