VIR - 1966 Spring Inclined Slalom


By: Barry Christian (June 1966 NC Region SCCA Bulletin)

After dodging 69 bodies left over from the Nationals, leapfrogging drainage ditches on the entrance road, and setting a new sedan record from Roxboro to Milton, I finally made it to VIR for the Inclined Slalom and AutoCross. Immediately I noticed the multitude of cars, girls, and sunshine. Several of the Region's better known racing teams showed up for the May 15th event. Lewis Gunter's Concrete Racing Team was on hand with an unusually well prepared GMC dump truck for the big-bore category and one of the fastest sports racing pickups in the area. Dave McDonald and Roger Blanchard of the local Guano Racing Team were out in full force, also. Richard Cobb's ex-Sebring VW appeared as a last minute entry, but he never seemed to get his suspension sorted out. Hayden Beatty's General Tire Special was a surprise entry in IV-B sedan class. Nobody has figured out yet where he found room to put the Morris after he got the tires and wheels mounted.

Practice got underway right on schedule an hour and a half late. After two slow turns around the course behind the Lawing-Gunter VW Special, most of the drivers were ready to go. (Home?) Lewis and crew had already outdone themselves. The "Mad Australian", Owen Oakeley and "Sadistic Fred" McKinney assisted Lewis in setting up a real torture course. It was slow and tricky through the pit lane and down the pit straight, a double 90 degree turn and then foot-to-the-floor up the hill - - - HOLD IT! Where did that set of pylons come from? They're sitting right in the middle of the ?&*%-#2 hill! Sneaky, real sneaky.

As I got ready for my first practice run, my date came over and asked me to please be careful and not go too fast. Smiling confidently, I reassured her and pulled on my crash hat. (Did I say CRASH hat, ohhhh I hope not!) She walked away as I tried valiantly to stop my looping stomach and keep my heart from breaking all my ribs. Finally I got up to the line.

Hold the revs at four thousand ... 5-4-3-2-1-GO! ... Dump the clutch and there goes my rear axle again, hopping around with the Cortina version of the Jerk ... Down the pit lane slalom ... Wonder what Jack Evans has his tongue out at me for ... Hope it doesn't get sunburned ... Hit the brakes hard for the 180 out onto the pit straight ... Whew, that was a hairy zigzag there... Hey, I'm still on course and no pylons yet, this ain't bad at all ... On the binders again for the double ninety...Clear again?...Floor it heading for Hog-Pen... Wow, I bet I looked like Jimmy Clark sliding through there ... Who's got a camera ... Hope I can stop in the garage without wiping it out... Hey, that was fun... I think.

Three o'clock rolled around and timed runs finally got underway. What the hell, I'd rather do this than eat supper anyway. Well, there goes half of the Guano Team, Roger's date caused him to DNF when she had to go back to school. Speaking of dates, I wonder how mine is making out helping with timing and scoring? I think I'll ask her later since I "volunteered" her for the job.

Man, ol' John's "Little Min" is really honking today. Not much hope of beating that little bomb. Maybe Pete Kinsey can do it with his Saab. Here he comes now! Hey Pete, you're supposed to come into the garage frontwards. What garage? He just wiped it out. You almost hit our timing stand (Lewis's sports-racing pickup) to say nothing of me and all these girls. Oh, I see, you say that you wanted to find out how a front drive Saab felt with rear drive.

Well, I don't believe it, we're finally through. Hey, I got third place. Not bad for a change. Man I'm tired, I don't care if I never drive again Did I hear someone say we're going to Kinston in June? I'm ready.