Friday, June 7, 2019

A Tribute To Greatness - Niki Lauda

Niki with his mechanic, Ermanno Cuoghi at Watkins Glen 1976

I was recently traveling in New York to visit Watkins Glen and the International Motor Racing Research Center located there when I learned the news of Niki Lauda's passing. I was shocked at first as I thought Niki was invincible. After all, he lived through his crash at the Nürburgring in 1976, and he was there in front of my camera in Watkins Glen a little over two months later battling for the world championship. Nothing would take Niki down. He was a tough guy. Tough guys don't die!

But it happened and now the racing world is experiencing a huge loss of this larger than life personality. I've been thinking how can I pay tribute to my hero?, so I've published this post to honor him with an excellent video attached.  My last post before going to New York was about Niki and James Hunt, never expecting that shortly thereafter Niki would be lost to all of us that were fortunate enough to have seen him race.

I am proud to have a picture of Niki on the starting grid at Watkins Glen October 10,1976 on the cover of my new book "Echoes From The Glen" and equally proud to have the IMRRC offering the book for sale in Watkins Glen.  (I'm giving $5.00 donation for each book sold there so click on the link below to get yours)

But first, here's a wonderful interview with Niki that will give you a sense of the man.  He was a one of a kind.

Graham Bensinger Interview With Niki Lauda

And here's a tribute by the Mercedes F1 team and staff that is very well done:

Mercedes Team Tribute To Niki

And here's "The Logbook" newsletter from the International Motor Racing Research Center.  Scroll down to the Race Shop to see my new book!

The Logbook- IMRRC

Next Up - I'll be at Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen for the IMSA race. Stay tuned for pictures.

Hope you enjoyed this tribute to an incredible man. I was one of the lucky fans to see him race.

Paul Ziegler, Publisher   and author of "Echoes From The Glen"

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Why You Should Learn About Niki Lauda and James Hunt

I suppose the title to this post got your attention, but I mean it in the most sincere way. If you are any kind of fan of motorsports racing, the story of the friendship and rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt will stand out for all of time.  The story will take you back over forty years to a time when Formula 1, or Grand prix racing as it was originally named, was much simpler.  Drivers were more at risk of losing their life than if they went into combat in WWII and fans could actually get close to their heroes at any given race.

I was so impressed with Niki Lauda as a young fan, I had to get his picture when he came racing at Watkins Glen in 1976.  And get his picture, I did.  That photo safari to the Glen lead me to write a book about that some 40+ years later. And to top it off, in 2015 I sent the three time world champion my photos with a request to autograph them. Never expecting such a busy and important figure to pay much attention to me, I was pleasantly surprised to get a package three months later with the 8 photos I send neatly wrapped and signed by the master!  Now that is class!

One of the photos adorns the cover of my new book,  "Echoes From The Glen", Reflections of Race Fans After Forty Years. For anyone interested, this is now available by clicking on the button to the right, and if you are within the continental, US I'm paying the shipping fees at this time to celebrate the start of the 2019 F1 racing season.

So here's the video "When Niki Lauda Meets Freddie Hunt.   (Freddie is late James Hunt's son), his dad having passed away at the young age of 45 of a heart attack.  This is a wonderful tribute to James.

Click Here For Video

And here's a cool commercial highlighting the NRING (Nürburgring) editions of the Alfa Rome Giulia and Stelvio.  You will love this.

Click Here For Alfa Romeo Action

"Echoes From The Glen" Available Now

The story of Niki Lauda's comeback from a crash that nearly killed him at the Nürburgring "Green Hell" circuit in August 1976 is one of the most inspiring stories, ranking along Tiger Wood's comeback to win the 2019 Masters.  ( Lauda won the World Championship in 1977 and missed winning the 1976 championship by 1 point).

I even gave a copy of the book to Indycar star, Robert Wickens who is on his journey of recovery since last year's crash nearly took his life. I told Robert his remarkable progress is an inspiration to all of todays young race fans, just as Niki Lauda's comeback was an inspiration to me as a young race fan. It has been an example for me throughout my life when things got tough- I always remembered how Niki overcame obstacles.  Robert is setting that example for a whole new generation of fans.

Robert Wickens receiving a copy of my book.

I hope you learn something from this post and gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of our sport.

                             This post brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Author and Publisher
                             of "Echoes From The Glen" and

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Sebring Spring Fling HSR Races

Here's a quick visual summary of my trip to HSR's Sebring Spring Fling March 30th.  I was not able to stay the entire weekend, but I did get some nice shots on Saturday.  I was sure to get pictures of my friend Don Ondrejcak's Porsche GT3.

Here's only a sample of the cars. It was a perfect day and a great ticket value- 20 bucks for Saturday only. You gotta go next year for that price. A lot of good racing and an air show going on next door as you will see in my final photos at the bottom of this post.

And there were war birds flying overhead all day!  Quite a show.

We'll fly back for next year's race.

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Author of "Echoes From The Glen"
Publisher of

Friday, March 29, 2019

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Blossoms

The new name and sponsor of this support series for the IMSA sports car racing series is gaining traction.  I found this series to be entertaining and much more interesting with all the new manufacturers entering the Michelin Pilot Challenge.  We can now see Alfa Romeo Giulietta's going wheel to wheel with Honda Civics, Audi RS3's, Aston Martin Vantage GT4's and even Hyundai Velosters!  This is the new wave of entry class racers that fans can relate to. The action is fierce and the racing is exciting.  There are two classes; Grand Sport represented by fast cars including Ford Mustangs, Porsche GT4's, Mercedes AMG-GT4's and Mclarens and Touring Car, known as TCR class with the aforementioned Alfa's, Honda's etc.

I'm bringing you a sample of the sights one will see if they go to one of 10 races this season. The races consist of four hour races at Daytona and Watkins Glen with the remainder two hour races. The first race of the year at Daytona was a four hour nail bitter in the TCR class with the red, #3 Alfa Romeo almost winning until it had engine problems less than 30 minutes from the end. (See picture from Daytona showing how close the racing gets)  The #37 Honda Civic won a second time at Sebring.  In the GT class, the #75 Compass Racing McLaren at Daytona and the second race at Sebring was won by Carbahn Racing's #39 Audi R8.

So to start here's a picture of the 'tire tent' that is mind blowing in itself followed  by some pictures from the Daytona and Sebring races.

Gallery of pictures for you:

                                                            That's a lot of tires!

A large field of cars!

                                                                   Close racing action.

Just how close!   This was at the Daytona Race in January.

Check out a race or two this year - you will not be dissapointed.

Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Author of "Echoes From The Glen"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lots Of Shifts Going On At Sebring

    Super Sebring Is Here!

                       Found this band of merry men and women on the way to Turn 10

Super Sebring delivered on it's name indicating the best of 67 years of racing at this historic track. There was so much to cover, I can only give you a taste of what went on March 13-16th.  I will try to give you a representative sample through pictures of this memorable event. As the picture above says, there was a lot of 'shift' going on!

I will have a second post for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for pictures of that race.  I was not able to cover the FIA WEC race on Friday as I had family a commitment in St. Petersburg late Friday. In spite of that here's some pretty nice photos for you. The weather ranged from perfect to horrible and everything in between as you will see. Overall it was an incredible set of races to photograph. And the finish was especially close for the DPi class with  Felipe Nasr holding off Jordan Taylor by less than 2 seconds for the final 10 minuets of the race.  Here's only a few of the pics I took:

Second Place DPi Class - Konica Minolta Cadillac/ Wayne Taylor Racing

Mustang Sampling Racing Team

Corvette Racing Paddock Area

Konica Minolta Cadillac Paddock

Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing- Acura NSX
Katherine Legge, Bia Figuerido and Christina Nielson

Second Place in GTD -GRT Grasser Racing Team

Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488GT3

JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac leads Porsche GT Team 911 RSR

Mazda Team Joest #77

P1 Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3

Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian  Acura NSX-GT3 Evo

Slippery start for #85 JDC- Miller Motorsports during first few laps.

Classic battle between Chevy and Ford!

AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus leads the way through turns 3 & 4.

Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS GT3 about to be passed by BMW Team RLL BMW M8

Beautiful overhead shot of Mazda RT24- DPi leading Core Autosport Nissan DPi

PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in 'Lumberjack' livery.

Race winning Whelen Engineering Cadillac blasts through the tunnel.

Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R

You know you're at Sebring!
A Clean Machine - Early in the race, Porsche 911 RSR GT3
Racing winning GTLM Porsche GT3 RSR

Jordan Taylor attempts to pass the Mazda going into Turn 7

See you next year!


                                   Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher and Author of                                                                "Echoes From The Glen", Reflections Of Race Fans After Forty Years
                                               Follow on Instagram @ wownowpics