Weekly Report (10 March 2019)

Weekly Report (10 March 2019)

This past week has been quite an eventful one with plenty of things happening , one way or the other. The start of the week began with my monthly I.V.I G transfusions on Tuesday and Wednesday (5/6 March) . It was the start of another six month course for my Myasthenia Gravis condition, at the Cornwall Hospital.

On Wednesday morning, before heading to the hospital, I heard via social media, some sad news from New Zealand announcing my long time friend and racer Tony Allen had passed away. 

Not my Photo, Photographer unknown
 I’d known Tony, his wife Muriel and the family for over 40 years. At that time , I was living in Dunstable , Bedfordshire and they were in nearby Luton.
During the 1960’s he was a top BriSCA F2 driver # 766 before switching to BriSCA F1  # 348 in the early 1970’s .
It didn’t take him long to become one of star men in this, the UK’s premier oval racing division.
When me and my buddy , Chris Pickup, decided to build our first stock car in the winter of 1973, Tony was only too willing to offer his help and advice.
During the winter of 1974/75 , he was chosen to represent England on a racing tour of New Zealand. He liked the way of life so much in the country, that on his return to the UK he announced his plans to emigrate there.
I remember the great Farewell Party we had for them in Dunstable prior to the families departure in late 1975. Before leaving England ,  he built a light weight stock car and had it shipped to NZ ready to race on his arrival.
After competing in the Kiwi version of stock car racing he switched to racing Sprint Cars where once again success came his way.
Not my Picture , Photographer Unknown
I have many happy memories of our adventures during the 1970’s and will treasure them always.
My thoughts and sympathies go out to Muriel and the family at this sad time.
Tony , you were a real gent .

R.I.P  Tony Allen

On Thursday night, it was hockey night for me , as I joined my friends at the Cornwall City Complex to watch the Colts V the Jr Senators.

A lot was going on at the weekend, and I had two events on my agenda. 

Both were taking place at the New York State Fairgrounds, in two separate buildings.  In a brand new Expo Center, it was Syracuses’s  inaugural running of a Lenny Sammons Indoor Racing event on Friday and Saturday . I went to my first Indoor Racing event in Albany NY, last year.

On Saturday and Sunday (9/10 March) the traditional annual Motor Sport Expo was taking place in the Center of Progress Building.

My plan was to be there for Friday nights racing and attend the Expo on Saturday.

I left home in Cornwall, about 8-30 am on Friday and after stopping a few times on route, I was booking into the Quality Inn , in Syracuse by 1-00 pm.  It’s located about a 20 minute drive from the Fairgrounds.

Although racing wasn’t scheduled to start until 7-30 pm , I wanted to sign in early at the media desk  The new Expo Center building has been built on a piece of land, that was once part of the famous ‘Moody Mile’ race track. Most people that I spoke to,  agreed, that it’s position is where the entrance to turn three used to be.

I met up with fellow Canadian photographers Peter and John Lyng in the parking lot, and we signed in at the same time.

It was a very impressive place, as we walked around as the teams and track staff were preparing for practice.

We found the media room, which has to be the most luxurious one I’ve ever been in. There were about 20 credited photographers  that attended the mandatory 6-30 meeting. Due to the limited space in the middle, we were told that only four would be allowed out there at anyone time, and we’d need to do so in shifts.

Due to the high mesh fence around the track, it became obvious that picture taking was going to be a challenge.


Apart from the middle, the other options were high in the grandstands or up on the Media Room balcony.

The program consisted of the headlining TQ Midgets, Champ Karts and Slingshots.

I traded various vantage points throughout the night and rejoined the middle at the end of the night for the TQ Midget Victory Lane.

 It was was quite a good race, with Justin Bonsignore and Erick Rudolph side by side and trading places.  At the checkers it was Bonsignore.

Helping out during the Victory Lane presentations was Ms VP FUELS, Leslie Donegan, who was last years Ms Motorsports.

Also there was the current Ms MotorSports Taylor Marie Fullin

By now it was about 11-15, so I made the short ride back to the Hotel.

The Indoor Racing at the New York State Fairgrounds Expo Center Syracuse, became Track # 238 on my TRACKCHASING totals

After breakfast on Saturday morning , I was heading back to the ‘Fairgrounds’ for the Motor Sports Expo.  I was there shortly after the mid morning opening.

This a show I’ve been attending for many years and always heralds the start of a new racing season in the North East.

In the past it was known as the Gator Racing News Show which was staged by the demised, publication of the same name.

As usual there was plenty to see for all race fans , as well as a good chance to meet up and chat with friends.   

Mandee Pauch was there with her media crew doing interviews

By midday I’d seen enough , and decided to make my exit.

It was a lovely drive back to Canada in some very Spring like weather. The sun was shining and I even had the sun roof open. I was back home in Cornwall by 5-00 pm, and had all my photo editing done before going bed. 

What a difference a few hours can make,  by the time I awoke on Sunday morning, there was about two inches of snow on my car.

I guess winter is not over yet !

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