A Couple Of Recent Interesting Acquisitions For My Rally NavigationToolbox

This past week I have made a couple of interesting purchases that still remain to be finally assessed.  The first item that I bought was a Langwell odometer.  I still don’t know that much about these units at this time and I would certainly appreciate receiving any information or stories about these odometers that anyone who might read this would have and would care to share.  It is my understanding that the Langwell odometers were made in the 1960s by Canadian rallyists Paul Langdon and Lloyd Howell.  These mechanical units were made by modifying and adding onto the rather rare Halda Tripmeter.  The Halda Tripmeter case can be seen if you look at the following picture from the left side.


A Langwell Rally Odometer

I have not yet taken delivery of this unit and I will have more on it in the coming weeks once I have the opportunity to examine it closely.  At that time I will have a much more thorough presentation about this odometer.

The other recent purchase was a Blizz Timing C-200 rally clock.  These clocks are used by the top teams/navigators in events like the Mille Miglia in Italy and the 1000 Millas Sport in Argentina.  These clocks have number of features that are particularly useful for those events.  Indeed, the Blizz C-200 was developed with the Mille Miglia in mind.


My Blizz Timing C-200 Rally Clock

My Blizz C-200 requires some work and I have just sent it to the Blizz Timing folks in Italy for refurbishment.  I will have more on the capabilities of this clock once it get it back from Blizz Timing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Participating In the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Fan Advisory Council

This past week I was asked to be a member of the Fan Advisory Council for the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  Thompson Speedway, which opened in 1940, was the first purpose-built road racing track and the first high-banked oval track in the United States.  After a storied road racing period, the road course was taken out of service while the oval at Thompson remained in active use.  Last year after a period of disuse, the road racing circuit was re-opened, in addition to the continuing oval track racing.  A substantial portion of the oval has been incorporated into the road race circuit.

Thompson track_1_7_mile

The 1.7 Mile Road Course At Thompson Motorsports Park

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) has become a complete motorsport/recreational facility with NASCAR racing on the 5/8 mile Oval, the 1.7 mile Road Course, a first class Golf Club, a fine Clubhouse restaurant with a banquet and catering facility, and on-going services such as a Drivers Club, and an Exotic Car Driving Experience.

IMG_7884Road Course Exit Turn From The Oval Track

I was able to get out to Thompson for a couple of events last year and this year I look forward to also taking in some events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  I also have the advantage of not living too far away from Thompson.

IMG_7855Racing At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s Road Course 

I am a member of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA).  In 2016 our local section, the Minutemen Section, will host Starfest, the Mercedes-Benz Club’s largest national event, takes place bi-annually on even-numbered years.  The section will use the Thompson Speedway Motorsport Club along with the famed Mohegan Sun hotel and casino as the activity centers.  The event draws members from around the country and Canada.  Planned events include, track time,  a concours display, a rally, and many other social activities. I attended the MBCA’s Starfest in 2010 and enjoyed myself and with Starfest being so close in 2016 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park I can’t miss it.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe and Roadster

Mercedes-Benz Club Of America’s StarFest 2010

As can be seen, Thompson is moving at full throttle to once again become a leading motorsports facility in the northeast USA.  With the Fan Advisory Council, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Club wants us to provide honest feedback, good and bad, from both road course and oval fans.  Our assessment on what the whole experience is like and what we overhear from others.  Further they want us to provide comments on viewing spots, access to the action and other issues related to the facilities and the employees.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is also looking for eager race fans to become a part of a volunteer group: the Twelfth Turn.  As a Twelfth Turn member you can find yourself providing customer service, providing shuttle service, parking cars or campers, greeting guests, fulfilling race team’s requests and much more; all the while getting unrestricted access to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  It appears to be a great way to get a hands-on behind the scene view of putting on motorsports events and as an introduction to the race course and racing business. If this sparks your interest, please email John Reed at the following address jreed@thompsonspeedway.com to learn more details and perks about The Twelfth Turn and to get answers to all questions. Please include a sentence or two about why you’d like to become a part of The Twelfth Turn Club.

thompson-international-speedway-road-course-mapOverview Of The Facilities At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

You can check out all that is happening at Thompson by going to their website at www.thompsonspeedway.com

I look forward to attending some events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this year and serving as a member of the Fan Advisory Council.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Updated Mille Miglia Navigation And Timing Notes

The 2015 Mille Miglia is about 2 months away.  Earlier this year I had updated my navigation and timing notes for the Mille Miglia.  These were prepared for a theoretical rookie level entrant who might be using the car’s standard trip odometer.  Of course the navigation and timing notes would be much different if more specialized navigation equipment would be used.  To see these notes, click on the following pdf file.

Mille Miglia Rally Notes Revision 2

If there are any questions or comments about the notes or the topic, then contact me via email at this address:  shanna12@comcast.net

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2016 Great Race Route Announced And Registration Opens

At this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend, the Great Race organizers announced that the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty will travel the historic Lincoln Highway from San Francisco, California to Rockford, Illinois for its 2016 Great Race.  The 2016 Great Race will be held from June 18 to June 26, 2016.  This early announcement is interesting as there are still a few months until the running of the 2015 Great Race.

GR-2016 General Route Map

General Route Map For The 2016 Great Race

The 2016 Great Race route will feature many attractions, including scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Rocky Mountains, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and visits to Lake Tahoe, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and the Badlands National Park.

The Great Race is a time-speed rally where competitors are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late.  It is a lucrative event with total prize money of $150,000.

If you’re interested in entering your car in the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty, please do not hesitate to enter soon, as the field of cars is capped at 100 entries. People wishing to enter the 2016 Great Race should go to the Great Race website and click on the “Registration” tab.  I recommend that potential competitors make an early decision about entering this event.  The 2015 Great Race field filled very quickly with a large number of returning entrants as well as rookie entrants who soon decided to enter after watching the 2014 event.  I expect the same sort of enthusiasm for the 2016 Great Race event, so an early decision on this event is recommended.

The Great race website is at  www.greatrace.com

To find out more about the Great Race you can email jeff@greatrace.com or call 1-800-989-7223.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Philip Young, Endurance Rally Legend Passes

I was shocked to learn today that Philip Young, founder and rally director of the Endurance Rally Association (ERA) had passed away.  About a week ago I learned that he had a motorcycle accident in Burma when he was traveling along with the ERA’s Road To Mandalay Rally.  At that time I understood that he was going to be taken back to England, however that did not happen as perhaps he could not be moved.  The Endurance Rally Association announced that he died today in hospital in Bangkok following complications arising from the motorcycle accident in Burma. He was 67 years old.

2013 Peking Paris Book

Philip Young’s Book About The 2013 Peking To Paris Motor Challenge

Philip Young was a prolific ambassador of the historic rally movement. He was a larger-than-life character who pushed motorsport boundaries, organizing marathon and endurance rallies all over the globe. A founder of the Historic Rally Car Register, Philip set a world record for driving from Cape Town to London in ten-and-a-half days, and is best known for one of his greatest achievements – the revival of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, one of the world’s most epic motoring adventures. His final milestone was gaining permission for 70 rally competitors to be the first to cross the land border from Thailand into Burma.

2013 Peking Paris People

Philip Young With His 2013 Peking To Paris Crew

I know that Philip Young’s death will have a tremendous impact on the Endurance Rally Association, but I hope that the ERA is able to persevere.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sir Stirling Moss To Again Attend Lime Rock Historic Festival

This past week, a good friend, Robert Melhado, sent me a press release from the Lime Rock Historic Festival people announcing that once again Sir Stirling Moss will be attending the Lime Rock Historic Festival in September and this time Mercedes-Benz will be sending the 300 SLR car that Sir Stirling and Denis Jenkinson drove to their historic victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia.  The complete announcement is included below.

“Lakeville, CTLime Rock Park reports that Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the factory will send the 300 SLR sports car No. 722, in which Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson stormed to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia, to the Labor Day Weekend historic festival on September 3-7. Also coming from the factory collection will be a W196 Formula 1 Grand Prix car of the type that Juan Manuel Fangio and Moss finished 1st and 2nd in the world championship that same year.


Above: The Mercedes-Benz factory will send the 300 SLR sports car No. 722, in which Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson famously stormed to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia, to Lime Rock Park’s Labor Day Weekend historic festival on September 3-7. Best of all, Sir Stirling will be on hand to drive it. (Photo: Daimler Archive)

On hand to drive the cars at Lime Rock will be Sir Stirling himself as well as Mercedes Classic official driver Jochen Mass, who won the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Sauber Mercedes C9. In addition to being the winningest driver of the Group C era, Jochen’s C.V. includes a Formula One victory for McLaren and a win at the 1987 Sebring 12 Hours, teamed with Bobby Rahal in the Bayside Porsche 962.

“Stirling’s drive to victory in the Mille Miglia is one of the outstanding sporting feats of the 20th century…right up there with Roger Bannister’s sub four-minute mile and Jean-Claude Killy’s three gold medals in the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics,” said Murray Smith, chairman of Lime Rock Park’s Labor Day Weekend historic festival. “It is probably the single greatest drive of all time in motorsports. We are delighted that Mercedes have honored us with this gesture. We are planning to reciprocate by underlining the three pointed star’s outstanding sporting and engineering legacy as we organize a truly great display of the company’s cars from the last 10 decades.”

Besides this exemplary gathering of Mercedes-Benz machinery, Historic Festival 33 will feature 280 vintage and historic cars in nine racing groups on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Sunday events include the “Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance” (220 vehicles) and the “Gathering of the Marques” (700 vehicles).”

Visit www.limerockhistorics.com for more info.

I had an opportunity to see the famous “722” Mercedes-Benz SLR during a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum.  It is a very impressive car to see and I look forward to seeing it again at Lime Rock this fall.

M-B 300 SLR Moss Mille Miglia 1955

1955 Mille Miglia Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

In addition to the Mille Miglia car, the press release also notes that Mercedes-Benz will be sending a W196 race car to Lime Rock that Fangio drove to the World Championship in 1955.  This was the dominant race car of that era.

M-B W196 1955

Mercedes-Benz W196 At The Mercedes-Benz Museum

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ceretta Brothers Win Trophies At The 2015 19 Capitales Historico Rally

I was pleased to get an email message last night from Paulo Ceretta from the 19 Capitales Historico rally in Uruguay.  The is a five-day rally that takes the crews all over Uruguay.  Paulo said that he and his brother, Alejandro, had won the third place Velocimetro trophy in their class.  They were just a little more than a second  out of second place.  The photo below shows the guys with their team and trophies after the rally.


Paulo And Alejandro Ceretta Celebrating After The Rally

The photo below shows the trophies that they won.

Ceretta Trophies 2015

Paulo and Alejandro’s Trophies From The 2015 19 Capitales Historico Rally

I am very pleased with their results.  Paulo contacted me in December asking me if I could provide some help and suggestions to improve their scores from previous years in this same event.  Paulo sent me a Route Book from last year’s event, I studied the rules, and watched some Youtube videos of the event from previous years.  Using that information I was able to provide him with some suggestions and some additional equipment to help them improve their scores.  It looks like whatever they did, they got some good results!  Well done guys!  It should be noted that Paulo was sick one day during the rally, so that made it extra difficult for them.

I hope to get some more photos of the event in the next couple of weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment