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Motor Racing Casts Its Spell on Number 38

It’s been a while since I posted the first episode of Roy Jacobson’s adventures in motor racing – definitely time we heard more. So here is an account of how it all began for him:

Roy and an Old M.G. Make Their Entrance

In 1971 I entered my M.G. TD in a hill climb, a small M.G. club event. I won outright and that was the spark that lit the fire.

Roy

Lime Rock, Connecticut VSCCA All-comers scratch race 1973 – (I finished a distant 2nd)

Early the next summer I entered an SCCA autocross event. The TD was considered “H production” and that meant running with Austin-Healey Sprites and Fiat 850 Spyders. The first run was really difficult; the M.G. barely made it through the pylons and it’s turning radius… well, driving a bus might not have been much different. Four runs per car and I’ve botched the first – a walk around, study others’ mistakes and plot a new strategy. It may have been the last run but I eventually won the 3rd in class award and a nice ceramic coffee mug. Considering the little cars on gumbo tyres I ran against, I gave myself a pat on the back as some displaced Fiat owner gave me the boot! 1972 and 1973 were mostly club events and my first try at road racing at Lime Rock Park.

No hero driver am I – the first thing I learned was to stay out of everyone’s way.

An old sage, a Ferrari driver, took me aside once and taught me… enough! The last race that day found me gridded in the second row behind a Formula Jr. and a Lotus XI, and ahead of a pair of OSCA MT4s. The sight was profound, my lorry among these streamliners.

The Lotus ran away, the Formula Jr. broke, but I managed to confound the OSCAs so much in the esses and up the hill that their superior speed couldn’t make it up on the straight. With a head as big as a blimp, I sent my entry in for the first “vintage car race” at Watkins Glen, a 10 lap affair just prior to the US Grand Prix, October 1973.

Number 38

To be continued…

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