I drove for Roy Wood in the Carling Black Label Lola

T-330, Ser. No. HU10.  It was yet another beautiful racer of Roy's.  Highly photographed.  The Carling people really loved me.  I drove their Indy car at Ontario Speedway for early commercial shoots for Carling Black Label, but Roy was in amour with David Hobbs for the Indy car and Can-Am.  All Carling sponsored.  So I was relegated to the 5000 car for the season. 

Hobbs and Bret Lunger were the big deal in F5000 in Europe having won at Goodwood prior to coming to the first American race at Riverside.  I beat them both there.   My fond accomplishment was at Mid Ohio, where despite a cast on my hand, I qualified second to F1 World Champion Jody Schecter.  Donohue, Hobbs, Lunger, and Redman were all behind us.  My limited slip gave out in the race, Redman and Schecter battled it out to the end.

     I set a new race track record at the second race at Laguna Seca.  Brian Mckay the manifold design guy was always developing drag-racing cams for the engine.  What a waste of talent.  We never had consistent engines.  The gearing was preset for Laguna.  When I drove the car, the gearing was all wrong, power not in the right places.  He said drive it at higher revs, I topped 9500 RPMs with that small block Chevy.

     The Laguna race ended in a crash shortly after setting a new track race record.  A slower Formula-B car touched my rear wheels while lapping him, sending me into the guard rail past the start finish line.  The engine was later torn down and we found the valve seats and valves were pounded to death.  Wouldn't have lasted the race anyway.  It was then that Mckay finally got the idea that torque works better coming off turns.  The small block Chevy engine became really quiet at high revs.  Not sounding like a Chevy at all...

     I almost lost my ride from this crash, as I had broken my navicular bone in my left wrist.  I was relegated to wearing a cast for the rest of the season.  I could only hold the steering wheel with my left hand thumb, while I shifted with my right hand.  Of course all my steering correction was one handed with my right hand.  Not great, took a long time to master.  Quite a feat in road racing, especially with a twitchy 5000 car.  I was always under scrutiny by Roy, however Carling liked me and my contract was never revoked.

     The tall air intake was not used all season, could never determine any gain for top speed.  I determined that it worked like a sail to redirect the car's attitude in cross winds.  The last race of the season in Seattle, Jan and I changed the air intake from a vertical to a horizontal similar to the Lotus F1 car.  This reduced the sail affect, however the real trick was not to seal it to the intake stacks.  We never got that to work any better, even with spring loaded flaps to exit air.  I had Jan fabricate the intake to shroud down along the intake manifold as close to the block as possible.  That provided cold air around the intake manifold, which made a huge difference in performance.  We were now able to hand touch the manifold from the outside, where previously it was too hot to touch when the car came into the pits.  We saw significant RPM gains on the straight.  The intake system blended with the rear engine cover providing a better airflow to the rear wing as well, exiting hot air under the wing.  It was later that Jim Hall developed a one piece cover for Redman's car the following year, thus taking things one step further in development.  Do you think Jim Hall was observing the Carling F-5000 development?  Who knows?

      1973  Formula 5000

       Carling  Lola T-330

I did all my early helmet paint jobs myself and they always got photographers busy.  The one for Carling was painted black and red to match the Lola, with my wraparound American flag on both sides.

Tony at Riverside Raceway

"Never be beaten by your equipment" -  Kas Kastner

     During the season, I started my writing career by doing a race-by-race recap for AutoWeek/Comp Press.  Leon Mandel cornered me to do that for them at Riverside.  I had to mail in a typewritten report no later than Monday after each race.  Where were the fax machines and E-mail then?  Old Autoweek articles in 73 had a real recount of each race.  I actually wrote them with no ghost writer.  Vicki proof read each one.  It was great to get the publicity, but lots of hard work.

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz







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