Saturday, July 11
HOTlanta it was! The weather was more like South Carolina than Georgia. The air temperature was 105 degrees with 100% humidity. The track temperature must have been 130!
I was so pleased I had the fore thought to fit a better electric radiator fan on my 1967 1275 Austin Mini Cooper S (Snoopy). I had performed a top end engine fresh up prior to this event. So, first practice session was very much a “making sure everything is working okay” session. The second session Saturday afternoon was qualifying for the upcoming race. Although there were not many cars in my class, I was really hoping to do well in the overall classification featuring a few Formula Vs, Sprites, MG Midget, Fiat, Datsun B-210, Triumph Spitfires, and Turner. 21 cars in all were entered for this race. My Mini Cooper S felt good in qualifying and I was on pole position with a lap of 1:52, about 1 ½ seconds quicker than the two Formula Vs behind me. But I knew there were at least two quick cars sitting behind the Vs – a very quick Turner and the Datsun B-210. I have tangled with these cars in previous races.
The race started and I was first into turn 1 with the pack on my heels. I drove the car fairly hard for the first 5-6 laps, keeping a sharp eye on my rearview mirrors. Gradually, I pulled out a 10 second lead which I considered safe. So I backed off a little and the drove the rest of the race just keeping a safe winning distance.
First overall. Best time 1:52. Second was the Turner, 10 seconds behind me.
Sunday, July 12
The Sunday race started a little earlier. It was at 12 noon in 95 degree weather. Again, I was in pole position with the Turner alongside me, closely followed by the Datsun B-210. This time, the Turner was able to stay closer to me for about 4 laps. I thought I would use a few more RPMs and, sure enough, I was able to pull out a 9-10 second lead. So I backed off a little, checking my mirrors all the time.
First overall. Best time 1:51. Turner and Datsun B-210 10 seconds behind. A great race and very good to put 2 more first place finishes in the book.
39 races, 36 first places – but who’s counting??!! Great little car – Snoopy – 1967 Mini Cooper S!
Thanks, as always, to my sponsors that make all this possible:
The Brusnahan Clan of Alexandria VA
And thanks to the encouragement from my teammates – Zapata Racing, Nashville TN and to my wife, Norree and our dog, Sherry, for love and understanding why a 75 year old loves to drive race cars!