We regularly see online posts of various groups getting together once or twice a year to renew old friendships and tell stories. A group in the London area can do MUCH better than that.
Every Wednesday morning, year-round, from 8 – 10 about 25 car enthusiasts get together at The Hot Rod Shop in Dorchester for coffee (bring your own) and cookies supplied by host John Stenabaugh and his brother Jim.
John has organized the Dorchester Car Show for the past 41 years and was heavily involved in Steve Plunkett’s hugely successful Fleetwood Country Cruise-Ins.
Included in this group of car enthusiasts, all retired with an average age of 75, are mechanics, body men, painters, a fabricator for R.M. Classics, a marketing executive, a sign painter, a Vietnam veteran, an insurance adjuster, a Beer Store truck driver, a car dealer and dragstrip owner, a limousine company owner and a retired Ford Talbotville auto worker to name just a few.
The group attends car shows all years with one member hosting a website keeping track of all the dates and times for the shows. The group has raised money for Autistic Dog Services and the Food Bank in Dorchester. Lots of laughs and ‘problem solving’ every week!! And the older we get the faster we were!!
SAD NEWS: Former Super Modified driver turned Wheels Editor of the Toronto Star Norris McDonald passed away on the weekend after a lengthy illness.
After Norris retired from the Star, he continued to contribute stories as well as being the announcer for several Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fama galas. He will be missed by the racing community.
VEGAS CONTINUED: More good news following the Formula One race in Las Vegas. ESPN reported that, in spite of the late-night timing, they had the biggest audience this year since, wait for it, the Canadian Grand Prix in June!!
With all the racing now wrapped up next week I will post my Christmas Wish List along with my comments (and recommendations) on the various series.
FORMULA ONE: George Russell (Mercedes) topped Free Practice One ahead of Felipe Drugovich (in Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin), one of ten rookie drivers who were getting their shot in FP1 and Daniel Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri) at the final race of the year being held at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. IndyCar standout Pato O’Ward ended up 15th in a McLaren.
In Free Practice Two it appeared that history repeated itself. Eight minutes in Carlos Sainz hit a bump on the track and his Ferrari hit the wall hard bringing out a red flag. Didn’t we have an ‘incident’ after eight minutes at Vegas? And Ferrari’s brutal luck this year appears to have continued right to the end. Not long after the green came back out from the Sainz ‘moment’ Nico Hulkenberg spun coming out of corner 1 and brought out another red flag. In a bit of redemption for Ferrari Charles Leclerc was fastest in FP2 in front of Lando Norris (McLaren) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
It didn’t take long for the dreaded ‘track limits’ issue to raise it’s ugly head in qualifying (and practice and the race!!). At the end of Q1 it was ‘business as usual’ with Max first, Checo 2nd and Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) 3rd. No surprises at the end of Q3 as Max, once again, took the pole ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Oscar Piastri (McLaren). Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) started 13th.
There was a lot of drama during the race as Mercedes entered the race a slim four points ahead of Ferrari. The TV broadcasters kept the audience updated throughout the race. The Ferraris started 2nd and 16th (Sainz) while the Mercedes started 4th (Russell) and 11th (Hamilton).
And, of course, it wouldn’t be an F1 race if the stewards didn’t constantly have postings that they were investigating this or that!! Pit crew without their helmets and visors – tilt. Cars too slow/fast/offline on pit road – tilt. Avoidable contact on track – tilt. You get the picture!!
At the flag it was Verstappen who led more than 1,000 laps this season, a new record, followed by Leclerc and Russell. Stroll finished 10th.
Verstappen won the Drivers’ Championship by 290 over Perez and by 341 ahead of Hamilton. Stroll finished 10th.
In the Constructors’ Championship Red Bull beat Mercedes by 451 and Mercedes in turn beat Ferrari by 3 points!! That second place was a good fight right to the checker flag!!
Any comments can be sent to Dave Mathers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook Messenger.