This race was one of the most fun events of the year. Unfortunately, it was not well attended, especially considering locally based CVAR was a co-host. The timing of the event was great for weather but bad for racing budgets. With the COTA National Championships only four weeks away, most of the CVAR people passed up on New Orleans for COTA.
Tony Parella may have invited CVAR to co-host, but he personally planned the event and the special added attractions which were nothing short of spectacular.
On Friday evening during rush hour, Tony had the police block off the freeway including the Greater New Orleans Bridge for a parade of racecars that made the 26 mile trip from the NOLA racetrack to the French Quarter. The tour wasn’t just Point-A to Point-B. It circulated through the entire French Quarter, with police motorcycles passing and re-passing the racecar parade, boldly blocking off side streets and startled pedestrians with drinks in hand. The parade finally stopped at Harrah’s Casino where everyone from the race got free gambling money. A huge crowd descended on the parked racecars, and much goodwill was spread. Everyone had a ball except those Friday evening commuters who were stacked up on the freeway entrance ramps!
Who would have thought that possible, much less pull it off?
On Saturday night, the party was a mini Marti Gras with traditional New Orleans jazz musicians strolling through the crowd with instruments blaring. There were beaded necklaces, doubloons and smiles everywhere. It was by far the best race party in years.
The racing was as good as it could be with so few entrants. Group 6 had a decent field, but some of the other groups had twos and fews.
Duntov brought two Group 6 cars for Tony Parella and Jim Kitzmiller. Tony also had us bring his 58 Corvette that had just gotten a major engine upgrade. Many times Tony has had Duntov bring cars to the track, but he rarely has the time to run them. This weekend he ran his cars and had a ball doing it!