Targa Sixty Six 2020

Targa Sixty Six - Porsche 962 & McLaren Senna GTR
Early morning at Targa Sixty Six with Malcolm Ross's 1985 Porsche 962-003 & 2020 McLaren Senna GTR

Way back when carshows and racing was allowed, I was at Cavallino Classic with my good friend Bill Adam ogling Tom Price’s Gulf/Davidoff liveried Senna GTR. While we were enjoying the McLaren masterpiece, Bill mentioned that his friend Malcolm Ross would be bringing his Senna GTR to Targa Sixty Six in a couple of weeks.

A few days later Bill emailed me saying that he would be attending Brian Redman’s Targa Sixty Six at Palm Beach International Raceway. He also mentioned that Malcolm would be putting Bill in the driver’s seat of his Senna and asked if I would like to check it out. A resounding Yes Please! Bill went on to say that Malcolm would also have his 1985 Rothmans Porsche 962-003 with him. Yes that 962, the “winningest Factory Works Porsche 962 in the world”. Of the 3 cars produced 003 is 1 of 2 to win Le Mans with the 3rd on exhibit at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. It was shaping up to be a fantastic day and I hadn’t even finished editing my Cavallino pics yet!

As usual I arrived at the crack of dawn. There were maybe 5 people at the track including me, so parking was cake. Since the paddock was full all the way to the hairpin, I was instructed to park on the go-kart track, a first for me. My parking spot worked out perfectly b/c I entered the gate right next to Malcolm’s 2 beauties. After a little walk around of the 962 and once I was able to get my mouth off the floor, I took a lap around to see if there was anything else exposed that could be captured in this glorious golden sunlight.

Turning around, I noticed the Klub Sport Racing tent opening up and the crew was getting to work wiping down the cars and uncovering the engine stand, getting things ready for a day at the track. I didn’t want to intrude so early so I grabbed a few shots and headed towards the hairpin in hopes of finding more cars exposed.

Just past the Klub Sport tent I saw this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO just sitting out in the elements with nothing but a plastic shroud covering it. Then I realized the #18 on the side, I’ve seen this one before at a Creative Workshop Cars & Coffee. This is a certified recreation of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO assembled by Greg Jones. This GTO was built to exact standards using a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe as the donor platform. The GT Coupe and the GTO chassis are essentially identical so with Greg handling the body and Arnie Pondstone handling the engine, the recreation came to life.

While I was walking back from the hairpin area, I noticed some more movement going on in the paddock. Now I had no idea what i was in for but after seeing the 962 I figured all bets were off on what was going to show up. Low and behold I saw the engine cover for the 1991 Benetton B191 sitting behind a trailer, sure old school F1 car, why not?! I was besides myself at this point. I felt a rush of school girl giddiness. This was the era of F1 cars I grew up with right here in front of me. I couldn’t wait to hear this thing unleashed on the track.

Just as I was recovering from the sights of the B191, something else caught my eye. At the back of a partially opened tent I saw a familiar livery. As I walked in past the other cars I was standing in front of the 1997 Rothmans Williams FW19 Formula 1 undergoing race prep testing. It was magical. I’ve never had the pleasure of being in the presence of F1 cars to this capacity. Again I couldn’t wait to see this car in action.

At this point more of the tents had opened and there was movement at Malcolm’s trailer, so I headed over to see what was going on. As I was walking up I noticed a familiar face and he noticed me. Bill had arrived. As I was walking up Dianne, Bill’s wife, Malcolm and Bill were talking. I took this time to get some more detail shots of the 962 with the engine exposed.

After a bit of conversation and checking out the event Bill got suited up to drive the Senna. Malcolm gave him a run down of the cockpit and before long Bill was hitting the track.

I followed Bill to the track to catch him do some laps. This is now the second Senna GTR I’ve seen race in the last 2 weeks, on the same track no less! The sound of the GTR is incredible. It’s like a land going jet engine at full thrust down the straightaways and then near silence into the turns only to scream like a banshee on the exits. Afterwards Bill mentioned that he had the car up around 170 on the back straight. Judging by his face, I think he had a great drive!

With Bill’s drive complete I went on to see the FW19 roll out to the track. Now getting to watch an F1 team work is something truly awesome. Earlier in the morning the FW19 was in pieces going through all types of testing and diagnostics getting ready for the day. Now here it is being rolled to the track and the driver getting in to put it to work. I can still hear that V10 screaming down the track.

As the day went on Bill and Dianne were headed home so I said my goodbyes and headed to the far end of the track to catch some of the last races of the day. Thankfully I was treated to a wide variety of classes making their last runs of the day.

For my first time out to Targa Sixty Six I was beyond excited. I’m looking forward to the next one and hope to catch even more of the action.

There is a massive 900+ photo gallery on our flickr for your viewing pleasure. The way things are these days you’ve probably got some time on your hands 😆 enjoy!

There are also several galleries of specific cars such as : 
1985 Rothmans Porsche 962-003
1997 Rothmans Williams FW19 Formula 1
2020 McLaren Senna GTR
1991 Benetton B191 Formula 1
1967 Ferrari 312 F1

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