28 October 2007

Dear KingCast, I'm confused. Who is the coolest race car driver ever?

Simple. Mark Donohue. Tribute site/Wiki site. In in 1975 I got a mounted picture of Mark at speed for Christmas from someone who knew Roger Penske. Long story but my father used to play table tennis with Roger when he came to visit his wife at the hospital. As to Donohue, who would later of course drive for Penske in various teams, the guy could pretty much drive the wheels off of anything -- even the vicious Porsche 917 -- and did it as a True Gentleman until the day he died, the victim of a freak accident.

He won Indy. He won in NASCAR. He dominated the first IROC series (no it wasn't a bitchin' Camaro, it was a Porsche 911 RSR) and mastered the most intimidating car in all of circuit racing, the Porsche 917/30. But he charted his first victory in Belknap County, NH hill climb driving a 1957 Corvette :)

Note the twin spark setup on the "320hp" (it was more) 3.0l 1974 car that very few drivers could keep pointed straight. Images courtesy of Slidevalve911RSR whose website is linked above.

PS: And for fast in Porsches, cannot forget "Peter Perfect" Gregg, whose nickname may have come from the "Wacky Racers," another show I loved as a kid. Now we know why I've got problems with fast cars :)


Anonymous said...

h. taylor has a photo for you...just need to find it; circa 1971 watkins glen in the can am series.

Christopher King said...


Send it on and I will post it :)


PS You probably know the Penske story about the hospital, but I'm not going into that here.

Doug said...

Peter gained his name "Peter Perfect" simply because he could drive and win without breaking his car. At the time this was a BMW CS This name was given to him by the members of the BMW werks team.In recogonition the factory gave Peter an M1 which had embroidered Initials and a coat of arms on the head rest area of the racing seats. It has not moved since Peter took his life and Debra will not talk about it.