Monday, May 23, 2016

R100: Pacific Northwest Racing Teams - Bayside Disposal Racing

Pacific Northwest IndyCar icon Dominic Dobson. (Source: images)
Presumably the most unfamiliar of our trio of past IndyCar teams led by Western Warshintonions, especially since they preceded Thy Internetz' age...

Team info
Name: Bayside Disposal Racing
Owner: Bruce Leven
Location: Redmond, WA
Years: 1989-91

You know the Quip 'bout Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda,right? As I'll forever regret never being bold enough to drop into the Bayside Racing shop located just a stone's throw from my Childhood home, located then just down the hill on Willows Road in Redmond, Washington just below our favourite waterin' hole, the local restaurant chain Billy McHale's - which has pretty much gone out of business as well!

I was introduced to the team before they went IndyCar racing, which was then under the auspices of CART, nee Championship Auto Racing Teams, when a Porschepyle' Co-worker gave me a slightly racy poster of  the Bayside Disposal Racing's Porsche 962 with swimsuit model wearing Ray Ban Sunglasses, take that Danica; Hya!

As said poster which I believe has the names Ludwig, Rahal and Uhm? Etched above the door-sill of the rakish blue & white #86 Porsche, NOT the blonde;, C'mon Guys Oh Never Mind! Still resides in a poster tube somewheres' in Tomaso Manor.

And yeah, that's Rahal as in Bobby Rahal, along with Klaus Ludwig and Uhm? Like I said, cannot recall the third co-driver's name without digging out Thy poster... May be Bob Wolleck or Leven? Although the Bayside Porsche was a Rocketship if I remember correctly?

Guess you'd have to say they were pretty successful, having won the 12 Hours of Sebring twice along with several more wins in IMSA GTP competizione, Eh!

As Leven, like another Northwest icon named Harold LeMay made his fortune in the refuge business which allowed him to pursue his dreams of going motor racing, culminating with winning the Sebring 12hrs race in 1981 with Hurley Haywood and the late Al Holbert aboard a Porsche 935. As perhaps Y'all have heard of them!

Whilst Leven was also  quick to hire Porsche Factory HotSchues - enabling his team to win Sebring twice more, and three times overall, with the likes of the aforementioned Klaus Ludwig, along with Hans Stuck, the late Monsieur Wolleck and Sorel van der Merwe to name a few - plus a promising lad named Rahal.

And as I recall,  Thy young Dominic Dobson cut his racing teeth piloting those Bayside Disposal Racing Porsche 962's with the team having grown to a two-car entry before deciding to try its hand going IndyCar racing.

Presumably with the lure 'O Mother Speedway being too hard to resist since CART was still on its upwards trajectory before Thy Mansell Mania zenith occurred...

As it was this same co-worker who asked me if I knew about the Portland Grand Prix? Which introduced me to Thy World of Indy Cars some thirty years ago...

Interestingly, the Throwback Thursday article which was in regards to the 2015 Sebring 12hrs race mentions that Leven sold his team in 1990, presumably just the Sports Car operation?

Although there were a Plethora whom ran Mr. Leven's highly successful Porsche 962's, including some aforementioned Chap named Rahal, Bobby, not Graham; Hya! Alas, instead, I'll focus solely upon the  two men who drove their single IndyCar entry for three brief seasons...

Dominic Dobson
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
DOB: September 14, 1957 (Age: 58)
Years at Bayside: 1989-90
Total Indy 500 starts: 7
Best I500 Finish: 12th
Years: 1988-94

While Dominic Dobson's Open Wheel Racing career as a whole probably isn't considered to be a rousing success, nevertheless he holds a soft spot on my IndyCar Purse strings due to his not only racing for two-thirds of my local racing teams, but also having a dubious family connection along with his continuing Northwest ties; as I believe he's still serving as America's Car Museum's Chief Development Officer...

Dominic raced Team Schuppan's programme at Le Mans in 1989, where he and co-drivers "Mean Jean" Alesi and Will Hoy were classified 45th (DNF) aboard Vern Schuppan's Porsche 962C.

Other Sports Cars drives included the Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring where he finished a career best of runner-up in 1990 - presumably for Bayside, along with his "Day Job" of chauffeuring the team's single seater racing car.

Dominic made his Indy 500 debut in 1988 for the unknown of Moore Industries/Columbia Helicopters entry, albeit an obscure website chronicling his racing career notes Ray Neisewander as the entrant. As I'll ARSE-Sume that's Ray Neisewander III of Raynor Garage Door fame, who shortly thereafter became team manager for Raynor Cosby Racing with Willy T. Ribbs as the driver...

Dominic finished 18th as a rookie at Indianapolis before moving onto a fulltime Gig at Bayside Racing for '89, who'd acquired somebody's year-old Lola T88/00 Cosworth which they campaigned with mixed results,

Dominic finished an unheralded P18 for the second year in-a-row at Indianapolis with Drive-train failure. With his best finish being seventh place at Detroit later followed by two 11th place finishes to wind up 19th overall with 10-points scored.

Dobson's sophomore campaign with Bayside, who'd stepped up to current Lola T90/00 Cosworth spec machinery ironically mirrored the year prior, once again finishing 19th overall with 12-points coming from a pair 'O back-to-back eighth place finishes at the Meadowlands and Toronto.

Indianapolis once again was unspectacular after his Cossie 'lump DONE BLOWN U-P! Being classified 22nd, with Dominic being let go at the end of the season to make way for the newest Andretti...

Jeff Andretti
Birthplace: Bethlehem, PA
DOB: April 14, 1964 (Age: 52)
Years at Bayside: 1991
Total Indy 500 starts: 3
Best I500 Finish: 15th
Years: 1991-93

I can only speculate in what led to Jeff Andretti, son of Mario and younger brother of Michael's replacement of Dobson, and have even more difficulty speculating upon why the team shutdown after its best season overall in CART at the end of 1991.

Jeff did show flashes of brilliance throughout his rise thru the ladder of lower rung single seater series, sprinkled with victories, along with being the American Racing Series, (ARS) forbearer of the original Indy Lights series runner-up consecutively in 1986-87. Along with being Toyota Atlantics Rookie Of the Year in '89

In 1990 he made his move up to Thy B-I-G CARZ', nee Indy Cars with TeamKar International, making his debut at Milwaukee, after failing to qualify for that year's Indy 500.

For '91, Jeff took over the Bayside ride sponsored by Texaco/Havoline, the same sponsors of Newman Haas Racing's Mario & Michael, who also were sponsored by Texaco, as I believe all three Lola chassis ran predominantly black paint schemes...

Hence, the STURR-RANGE part is that although Jeff ultimately finished 15th overall in the points standings, nonetheless he won both Rookie Of the Year honours at Mother Speedway (IMS) with a 15th place finish after starting P11. Plus CART Rookie Of The Year on the back of four Top-10 finishes.

Jeff started off the season strong, with a best finish of seventh at Surfers Paradise, Australia. Followed by ninth at Long Beach and tenth at Phoenix before faltering to 15th at Indianapolis due to mechanical maladies.

A brace 'O eleventh and twelfth place finishes ensued, as recall CART paid points down to twelfth which was worth one point. Then Jeff capped his Top-10 placings with another ninth at Toronto. As the youngest Andretti finished the season in 15th with a total of 26-points, one lone marker behind Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. in 14th and Mike Groff four adrift in P16 overall.

Thus, I've got absolutely ZERO idea why Bayside pulled the plug upon Jeff Andretti and CART, unless either Bruce Leven threw in the towel, got a sweetheart deal to sell the team or perhaps? Texaco decided to solidify their sponsorship to just Newman Haas?

Alas, unfortunately whilst being out of a fulltime drive for the season, Jeff drove for 'Ol SuperTex, nee A.J. Foyt at the Brickyard in '92 where due to a right rear tyre departure, Andretti crashed nose-first into the wall on Lap-109, shattering both of his legs!

And although tenaciously rebounding to race again, after setting a closed-course speed record over 234mph at Texas World Speedway in '93, along with making that year's Indy 500 for Pagan Racing in a "blown" Buick V-6 Lola chassis, albeit retiring in 29th after crashing on Lap-124. Naturally, Jeff's lower extremity injuries have hampered him ever since - ultimately ending his racing career...