Sunday, December 10, 2017

Laguna's first winning seat...

With big-name drivers like Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall, and Johnny Von Newmann in the field driving machines such as Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati no one gave Pete Lovely much chance of a good finish in the inaugural race at Laguna Seca in his two year old Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa. It was the year 1957, but there was a upset to be made.

Lovely's Ferrari 500 was a 1956 model with a 4-cylinder 2-liter engine up against bigger engine cars. Lovely recounted "I always remember that race, because it was the first race at Laguna Seca. Von Newmann and I were the main survivors because Shelby, McAfee, and Ginther had all dropped out with mechanical problems. Johnny's Ferrari had the newer 2.5 liter engine."

"I could get close to Von Newmann, but with his larger engine I could not get by. I devised a scheme to drop back so he could not see me in his mirrors. I then turned it on for a couple of laps and got right behind him on the last turn of the last lap. When Johnny saw me there, he got flustered, missed a shift coming out of the turn and I passed him and finished first making history in the red Ferrari."

Pete lovely sat behind the wheel in this image of an iconic car when he made history winning the first race at Laguna. I'm planning on printing this for my shows in Monterey this coming year. It's art for people like you, that get it! If you can't wait, I'm sure you could talk me into printing one on metal for you before August. If your interested contact me here.

"Laguna's First" © John Straub