Thursday, May 26, 2016

R100: Pacific Northwest Racing Teams - Scandia/Simon

Randy Owens limited edition serigraph of the 1995 Scandia Motorsports 12 Hours of Sebring winning Ferrari 333SP. (Image source:
Sadly, due to that overly nefarious Split, and I'm NOT talking 'bout Banana Splits; Hya! Dick Simon, who sold his waning racing team to a NW Entrepreneur named Andy Evans didn't see much Attenzione from Mwah due to their ties to Thy Dark Side...

Team info
Name: Team Scandia
Owner: Andy Evans
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Years: 1996-99
Wins: 1

Andy Evans, whom first shot onto the racing scene B-I-G' TIME in the Mid-1990's when his Scandia Motorsports squad racing la Scuderia's iconic (Ferrari) 333SP Sports Car won the 12 Hours of Sebring twice, first in 1995 with Fermin Velez, Andy Evans and Eric Van de Pole. And then again in 1997 with "Stevie Johnson," aka Stefan Johansson, Yannick Dalmas, Velez and Evans at the controls.

Alas, being a Gynormous Fan 'O those blood red la Scuderia 333's, I just so happen to have a '95 winners autographed Randy Owens serigraph hanging on Thy wall of said Sebring victory!

As Mr. Evans and his wife Ann Llewellyn, whom both spent time in prison for fraud... Made their fortunes as somebody known as William H Gates personal advisers. Yeah, as in Bill Gates of Microsoft fame! As the Evans ran a financial  services company called Dominion Income Management in the 1980's with Evans having Power of Attorney privileges before a new firm called Cascade Investment took over from the Evans...

And Hard Core Sports Cars Aficionados will recognize the name Evans, whom along with ex-Reebok executive Roberto Muller,  bought IMSA from Charles Slater in '96, promptly renaming it Professional Sports Car Racing (PSCR) before selling it to Don Panoz in 2001 who turned it into the American Le Mans Series!

Intriguingly to Mwah, if I've done my homework correctly? I've now stumbled into thee fact that apparently both Bayside Motorsports - the aforementioned Bayside Disposal Racing enterprise of Bruce Leven and Mr. Evans original racing team Scandia Motorsports both occupied the same industrial building on Willows Road in Redmond, WA - which now appears to be occupied by the  HVAC firm Universal Mechanical Service.

And even stranger yet are the few reports of Scandia Motorsports having been an EPA Superfund site in 1985! Which also lists Bayside for tanks leaking hazardous waste, albeit they were reportedly installed in the early 1960's...

Meanwhile, longtime IndyCar team owner Dick Simon apparently saw a good opportunity to get out of the Rat Race and sell his perpetually midfield running operation to the aforementioned Evans, with the pair making history by entering the most Indy Cars of all by a single entrant for the infamous 80th Indianapolis 500.

Y'all know, when somebody named TG' (Tony George) concocted the ruinous 25-8 rule for his Indy Racing League competitors.

Having also labouriously chronicled the most car entrants during the Sport's Golden era in;

1996-97  Michele Alboreto; Italy
1996  Racin Gardner; USA
1996  Joe Gosek; USA
1996-97  Michele Jourdain, Jr; Mexico
1996-97  Eliseo Salazar; Chile
1996  Lyn St James; USA
1996-97  Fermin Velez; Spain
1996-97  Alessandro Zampedri; Italy
1997  Affonso Giaffone; Brazil
1997  Marco Greco; Brazil
1997  Stefan Gregoire; France
1997-98  Jimmy Kite; USA
1997  Vincenzo Sospiri; Italy
1998  Billy Roe; USA
1999  Jim Guthrie; USA

As Y'all can S-E-E! Team Scandia's Driver Roll is Humongous! Hence I won't even try chronicling A-L-L of these drivers, which includes two ex-Formula 1 Pilotes' amongst its lineup.

Some were longtime Dick Simon Racing drivers, notably Femme Fatale Lyn St James, and others are known for sniffing round Mother Speedway, most notably whom I've met and been told is sometimes called "Steven George," aka Stefan Gregoire.

Like I said, I've met Monsieur Gregoire during past Legends Day autograph sessions, where I've also obtained Greasy 'Ol Salad Bar', nee Eliseo Salazar (twice) and the ultra Hip 'N Hilarious Billy Roe, who asked me, as Yuhs may know? A visually impaired; Ok Mary Ellen, a FREAKIN' BLIND 'Vurd Botchier How many fingers am I holding up; Hya!

And NO! Billy assured Mwah he wasn't tellin' me I'm Number-1 or giving me a Will Power Double Byrd Salute; Hooah!

Interestingly, I've Karmically collected one-third of Thy Team Scandia's Alumni's John Hancock's at Mother Speedway during the three Legends Day's outings I've attended, which I've chronicled previously, whilst not counting Velez's autograph which is separate.

Team Scandia Drivers Autographs
Affonso Giaffone, Joe Gosek, Stefan Gregoire, Billy Roe and Eliseo Salazar.

Entertainingly, Eliseo Salazar was the only driver to ever win for the team, after having begun life Across Thy Pond climbing the European single seater ladder, ultimately finding his way to Formula 1 in 1981.

There he drove for several teams, making his debut at the USGP West, i.e.; Long Beach for March before later switching to Ensign, scoring his debutant F1 point with a sixth place finish at Zandvoort.

For '82 Eliseo moved to ATS where his 15 minutes 'O Fame came not from finishing fifth at San Marino, but instead for becoming Nelson Piquet's punching bag! Next Salazar drove for the beleaguered RAM F1 outfit in '83 before Chile experienced financial crisis causing him to leave Formula 1 assumedly due to lack of finances.

Funny, but I've never bothered checking out Eliseo's CV before, and thus was totally unawares' that after languishing in F3000 and South American F3, the Chilean had joined Tom Walkinshaw's Top Banana Silk Cut Jaguar Sports Car team where he almost won Le Mans before relinquishing his seat to eventual winner Martin Brundle!

After a few year's in Thy Wilderness as a TV Host, Eliseo got called to join the Momo Ferrari 333SP Sports Car team racing in the World Sports Car Racing programme, (WSCR) ironically with the series being owned by his future boss.

His driving in the Ferrari was impressive enough to land him a deal with Dick Simon for the 1995 IndyCar season, where he'd stay put thru both the team's ownership change and Open Wheel Racing series defection to the rival Indy Racing League.

Eliseo enjoyed the glitz of spraying champagne in Sin City, winning the '97 Las Vegas 500 IRL race, his crowning achievement in Indy Cars, along with a career best third place finish at Mother Speedway in 2000, finishing behind somebody named Montoyer' (Juan Montoya) and Buddy Lazier that day driving for 'Ol SuperTex, aka A.J. Foyt - whom he drove for two-plus seasons. (2000-02)

As I'd NO idea that Salazar was so proficient at Thy Speedway, where he recorded four Top-10 finishes, including two Top-5's along with starting on the outside of Row-1 (third) twice before a testing accident at Indianapolis led him to elect to retire from IndyCar racing in '02.

Yet my two favourite memories of thee Chilean are from some misadventures forever enduring Salazar to his fellow competitors, with the first being the aforementioned Punch Up with Piquet who was furious with Salazar collecting him whilst leading the '82 German Grand Prix!

(For which links to both the story and corresponding YouTube video are included in the Tres Legenditoes story link above...)

The second is even more hilarious, since it included his then Team Boss! When Salazar drove past without stopping for Robby Dirtman Gourdouns' (Gordon) stricken Humdinger'; Err Hummer during the 2011 Dakar Rally; OOPSADAISY!