Bruce Canepa’s Saturday afternoon drive is a little different from one you or I might take, because his is in a high powered rocket ship, otherwise known as a 1979 Porsche 935. Canepa’s vintage racing stable has included this particular 935 for a couple of years, and every year it seems to get just a little faster. Known widely as the last Werks-built 935 in existence, Canepa’s quick machine can match wits with the best vintage racers of the era.
Canepa’s white number 12 starts the race from the inside of row 2, and deftly motors into second position before the braking zone to the Andretti Hairpin. From there, the race is on between Canepa and Ken Eppsman’s mighty Dekon Monza. They thrust and parry, changing positions every so often in a tight battle for the race win. Unfortunately the battle ends with the Monza losing a left rear wheel and slamming unceremoniously into the wall.
The red flag comes out and the track officials go to clean up the scene of the incident. Canepa, now in the race lead, coasts to a stop on the front straight and shuts the car down. The car suffered a dead battery, and he could not get it started to join the rest of the field in the pits. Because of this, Mr. Canepa then had to rejoin the pack on the restart of the race at the tail end of the lead lap. His 1st place position then became something in the high-teens. He did manage to regain a number of positions after the restart, but a late race caution forced him to finish in only 14th position.
Regardless of any outcome, Bruce certainly had some great racing moves during this session, and he was flat-chat fast for the whole thing. Were it not for that battery problem, he certainly would have won the thing.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering why he pulled into pit lane while everyone else pulled into the paddock, Mr. Canepa was competing in the very next session in his Birdcage Maserati. What a way to go racing, right?
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