Funny Racing Stories

Racing events, drivers, cars or anything else from the past.
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Everso Biggyballies
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 11 years ago

Last post from previous page:

Some Prost related stories...

The warm-up to the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City hat to be stopped because of a big black dog on the track. Alain Prost said about it: "The dog was behaving better than many drivers when being overtaken. Besides that, it was very fast!"


After the heavy accident of Oliver Panis, Alain Prost answered the question if he thought about replacing Panis himself: "I could explain it to you for hours, but to reduce it to a common denominator - no."


In a chat after the first practice session for the Belgium Grand Prix 2000, Alain Prost was asked the following question: "Do you think F1 should be a mixed sport; men and women?" - Alain answered: "Yes, men during the day and women in the evening!"


In an interview with former Team Prost driver Olivier Panis, the interviewers and Olivier took a taxi cab in London. Olivier said: "I love these taxis". The interviewer: "But they're even slower than a '98 Prost". Olivier answered laughing: "Yes, but not much slower, and they are better in traffic!"


During the Andros Trophy ice race (2004) in Serre Chevalier (which was won by Alain), Alain did not succeed to avoid hitting another race car, which was standing in the middle of a turn. After the incident, Alain's race car looked like a pick-up truck, as he lost the back part of the car! Being asked about it in an interview with French TV-channel TF1, Alain said: "It's a typical beginner's mistake, but I'm still young and learning!"

Once, when the younger Alain drove the Prost family car, his mom asked him to change places. She said: "How bad you drive!"


Alain Prost once asked the journalists: "Do you know, why I really love my helmet that much? Because it makes me 15 centimetres taller!"

Due to Nigel Roebuck, Alain once said: "Does it scare me, driving into nothing at 300kph? - Of course it does - I'm not an idiot..."

Again a quote that comes from Nigel Roebuck: When Alain was asked, if boxing did account for his crooked nose, Alain answered: "Ah, non! It has been broken four times, you know. First time in a car accident on the road, second time showing the police how the accident happened... no, no, second time on roller skates, third time falling down stairs, fourth time falling off someone's shoulders..."

In 1986, after a flight in a Mirage of the French Air Force, I set off home, only to be caught in a radar trap, doing well in excess of my speed limit. The police man looked me up and down disdainfully before asking: "Who do you think you are - Alain Prost?"

During a press conference after the Canadian Grand Prix, I was demonstrating how I had outbraked someone or other when my chair skidded. I did a backward roll and disappeared from view under the dais, to the amusement and sympathetic applause of the assembled US and Canadian press.

In Detroit, I hit the wall slap bang in front of the pits. I was disgusted at having dropped a clanger like that in full view of the stands and I scuttled off as soon as I decently could to hide my shame... When I got back to my car the following day, there was a little scrap of paper scotchtaped to the windscreen. This is standard procedure, and normally serves to remind the driver that new brake discs have been mouted or that a fresh gearbox has to be nursed. In this way, the head mechanic can alert the driver to important details he should look out for during practice. The scrap of paper had the following message: "Differential, brakes, wishbone upper left, wishbone upper right, steering, suspension, gearbox, engine, heat exchanger, underbody, wings - all new. Three hours sleep." - That was the damage I'd done the day before...

In his book "Life in the Fast Lane", Alain wrote about how hard it is to go outside in peace: "Not so very long ago, I was skiing in Meribel. I had found a huge balaclava helmet and I was wearing outsize ski goggles. Just as I was about to launch myself downhill, a perfect stranger standing next to me tapped me on the shoulder. 'Ça va, Alain?'"


Alain Prost tells the story himself: "After the last training session for the day I went back to the hotel at 5 p.m., Willi Dungl gave me a massage and I ate something before setting the alarm clock for 7:45 am and turning in at 7 p.m. for my eleven hours of needed sleep. Suddenly, I heared the alarm clock ringing, I got up, shaved myself, and put on my driving suit. Then I took the elevator downstairs and noticed it was 20:15... So, I only slept about 45 minutes!! Fortunately, nobody has seen me - or else they would have thought: Now Prost gone mad!"


Alain was astonishingly easy on equipment, and I doubt that any other great driver ever made so few mistakes. At a Donington test years ago I remember chatting with Eddie Cheever, who was looking out over the track. "I don't believe it!" Eddie said. "Prost just spun!" He was silent for a few seconds. "Oh, what the hell, he'll probably do it again in another three or four years..."

Heinz Prüller wrote in his book "Grand Prix Story 86" about Alain Prost: "I usually meet him at oversea-flights. He always wears golf- or Mickey Mouse t-shirts and is the last one who comes into the plane, with sleeping-pills in his suitcase. Nobody sleeps as good and fast during oversea-flights as Alain does. Once, as an airplane had to return from the runway before the take-off, Alain already was fast asleep - they had to carry him out of the airplane."
:tongue: :haha: :wink:

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Post by DoubleFault » 11 years ago

I seem to remember a story about Fangio where he was thrown out of a car on a motorway or other road whilst he was a passenger. The driver in the other car started yelling at Fangios driver "who do you think you are? Fangio?" and his driver replied "no, the man on the floor over there is Fangio"

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Post by Berti » 11 years ago

DoubleFault wrote:I seem to remember a story about Fangio where he was thrown out of a car on a motorway or other road whilst he was a passenger. The driver in the other car started yelling at Fangios driver "who do you think you are? Fangio?" and his driver replied "no, the man on the floor over there is Fangio"
If I remember this one right Fangio was stopped by the Police and the officer asked that question.

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 11 years ago

Berti wrote:
DoubleFault wrote:I seem to remember a story about Fangio where he was thrown out of a car on a motorway or other road whilst he was a passenger. The driver in the other car started yelling at Fangios driver "who do you think you are? Fangio?" and his driver replied "no, the man on the floor over there is Fangio"
If I remember this one right Fangio was stopped by the Police and the officer asked that question.
It seems to be that every driver has been stopped in his native land and asked the same. On the previous page the story (myth) says Prost was asked. I have heard Senna was, Mansell was. Perhaps they are all just myth!

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Post by DoubleFault » 11 years ago

I quote from Wikipedia
For many years during and after his career, the rhetorical phrase "Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?" was supposedly the standard question all British policemen asked speeding motorists. Moss relates he himself was once stopped for speeding and asked just that; he reports the traffic officer had some difficulty believing him.
Also:
People in Britain continue to use 'Stirling Moss' as a nickname for family and friends who are known to be faster than usual behind the wheel.
My dad calls me Hannu Mikola, not Moss :twisted:

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Post by CevertAngel » 11 years ago

I know this from an actual statement made by Mario Andretti. That after he won a Indy Car race he was pulled over by a traffic Cop on his way to the airport. As usual Mario was late and didnt want to miss his flight.

When the said cop pulled him over Mario wound down the window. And the Cop said the usual "Excuse me sir do you know how fast youre going etc." Mario explained that he was going to be late for his flight etc. When the cop turned around and siad to him" Thats no excuse for speeding who do you think you are Mario Andretti....."

Apparently Mario piped up "Well actually.............."
And the cop who took some convincing finally belived him and gave him a escort to the Airport with full appologies................ :haha:

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall on that occasion......... :tongue:
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Post by Cheeveer » 11 years ago

CevertAngel wrote:I know this from an actual statement made by Mario Andretti. That after he won a Indy Car race he was pulled over by a traffic Cop on his way to the airport. As usual Mario was late and didnt want to miss his flight.

When the said cop pulled him over Mario wound down the window. And the Cop said the usual "Excuse me sir do you know how fast youre going etc." Mario explained that he was going to be late for his flight etc. When the cop turned around and siad to him" Thats no excuse for speeding who do you think you are Mario Andretti....."

Apparently Mario piped up "Well actually.............."
And the cop who took some convincing finally belived him and gave him a escort to the Airport with full appologies................ :haha:

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall on that occasion......... :tongue:
There are millions of stories like that :haha: :tongue:
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Post by Cheeveer » 11 years ago

I did some reasearch about the 1957 and 1958 Monzanapolis races and came up on this :haha:
There was an amusing incident during practice. Jimmy Bryan, in his Dean Van Lines Special, had 10 $10 bills blow out of the top pocket of his overalls. Being somewhat upset at this, he stopped his car at the foot of the banking, and climbed to the stop. Given the steepness of the banking, this was quite a feat, and he managed to get most of his money back too
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Post by SB83 » 11 years ago

Cheeveer wrote:I did some reasearch about the 1957 and 1958 Monzanapolis races and came up on this :haha:
There was an amusing incident during practice. Jimmy Bryan, in his Dean Van Lines Special, had 10 $10 bills blow out of the top pocket of his overalls. Being somewhat upset at this, he stopped his car at the foot of the banking, and climbed to the stop. Given the steepness of the banking, this was quite a feat, and he managed to get most of his money back too
Boy, I sure hope he went and called off practise first. I'd hate to be one of his friends coming up on him at 150 mph on the top of the banking. :haha:

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Post by EB » 11 years ago

:whistling:

Image

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Post by SB83 » 11 years ago

:shock:

Didn't any of the drivers raise hell over that? I mean, what if one guy was approaching him on the middle lane and had to swerve and nearly crash because of Bryan being there?

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Post by EB » 11 years ago

I wonder if practice was in the American one-at-a-time format?

After all, they were prepared to race the wrong way around the track just to suit the Americans, so the whole format was pretty much on their terms.

Jimmy Bryan could fill an entire funny stories thread on his own. Who else could have made the AAA sanctioning body think it necessary to come up with a rule that specifically banned drivers from setting off firecrackers behind officials' backs in a deliberate attempt to scare them?

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 11 years ago

Nice story Jake and pic EB..... are we going to hear any more of these stories EB? Please! :thumbsup: :tongue: :wink:

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Post by EB » 11 years ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:Nice story Jake and pic EB..... are we going to hear any more of these stories EB? Please! :thumbsup: :tongue: :wink:
Well , for starters, he got banned from a swimming pool in Indy for his unusual diving technique. There were two diving boards, 10 and 20 feet off the ground. He would jump off the top one, land on the bottom one, get catapulted high into the air and hit the water with enough force to send gallons of water all over everyone at poolside. He also broke the bottom board about 3 times. Obviously deemed unacceptable behaviour, even if he was a 3 time national champion and America's greatest driver of the 50s!

Another rule put in place as a result of Bryan was a requirement not to destroy Indy sanitary facilities with a passenger car whilst trying to get from Gasoline Alley to the racetrack in record time.

The race HQ at Sacramento had to change venue after Bryan played a trick in the hotel foyer. He saw a guy in the lobby reading a newspaper, and as Bryan entered the elevator he took out his cigar lighter and set fire to the guy's paper. By the time the man realised what was happening, the doors had closed and Bryan was long gone!

I have mentioned his win at Phoenix in 1957 before, when he went through the fence with 4 laps to go whilst leading, but continued around the outside of the track, re-entered through another hole in the fence, hunted down new leader Pat O'Connor, and passed him to win the race!

He wasn't afraid to admit fear, either. When asked if he ever went to the lethal high banked tracks, he replied "not even on weekdays".

At his peak, he was outscoring his nearest rival in Champ Cars by a ratio of 6 to 1 in race wins over a sustained period of 5 seasons. One hell of a guy, on and off a racetrack.

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 11 years ago

Back in 1975 Radio 1 sponsored one of the Production Saloon Car Championship. They used to promote some of the events with with what they called 'Fun Days', which involved celebs and side shows happening. One of these was at Mallory Park.....

Hmmm.....the Mallory Park 'Fun' Day. I was one of the close to 50,000 people that was at Mallory that weekend, working for Arian Automotive, who ran a number of Mazda RX3 cars in the Radio 1 Prodsaloon Championship. It was hardly a fun day I can assure you. One of the cars I was looking after was the Cozy Powell Hitachi entry. Of the huge crowd very few were motor racing fans. Most were screaming girls there to catch a glimpse of the Tartan Terrors, the Bay City Rollers, the 70's equivalent of a 'Boy Band'. There were also other celebrities involved in the day. The thousands of girls around started off as being a delight bearing in mind I was in my late teens at the time....being asked for autographs was a bit embarrassing, but I coped.

The Island in the middle of the lake had been converted for the day into a stage, and the band were supposed to play, or at least appear at some stage, and the DJs were doing their thing there. All the top DJs of the day wrere there, Tony Blackburn, David Hamilton, DLT, John Peel, plus of course Noel Edmunds, who ran a 3 litre Capri in Castrol colours that year. I seem to recall that the 'Rollers' had been deposited on the island by helicopter

The Formula Ford race was running full bore when the band appeared on the island, at which point sheer hell broke out as hundreds of tartan clad crazy schoolgirls proceeded to run across the track, MID RACE, totally oblivious of the cars racing by. Like lemmings they hurled themselves into the lake to try to swim to the island. I havnt been to Mallory for25 years or so, but im sure the island had a control tower on it. The band and others barricaded themselves in the tower as scuba divers in wet suits and flippers were flapping around, and with what seemed to be hordes of police were trying to round up these girls. Part of the entertainment was a speed boat that was used to convey the DJs to the island .

One of the clearest memories I have of the proceedings was this speedboat cruising around the lake at this point, being driven by a Womble in full regalia, whilst Tony Blackburn was sat looking every bit like the Queen, waving regally to the crowds.

Racing was naturally stopped, and when control was regained all those involved on the paddock side of things began to see the funny side of it. I know there were quite a few injured in the melee, none seriously I believe. By the time we had loaded up the traffic was as bad as Silverstone on GP day at its worse, compounded by thousands of pedestrians walking in the roads. By this time I was getting very peeved trying to escape the circuit driving one of the transporters, trailer behind at barely walking pace literally bumping pedestrians out of the way to try and clear a path. The reason I was in a big hurry to escape...... I had tickets to see some real music. Led Zepellin were playing at Earls Court that night. My next challenge that night was trying to find a parking spot in Earls Court to fit 40+ft of transporter and trailer. Altogether one of the more unique and certainly most memorable days motoracing I have had. :lol: :eyecrazy:

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Post by futuretiger9 » 11 years ago

Great story! Did you get to the Led Zeppelin gig, and how was it?

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