Europe vs America: Racing Greats Discuss

By  | 


Credit Suisse’s sixth Historic Racing Forum was recently a platform for racing greats from both sides of the pond to obviously discuss America’s great advantage over European racing!
Obviously, this was more of a light-hearted and humorous look at the main differences between American and European racing and the environment the guys competed within. this type of perspective could probably only come from these guys who are at the stages of their careers where they have the perfect balance between competitiveness and friendly rivalry, which probably wouldn’t be possible in their competitive days.

European vs. American motorsports, The main difference is that the Americans don’t like damage to take place to old cars,” said De Cadenet. “In comparison, it’s like a demolition derby over here.” An animated Moss piped up, “I remember in America at one point, they actually had no-passing zones!” Bell quipped, “But you didn’t take any notice of them, did you?” Triple Indy 500 Champion Dario Franchitti concurred: “It’s a different atmosphere, and a bit more of a demonstration over there – I’ve not seen the guys at Monterey, but this is serious here. These guys want to win.”

“Anyone can drive a racing car,” commented De Cadenet. “There’s a big difference between someone who drives a racing car and someone who is a racer. Derek might say to me, ‘Oh, I don’t really take this too seriously any more, I’m just out there to have fun’ – like hell!”

Stirling Moss, one of the U.K.’s great racing champions talks about American racing circuits, “They hadn’t got the circuits or the cars that we had, but I enjoyed it very much over there, said Moss.” He also vividly recalled one of the few American cars he drove, the Maserati 250F ‘Eldorado Special’, a little too casually, considering… “Oh yes, I was going round the top of the Monza banking at around 175mph or so, and suddenly my arms crossed and I knew something was wrong.” Franchitti said his only issue with racing in America was getting dizzy on the ovals, to which Bell cheekily responded, “Think of the money, though.”

Alain de Cadenet, ‘“The big difference was that when you went to the States as an amateur, you got paid to go and do it. At Watkins Glen, for example, you got more money for coming last in the Can-Am, than you did if you came third or fourth in the Six Hour race the day before.’

When asked if historic racing felt like the old days, Jackie Oliver said that the speed was like nicotine, and not only was historic racing expensive, but also adrenalin-fuelled. Despite the inherent danger, Derek Bell would never pass up the chance to take part. “It gets in your blood – anyone in this paddock would jump at the chance to drive these glorious old cars.”

The rest of the discussion and other highlights from the forum committee can be found at the credit Suisse website.
It’s incredible of them to get such renowned racing drivers from both continents to give us all a glimpse of the good old days of racing.


Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2015

Click for More Muscle Cars For Sale –


Donate To Fast Muscle Car
We spend a lot of time bringing you muscle car content. If you would like to donate something to help us keep going, that would be fantastic.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Signup To Get The Latest Muscle Cars!