Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jack Baldwin

Jack Baldwin will be 67 years young on May 31.  I watched him win a race at Mosport on TV yesterday in his Porsche Cayman S.  He launched it into the lead from 3rd on the grid, led for most of the race, got passed by the 2nd place Mustang near the end when he made a minor mistake, set him up beautifully, and re-passed for the win.  Mosport is not a club circuit.  It is right up there with the rest of the great North American circuits, and might be the best: not for the faint-of-heart.

I remember reading about Baldwin's wins and championships in Road & Track when I was young and busy with raising kids and/or living in The Great Sports Car Desert.  Too poor and busy to spend the money and time to see him run "live."  Maybe I'll catch him yet if we're both at Road America on the same weekend.

Baldwin is one of those journeyman American sports car drivers who never made it to the top rank with a big-name team, but who is better than most instructors we might encounter at a school like Barber or Bondurant.  His consistency and racecraft are a delight to watch.  He's not just "good for an old guy," he's flat good at an age when most drivers have been retired for 20 years or more.  Happy Birthday, Jack.  Here's a link to his Wikipedia page for those who want to check his record:

Above: Baldwin counter-steering through Rainey Curve at Laguna Seca.  Below: entering Turn 5 at Road America in the
rain.  He was IMSA GTU Champion in this Mazda RX-7 in 1984 and 1985.  But the winning tradition began in 1972 when
he won the SCCA Formula Ford (amateur) Championship in 1972.

2012-2015: Not fast for an Old Guy, just plain fast in a Porsche Cayman S.  A championship contender.

No comments:

Post a Comment