Memories of Riverside

Feathers flew when Riverside Raceway was carved out of an old turkey ranch in the California desert.  Hosting its first event in 1957 (I have the inaugural program), the Riverside course became the premier southern California venue for amateur and professional road racing.

Riverside's famous "esses" ended with the uphill right-hand Turn 6. 
                                                                Note the grandstand on the outside of this popular corner.

Lining the fence along the grandstand, or under an outdoor umbrella near their camper, fans would cheer on their favorite drivers as they rounded the corner. 


Class "D" Production cars on the straight between Turn 6 and Turn 7.

Ronnie Bucknum, in the Austin Healey 3000 in 2nd place here, went on to a memorable career in Formula One, at LeMans, and in Indy cars.

Racers crested a rise at high speed, then dropped into the downhill, off-camber Turn 7.

This corner (similar to the "Carousel" at Sears Point) rewarded spectators with plenty of passing and frequent spin-outs.

The main straight at Riverside was 1.1 miles long.  During qualifying for the Times Grand Prix in 1961, Jim Hall's front-engined Chaparral reached a then-record 180 mph. Bob Edmison's Mercedes-Corvette was timed at 176 mph.  Later in the 1960s, CanAm cars routinely exceeded 200 mph here.
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