When Sex Was Safe and Racing Was Dangerous

According to Hans Stuck, now it’s the other way around. We tend to agree. In today’s look at the 2010 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, we’re going to get up close and personal with the folks who risked injuries of historic proportions to race some of the past’s fastest and most dangerous vehicles on one of today’s more challenging tracks.

A long lens, fast shutter speed, and plenty of patience lets the viewer get up close and personal with faces of the drivers, flash-freezing a moment of intense concentration. Many of these were taken at the top of turn #2, which is at the crest of a hill, when driver’s attention was divided between hitting the corner as hard as possible and checking their six for overtaking traffic. In the 1B class (obviously a personal favorite of this Hoon), the maroon #31 Alfa Romeo 8C was going all-out, and the driver (Peter Giddings) wore a look of grim determination as he manhandled the eventual class winner’s 330 HP supercharged straight-8 through the turn. On the other hand, the driver of the significantly slower #49 Ford, 21 years older than the Alfa and running on wheels more suited to your average wagon, took on a more leisurely disposition. Even more laid back was Dan Radcowicz, who cruised arm-out-the-window during a full-course yellow in the Class 1A ’59 Plymouth Savoy, #43. Finally, the cooperation of the co-pilots shepparding the #17 1916 National 5 liter racer through turn #2 is captured when they take a moment to look at each other. What they were saying or indicating is anybody’s guess, but it’s a great moment.
All images copyright 2010 Alex Kierstein.

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  1. CptSevere Avatar

    Great photos! Man, I would love to attend an event like this. I've been to a vintage bike road race before, and that was really something, but this looks like a real blast. I love seeing vintage cars being driven, rather than stuck in a museum, a static display.