Page 20 - PCA Metro NY Region POST
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The greatest driver in the 1950s was without doubt Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina. (Stirling Moss does have many adherents, though.) He was World Champion 5 times and was a true global celebrity. He was so famous that during the revolution that Fidel Castro launched against the Batista dictatorship he was kidnapped just before the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix when he was driving for Maserati. The rebels figured this would give them lots of anti-government public- ity, which it did. Fangio spent the race listening to it on the radio while he was in captivity. The rebels released him when the race was over. It was won by Stirling Moss also driving for Mase- rati. Trivia: why is the Maserati symbol a trident (a 3-pointed fork)? Answer: the trident is the symbol of Bologna Italy, where the company was founded in 1914.
My parents happened to be in Havana at the time of the Fangio kidnapping. I remember my mother telling me that it was the big topic every- one was talking about.
I recently attended a non-PCA event at Summit Point shortly after a massive rainstorm. Some of the public roads leading to the track still had enormous lakes of water. At the drivers meeting on the first day of the event the chief instructor told everyone that there was a stream running
completely across the track just after the apex
of Turn 1. He stressed the need for everyone
to be particularly careful there since it would be easy to spin in the water. I confirmed his ob- servation when I went out in the first Advanced session of the day. There was indeed a stream running across the full width of the track and if you crossed it in a normal manner you would almost certainly shoot of the track and hit the catch-fencing. My solution was lift off the gas and to straighten the wheel (in order to reduce the cornering force) an instant before hitting the water. This method worked fine. Within a few laps, however, yellow flags were being vigor- ously waved at the entrance to Turn 1. In spite of the warning we had been given just a few minutes earlier, someone had gone too fast in the stream, spun off the track and crashed into
a barrier. I could barely believe my eyes — the warning had been so clear, yet it had been ig- nored by that Advanced driver. And it happened again later in the day, causing another damaged car! Message to all who venture out onto a track: Be Careful Out There.
I’ll end on a lighter note. I attended Metro’s Oc- tober event at Lightning. There were no crashes, drivers were well behaved and a good time was had by all.
You can contact me with questions, thoughts or anything else at [email protected]
By the time you read this, Metro’s 2018 season will have finished. Take the winter off.

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