|Date: August 19-20-21, 2005
Event: 32nd Rolex Monterey Historic Races-
2005- Tribute to Jim Hall and the Chapparals ... and the Theme- American
Road Racing Specials
Update: Old Yeller II 1959 Buick Special
Thursday: The team was able to
tech' the car extra early for the short track sessions for legendary Billy
Krause. Billy was able to talk to his peers and friends like Jim Hall,
Chuck Daigh, Bill Sadler among others during each day. The team worked
hard working with Billy to bring him back to hard racing with Test Days-
Two days of racing at Laguna Seca in July... and having Steve Earle of
the Monterey Historic Races allow Billy to take "my seat" at the big races
at Monterey. Billy did get the "Black Flag" (almost jumping the start)
at the July races and Steve just wanted a personal "talk" with Bill prior
to the races.
Friday: Qualifying -- Billy exhibited
smooth driving and placed the car in 5th spot on the grid against some
really fast Chevy motors in the Scarabs, Listers, and Devins.
Saturday: The team mounted two new Dunlop
tires on the rears for short morning warm up session. Billy worked with
the team the entire weekend on more adjustments and he had a notebook of
settings for tire pressures- amount of fuel- sway bar- shocks settings-
For the noon Parade lap for American
Specials, Erik went out with Billy for the ride of his life while trying
to video the Parade Laps.
Race- Brian Redman in the fast Scarab
jumped the start passing two cars ahead before the green flag (was not
disqualified as protocol). Billy raced the wheels off the Old Yeller II
trying every line and technique trying to stay with the ultra fast Chevy
powered Specials. Billy finished 6th with a tired motor with limited rpms...
Billy wants more hp to run down the front runners.
Many fans came to get autographs from
Billy and three journalists took long interviews (Mexico- Canada &
Vintage Motorsport magazine). Speed Channel Cable Television stopped by
to interview Billy at the car. There were fans that brought historic photos
of Billy racing long ago and had Bill sign the photos.
At the pit lane I introduced Billy to
John Mozart in a very fast Lister Chevy and John said to Bill..."When I
was young my father had a VW dealership and he would take me to all the
races to see you... and through the years he said over and over... there
is only one driver... only one driver that can really drive a race-car
and that is Billy Krause".
Parade Lap - Billy took out his wife Sally and she was scared and said
we would have to 'bleep' out some of her language.
Sunday Afternoon Post Race Awards Ceremony:
After all the special awards were given (Ford- Chrysler- Road & Track-etc)
and the individual class awards...and at the very end of the Prize Giving...
the final and best award is always the coveted "Phil Hill Monterey Cup
Award". The Award is given each year for driving, presentation of the car
and 'Spirit of Monterey. Steve Earle (Organizer) stated the requirements
for the Award... and called up Ernie to the Podium to accept the Award
along with Billy Krause.
There was a big silver engraved cup trophy...
a large framed photo of Phil Hill by Jesse Alexander signed by both with
a metal plaque designating - "Phil Hill Monterey Cup Award"... and the
Executive from Rolex Watch Company presented Ernie with a Special Edition
'Daytona' Rolex watch in a beautiful box. It was such an emotional and
overwhelming moment for our team in front of all the drivers and teams...
with over 415 race cars eligible for the prestigious award... and unexpected
as most cars selected in the past were all "concours" condition race cars.
After photographs, I spoke and thanked
Billy Krause... I said that 'he' was the man...and I mentioned that "we
are just owners that happen to race the cars here today and Billy is a
racer that has "raced the race"...he is the link to the historical past.
Billy spoke and was he humorous about his short height ...and the fact
that he told Steve Earle that this is the first 'amateur' race he raced
that he did not get a "Black Flag" (Billy was known in his racing days
for his very aggressive style)... and he stated - "Steve probably could
not find a "Black Flag" for the awards ceremony".
We took photographs of the team and awards
at the Amphitheater and later at the car in the paddock. One the way to
the paddock, a carload of "Corner Workers" jokingly handed Billy a "Black
Flag"! Sally was in tears and Billy we think was almost teary eyed...and
to think of coming back to some hard racing after 40 years and to get into
the "groove" so quickly with great focus.
What a weekend for all of us and it was
a true "Rolex Moment" for sure.