I’ll be honest with you. Sam Posey was not the first person I asked to write an appreciation of the extraordinary Mark Donohue. Though I knew Posey to be an accomplished racer in both Indycars and sportscars (at Le Mans in ’70 and ’71 his Ferrari 512 was first car home behind the uncatchable Porsches), I did not consider him as I had always had Brian Redman in mind for the job. Redman thought otherwise. As you will read in Nigel Roebuck’s column, Brian is a man unburdened by ego and ruled himself out. “I could do it, but I’m not the right man. You have to ask Sam Posey. He knew and raced him much more than me. There is no one better.” And so it proved. Sam’s account of the life of Mark Donohue is one of the finest essays I have read within the pages of a motoring magazine.
I discovered some time ago that I’d never find the talent to cam a living by racing cars and have spent the intervening years sweating blood trying to do as much by writing about them; Sam Posey manages to do both seemingly without effort. From where I’m sitting, there doesn’t seem to be much justice in this world.
• • •
One of the great sights of Le Mans was the Bentley Arnage leading the racers on the parade lap. Apparently many of the factory teams had lobbied the organisers to supply the course cars, as rarely will a manufacturer have a better chance to display its wares in action before a larger crowd of heartland punters. Assaulted by pitches from billion-dollar corporations, the organisers took the only impartial option and turned down the lot. Instead, a marque that’s not raced officially at Le Mans since 1930 upstaged them all. Listen carefully and you can probably still hear the sniggering in Crewe. And we should thank heaven for VW. Bentley now has the resources of the world’s fourth largest car company behind it with the man who created the Porsche 917 at its helm. A Bentley doing more than parading at Le Mans? It could now happen.
• • •
Pursuant to the above, the managing editor has had a rather good idea which would guarantee the course car Prize to any manufacturer who wanted it. All any works team taking part in GT1 would have to do is to supply the road-going models upon which their racers are based. This would ensure the safety car was capable of leading the field at a decent pace. Others may choose to be cynical but I’m sure none would have the slightest problem supplying the eight examples that are typically required for the job.
• • •
Slightly bewildered to hear Max Mosley, the President of the FIA standing on the grid at Monaco suggesting that though more overtaking would be beneficial to Formula One, it should not return to the levels experienced “in the old days.” I have a question for the President. Why not?
• • •
Motor Sport costs an extra 30p; just for this month. I hope you agree it’s not too much to ask for one of the finest motor racing videos ever made.