September 29th, 1968 — As crash pictures go this isn’t much of a shot but it was the only excitement in a dull CanAm race and became an important picture in my career because the photographer for the Edmonton Journal standing next to me was changing film when it happened. I was a couple of weeks into the photography course at NAIT in Edmonton and had never been published in a daily newspaper but realized there might be a chance to make a little money so immediately after the race I processed the film in the bathroom of my basement apartment just to see what I had. The neg was sharp enough so I phoned the Edmonton Journal and after some fast talking convinced the photo editor to make a print for me. The picture ran on front page which later helped me get a position working in the darkroom and then as a photographer at the newspaper. Interesting fact is that I never became friends with the photographer who missed the shot. The driver who crashed was Jeff Stevens from California who was not hurt.
Tag: Can-Am racing
September 1969 — Team McLaren rented the Edmonton race track the week before the Edmonton CanAm race to do some testing. While Bruce McLaren was driving around the track with Life magazine photographer Arthur Rickerby in the car a tractor went out to sweep the track in preparation for the actual race on the weekend. The picture ran on the front page of the Edmonton Journal.
July 25th, 1970 — Dave Morris, driving in a support race to the 1970 CanAm in Edmonton, zooms through the pits on a scooter. His passenger, Brynell Gunderson, is not impressed. Dave is a member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame and aside from being the 1973 Canadian Formula Ford champion he owned the team that Gilles Villeneuve drove for in Formula Atlantic the year before he signed with Ferrari in Formula 1.
July 25th, 1970 — A pensive Peter Gethin in the pits during practice for the 1970 CanAm race in Edmonton. Gethin replaced Bruce McLaren in the Mclaren CanAm team when McLaren was killed the previous month during practice in England.
September 25th, 1971 — Three time world formula one champion Jackie Stewart in the pits during practice for the 1971 Edmonton CanAm race.
September 25th, 1971 — Above, John Cordts sits in his McLaren M8C during practice for the 1971 Edmonton CanAm race. Cordts finished 6th. After the race I met him in the pits just after he got out the car and congratulated him on a good race. He didn’t take it as a complement and said something dismissive. I looked at his mechanic and shrugged my shoulders in an expression of “what’s that all about?”. The mechanic laughed and said Cordts had expected to win which was amusing because he was driving a four year old car and qualified 9 seconds slower than the eventual winner Denny Hulme.
July 26th, 1969 — Jim Hall next to the innovative Chaparral 2H race car during practice for the 1969 Edmonton CanAm race. Hall was the first person to put a wing on a race car and his designs revolutionized motor racing even though the cars were only moderately successful over an entire season because of reliability problems. The 2H was driven by John Surtees (in car) and finished 4th in this race, its highest finish ever. Surtees hated the car.
September 1969 — Bruce McLaren in his car during a private practice session at Edmonton International Speedway the week before the Edmonton CanAm race.
September 1969 — Team McLaren rented the Edmonton race track the week before the Edmonton CanAm race to do some testing. Arthur Rickerby was there from Life magazine to take pictures for a feature on driver and team owner Bruce McLaren. Rickerby wanted pictures from inside the car while Bruce was driving. Being from Life he got them, although his girth made it a tight fit. Rickerby took about a thousand pictures that day. None of them appeared with the story. An interesting aside is that Rickerby arrived in Edmonton without a wide angle lens and had to borrow one from Edmonton Journal photographer, Mike Vann.
August 26th, 1970 — Denny Hulme uses his teeth to pull on inner fireproof gloves during practice for the 1970 Edmonton CanAm race. Hulme burned his hands in a methanol fire earlier in the year during practice for the Indianapolis 500 . The burns made it painful for him to grip objects with his fingers. How he managed to drive the car much less win the race amazed everyone.