Dave Ridenour -- BMC F-Jr. / Tony Escalle -- Gemini F-Jr

Two front-engined Formula Juniors on the hill at Laguna Seca on October 21, 1961 during a support race for the S.F. Examiner sponsored "Pacific Grand Prix".

Of interest is the Roman Numeral III on Escalle's car.  In 1961, the SF Region of the SCCA became concerned that the rapid evolution of F-Jr. had led to a "Car of the month club" situation where only the very latest (and fastest) cars were in contention for overall wins.

Fields were shrinking as many otherwise perfectly good cars were being retired much too early in their racing lives.  To keep the older cars running, a three-tiered "claiming" class system was instituted.  Class I was not claimable, classes II and III could be bought for ?????  (Your webmaster forgets, but it was cheap!).  This plan was successful and led to huge fields as older cars could be raced competitively with their contemporaries.

Examples might be: Ed Leslie's Gemini, as one of the "latest and fastest" in the Fall of 1961, would be a Class I.  A typical Class II would be Jack Dalton's BMC Mk.II, still quick but no match for the latest from Lotus and Gemini.  A Class III car, such as Escalle's early front-engined Gemini above, was thoroughly obsolete but provided its owner/driver with affordable racing fun against comparable cars.

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