Friends

24 January 2013

A Young Woman's Hero


“After 3 hours, 11 minutes and 2 seconds he crossed the line with his 3l Maserati. His average speed was 158,296 km/h. He was hailed for the unsurpassed achievement: winning world championship for the fifth time.”

Juan Manuel Fangio (uncle of the present Juan Manuel Fangio II) was my hero in the 50’s when motor racing was a passion. I guess that’s why I still enjoy driving. 

When there was a race on a party of us would make the journey to watch it. We booked in advance and always tried to get stand seats opposite the pits where the excitement was. Yes, I know things happen around the track but most times a spectator listens to the commentary over the loudspeaker and it’s only when the cars appear that you get to see that particular part of the race. The scene was fantastic: regulation and emergency pit stops, squealing tyres, the smell of oil, the frenzy as mechanics raced to put things right, and the cheers when their man flew by, not to mention the shouts of joy from the crowd.

One year there was a bit of a do the day following the race. I don’t recall the reason for it but I do remember being given a ride in a Formula 1 car on the actual race track. What was it? Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari or Maserati?  Fangio won world titles driving for all these but it doesn’t follow that my ride was in one of them. One thing for certain is that it was nothing like present day F1 racing cars. Where was it? Goodwood? Silverstone? I wish my memory wasn’t so bad. Still it was in the 1950’s so perhaps I can be forgiven for the memory loss. 

I wasn’t in the car for long (10 minutes, if that) but it was long enough to provide a lifelong memory. Just think: me in an F1 car! Since then I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a whiz where driving is concerned *laughing*.

You want more? See here.

13 comments:

Don't unplug your hub. said...

You are full of surprises Valerie.
During the recent flooding someone actually abandoned a Maserati right outside here.

Valerie said...

I hope they came back to claim it, John

Brian Miller said...

wow what a cool memory...really neat to get to ride in one of the cars....been to a few races here and was surprised how exciting it can get even when you cant see the cars for a bit...

Valerie said...

It as exciting, Brian. I loved it. Strange thing is, I don't like watching motor sport on television.

Akelamalu said...

WOW my hubby would give his right arm to have a ride in a F1 car - lucky you! :)

Mel said...

Okay--how cool that you got to go for the ride! And ohmygosh......what a beautifully done web site you linked us to. And how teensy are the cars. LOL What a blast.

Ron said...

"I wasn’t in the car for long (10 minutes, if that) but it was long enough to provide a lifelong memory. Just think: me in an F1 car!"

Oh...how EXCITING, Valerie!!!!!!

You GO, girl!

You are such a fascinating and diverse lady in all that you've experienced throughout your life.

Loved the Maserati website, btw!

Thanks for sharing, dear lady!

X

Valerie said...

Hi Pearl, the ride in the F1 was part of a special event... pity there aren't more of them. Your hubby would love it.

Valerie said...

Ron, I don't feel at all diverse... lol. I guess we all have moments to remember.

Valerie said...

Glad you enjoyed the linked site, Mel.

Paul Forster said...

I am amazed and intrigued with your love for racing. A great memory!

HermanTurnip said...

That's awesome! And those cars were sexy as heck. Wish I could afford one!

Valerie said...

Is that how guys feel about cars, Herman?