The Scandinavian Championship race for the Offshore Z class 1978 was in Kotka, Finland.
Weather conditions was extremely tough..storm and big waves..
I stuffed the Delicato/ARGO/Evinrude V-6 way out on the Baltic Sea and my co-pilot
Curre and I had to swim for a long time before some one came to rescue us.
The boat was OK..but the best thing with that race was my old friend Angelo Vassena
was there from Italy.
He was working on a deal with Renato Molinari to drive one of Renatos Team Saffa OZ boats in the Paris 6 hours later same year.
Vassena wanted me to be his co-pilot..
Well..I know Renato is mad at me for the Volvo Penta/Konig deal last year I told Vassena..
His response was ..Renato has already accepted you to drive one of his Saffa boats
and he thinks you need to go to Italy to do a test race before Paris 6 Hours.
Back in Stockholm Sweden I made a plan to go and race with Team Molinari in September.
Well..My friend Anders Fällman and I took my brand new “Evinrude blue” Pontiac Trans Am and left for Italy in
early September 1978.
Straight to the Molinari factory just north of the little town Como.
The Molinari race shop was always fun to visit.
Extremely nice and clean.
There was a brand new Molinari Saffa ON boat rigged with a special Johnson RS
V-6..2 liter “looper” for me.
I was testing all day at Lago di Como and was ready to go racing at the really nice
Idroscalo next to the Linate airport in Milano.
Renato was also racing ON with a similar boat/engine.
The race went very well for me..I ended up second after Renato..ahead of Cees van der Velden and a few Mercury 2 liter boats.
The race at Idroscalo was September 11 1978 and just after the race I got the news..
Ronnie Peterson..the famous Swedish Formula 1 driver was killed at the F-1 race
at Monza only a few miles from us..
A great day turn in to a very sad day for a Swedish race fan..!!
More from Paris 1978 here: http://svera.se/blogg/paris-6-hours-1978-was-a-very-big-deal/
Ronnie Peterson Fatal Crash ..click below to see the video..
The last race of 1978 was Paris 6 Hours and I was really excited about racing in the OZ class with a very good boat and engine.
We had the same chance to the overall win as everybody else in the OZ class.
Again..I have to give my friend Angelo Vassena, the credit for the opportunity..
He was the one putting this deal together with Renato Molinari..
Well..OMC was still in charge..I remember very well when Jack Leek told as to use a big pitch propeller to hold down the RPM to keep
the engine alive for 6 hours.
The big prop took away all the fun driving..OMC told Angelo and me to just ride and let
faster boats take the risk of breaking down.
It is hard to explain the feeling of driving Paris 6 hours..but running up and down the river Seine next to the Eiffel tower for 6 hours is a blast.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators was watching the race live.
I do not remember all the details 1978 but we ended up fourth..not bad for our first year in the big OZ class.
We was the second best OMC..after Renato/Posey.
More from Paris 1978 here: http://svera.se/blogg/more-fun-pictures-and-memories-from-paris-6-hours-1978/
The engine was a 2.4 liter cross-flow power head with the 3 extra carburetors on a racing rig
Same block as I used for my Offshore Z class boat.
I only have this picture of our # 11 boat..and I can see on the helmet that the Swede is driving.
The Saffa paint job was so good looking..
A color picture of Renatos Saffa boat.
The man..!! Angelo Vassena..