I humbly invite you to watch the final chapter of our “Forging Ahead” video series that shares the origin story of RACER. You’ll experience the turbulent year of 1979 and an era of great change for American racing. Expectations were high for America’s reigning Formula 1 world champion, Mario Andretti. He was racing for Colin Chapman’s Team Lotus in the wild new ground effect era that the duo created two years earlier. This was happening just as NASCAR was poised to go mainstream in American culture while the world of Indy car racing descending into an ugly war of words and lawsuits between upstart CART and old guard USAC.
Against this chaotic backdrop, I was the new Editor of SCCA’s SportsCar magazine and I was deepening my collaboration with talented photographer, Jeff Zwart. This would ultimately lay the foundation for the launch of RACER magazine. 1979 was also the year when my friend, Mike Hull and I put together a top-level SCCA Formula Ford effort that would leave me no room for excuses — although I would try to make them, regardless.
Production of this series began on March 28, 1971 at the long-gone Ontario Motor Speedway. The night before, I’d created hand-painted credentials that allowed me and a group of my 16-year-old miscreant pals to roam the paddock, the pits and trackside locations at the one-off Questor Grand Prix. We used a Super 8 movie camera to capture this unique two-heat match race between F1’s best and America’s greatest racers. My hero Mario Andretti won both heat races driving a Ferrari 312B, which cemented my lifelong commitment to sharing the excitement and emotion of the sport I love.
The start for me forging ahead to RACER is covered in Chapter 1 and now, 18,976 days after Mario won the Questor GP, this project is finally done.
But the race to the future continues for our RACER team…
Watch Forging Ahead, Chapter 9 below, or click here.
Catch up on previous episodes below.