Wednesday, November 10, 2021

ROLEX 24: Chasing A few More Wabbits’ and Checking the Time

As once again, your Humble Scribe Tomaso’s Stumbled Down another Wabbit Hole and got Stuck Below! As what’s that ‘Ol Beatles song ‘bout Fixin A Hole? Whilst I’m busy keeping Dry whilst Spacklin’ Cracks in the No Fenders Posting rotation!


Yeah, I know this No Fenders story is now completely Outta’ Date since I forgot to wind it’s Second’s Hand, but I’m gonna run with it anyways, even if Ye Nofendersville Sun Dial is now completely obscured by the Murky Gray Rain Clouds here on thoust Oregon Coast!


As Sports Car racing will completely shift to thoust Rear-view Mirror following this weekend’s delayed Petit Le Mans 10 Hours Season Finale on November 13th. The very last time Y’all can watch Sports Cars or Any Motor Racing on NBC Sports, (NBCSN) which ridiculously Comcast is Killing Off at year’s end, Bastardoes!


Thus Petit  Le Mans also marks the Swan Song of not only the little Daytona Prototype that Could! When Mazda ends it’s RT24P programme, but IMSA curtails it’s GT Le Mans (GT LM) Category, which has whimpered along this season with a paltry tree cars, i.e.; the two Factory Corvette C8.R’s and a lone Privateer Porsche 911RSR-19.


As not only is it the final race for the GT Le Mans class, but both the BMW M8 GTE and it’s Kissing Cousin the GT Daytona M6 GT3 Coupes. AS next year will see the debut of BMW’s GTD M6 replacement with it’s brand new M4 GT3 “Saloon.”


Memory lane…

Meanwhile, and Nah, NO Late Show Quarantine-while’ Jokes here, Hya! I suppose it was totally Apropos that John Hindhaugh would briefly chat with ‘Ol Ronnie Fellows during the Rolex 24 broadcast, since after all Fellows was celebrating the 20th Anniversary of winning the Rolex 24 Outright behind the wheel of a Nasty Corvette C5.R!


As Fellows, who’s now 60 years old was calling from Up North Eh! And mentioned how his eyesight wasn’t exactly what it was back then. Whilst calling out GM’s Jim Campbell for his promised seat time behind the wheel of a current day C8.R Vette’ racecar, since Ron would like to compare it with his ‘Ol Muscle Memory of those Nasty GT-1 Spec’ GTS Corvette racecars.


As Fellows won the 39th 24 Hours of Daytona Overall with team-mates Johnny ‘O,” (O’Connell) Chris Kneivel and Frank Freon aboard the No. 2 Corvette.


And I suppose it was even more Apropos or Symbiotic that NBC Sports had ‘lil E’, nee “JR.” or simply Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as part of this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona Announce Crew, which probably brought back a Flood ‘O Memories for Junior, since he and his father “The Intimidator,” ‘Ol Ironhead’, aka Dale Earnhardt Sr. garnered Mucho Media Attenzione by racing the team’s second Corvette C5.R racecar with team-mates Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgram sporting the legendous’ number 3 on it’s flanks that year! (Two Decades ago)


As I know I watched that race, since I can still fondly recall those Narly front engine 7.0 liter pushrod V-8 C5.R Vettes’ in Thar iconic Banana Yellow paint, with that number 3 in bold , slanted black script beneath the side windows.


As the Earnhardt’s Seester’ #3 Corvette would finish fourth Overall and second in class, in what would be Senior’s penultimate race before perishing in the Daytona 500 just weeks later, arguably one of NASCAR’s Darkest Days.


Ironically, the Daytona Beach News Journal reprinted assorted articles from twenty years ago this past January, primarily round it being the 20th Anniversary of Earnhardt, Sr’s Death. Along with publishing a few stories regarding that year’s Rolex 24 race outing.


As Godwin Kelly wrote that Junior’ thought he’d broken the car’s transmission in the Dead ‘O Night, and after the crew spent 21mins diagnosing the transmission, they discovered it was actually a broken halfshaft which took another 18mins to replace!


This dropped the No. 3 down to 6th Overall before they moved up the order, and presumably is the reason they didn’t win the race that year.


Godwin also noted how Earnhardt, Jr. didn’t get to drive as much as he wanted to, due to the abundance ‘O Wet stuff, nee precipitation during the race. As Junior’ noted when you’ve got accomplished (Sports Car) drivers like (Kelly) Collins and (Andy) Pilgram on hand, you Don’t want to mess up the car and simply let them drive in the Wet instead! But was looking forward to returning to another Rolex 24.


Even more ironically, symbiotic or is it Synchronnicity? Godwin Kelly, who served as the Daytona Beach News Journal longtime NASCAR Scribe, retired at the end of last season after 40 years and was known as NASCAR Royalty! As I find this ironic since it’s the same year that the ledgdnous’ D-Squared’, aka Donald Davidson also retired, coInky-dense?


And now unfortunately we’ve lost both Bob Jenkins and Robin Miller, along with Uncle Bobby, aka Bobby Unser, who I’m sure would have something unflattering to say about Namby Pamby Sports Car Drivers, who back in the 1950’s were referred to as the Wine and Cheese Club Me Thinks? Or definitely as the Stringback Glove Boys!


And thus, it seems almost too perfect for IMSA to be putting a lid upon these Nasty GT Le Mans Bad Boyz’ twenty years later, most prolifically the Narly Corvette’s which will hopefully return next year as part of IMSA’s newly mandated GTD )Daytona) Pro Class…