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Grand Prix du Mardi Gras flashback

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by 4re Nut, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
    N of NOLA
    Full Name:
    Steve
    #1 4re Nut, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    A few days ago I came across this website: http://www.grandtouringprototype.com/ via this post: http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showpost.php?p=138900258&postcount=4.

    The GTP site's home page has a video of the '92 Grand Prix du Mardi Gras, which caused me to reminiscence about the three races in the 90's. I attended the '91 and '92 events as a spectator and the '95 event as a volunteer. Luckily I was assigned to the "no mans land" team, which was responsible for keeping spectators out of unauthorized areas. My primary location was between the New Orleans Centre and the Dome...very loud when the cars passed under the pedestrian bridge b/w the two bldgs. It was a great weekend; amazing that its been almost 14 yrs.

    Below are scans of my photos from '95 as well as ticket stubs and programs (couldn't find '92). In the group photo (not taken by me), I'm on the back row, middle, no hat.

    I also found photos from one or both of the earlier races; I'll scan and post those later.

    Memory lane for anyone else?
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  3. NOLA911

    NOLA911 Karting

    Jun 9, 2009
    145
    Mandeville, LA
    Full Name:
    Max
    Great pictures. I remember going to watch the event with my grandparents when I was young.

    What is the most amazing is that they actually drove the streets on new orleans at a high rate of speed..
     
  4. CarbBoxer

    CarbBoxer Formula Junior

    Oct 7, 2008
    800
    Houston
    Full Name:
    PW
    I used to come to New Orleans for that event from AR.

    Memories of the sound of the Mazda GTP cars. I think it had to be 105F in the shade that year.

    The sound of the 333SP that last year they had the race. Goosebumps.

    The pits inside the Dome were the best. Get to walk around in the AC and get right up with mechanics and the cars.
     
  5. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
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    Steve
    #4 4re Nut, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks.

    Yep; I'm surprised I didn't take any photos (or at least I can't find them) of the paddock.

    Below are photos from an earlier race, '91 I believe. I think I spotted the 348 when leaving the race since the street is wet (race was halted due to heavy rain). That old 911 looks good too. This evening I was looking thru the '91 program and noticed the "triple yellow" photo; 348 appears to have belonged to the race's organizer per photo caption.
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  6. Randy Forbes

    Randy Forbes Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2006
    741
    Sarasota, FL
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    Sports Cars Plus,LLC
    #5 Randy Forbes, Aug 30, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
    Nice!

    I was still living in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana at the time, when my "then" brother-in-law arranged for us to go to the 1995 event. He was/is a close friend of the promoter (Tom Bowes_sp?) and we stayed in Tom's (timeshare) hotel in the French Quarter. The name of the hotel will come to me...

    For practice, qualifying and races, we watched from the Turn 1 hospitality box; I commented at the time, that we had passes to everything except the cockpits of the race cars!

    It is interesting to note, that my "new" wife (of now 7+ years) and I returned home YESTERDAY from a week's stay at the Quarter House, also in the French Quarter. It was the first time I had been back to New Orleans, since working there most of of the summer of 2000. I moved to Ohio in October of that year.

    Our stay at the Quarter House impressed us enough to purchase a foreclosed unit there, so we'll be going back in April 2010. Having first moved to N.O. in 1980, it feels good to have an address there again ;)

    All my '95 event pictures are on film, but I'll see about getting a few posted in this thread later on.

    4re nut: thank you for bringing back this memory for me! And yes, Tom Bowes (sp?__I need to look it up in my program) did indeed have a couple of 348s; the other one was a triple-black spider.
     
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  8. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
    N of NOLA
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    Steve
    Randy,

    Glad you enjoyed the drive down memory lane; I look forward to your pics. Digging thru the "spotters" thread a few days ago I learned that Tom is the owner of the yellow 430 seen (and heard) quite frequently (http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showpost.php?p=137900941&postcount=712).

    Welcome back to NOLA!...even if only one week at a time :D

    Best,

    Steve
     
  9. Randy Forbes

    Randy Forbes Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2006
    741
    Sarasota, FL
    Full Name:
    Sports Cars Plus,LLC
    SOB! I saw a yellow 430 burbling and snarling down Canal on Thursday, as we walked out of the Aquarium. When we go back in April, I'll have to see if he remembers me (he's known ex-brother-in-law since boyhood school days, so I always have that connection as a backup).

    I'll make it a point to post some memorobilia, as it really was a highpoint in my longrunning car fantasy outings (my pit pass hangs to the right of this computer...).

    Thanks again :)
     
  10. gerard.hansen

    gerard.hansen Formula Junior

    Jun 29, 2004
    665
    Hattiesburg/Petal MS
    Full Name:
    Gerard D. Hansen
    #8 gerard.hansen, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I founded New Orleans Grand Prix Inc. back in 1986 to bring Indy Car racing to New Orleans.
    We went through all the dealings with the city and withdrew the proposal as it became too late to schedule and event for 1987. The city then contracted with a promoter from St. Petersburg FL to put on a SCCA race that never happened. That was the Coca Cola New Orleans Racefest. They used all my info including the track layout around the Superdome. That event was cancelled about a month before it was scheduled to take place.
    The Grand Prix du Mardi Gras came much later and the reason it was named that is that I held the rights to the "New Orleans Grand Prix" name.
    The idea actually came from a meeting I had in Daytona with Jim Hunter of NASCAR on Mardi Gras day in 1985. They were looking into going street racing with a series of cars they called GNLR. Grand Natonal Left Right. Bobby Allison ran a prototype GNLR car at the 24hrs of Daytona that year but they never developed the series. At that meeting they suggested we contact IMSA and John Bishop gave us a letter of intent for a race in 86. We wanted to go with CART because at that time they had a great TV package. Here are a couple of articles from the Times Picayune about NOGP.
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  12. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
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    Steve
    #10 4re Nut, Sep 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Great stuff; too bad we have to look back at it as "what could have been" instead of as the beginning of 20+ yrs of top level racing in NOLA.

    Below is my hat from the '95 race; I'll dig out the t-shirt and post it later.
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  13. gerard.hansen

    gerard.hansen Formula Junior

    Jun 29, 2004
    665
    Hattiesburg/Petal MS
    Full Name:
    Gerard D. Hansen
    Do you have any of the event posters? I have a friend that has all three. I still have a banner and some Camel GT stuff.
     
  14. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
    N of NOLA
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    Steve
    I have a '91 or '92 (believe '92) poster that a friend gave me a few years ago. Its still in post-Katrina storage with my other posters/prints but I'll dig it out soon. I'd like to have all three and found a place with the '91 & '92 posters (http://www.neworleansposters.com/cgi-bin/store/shop.cgi?product=wallin&keywords=&next=5) but not '95; however, that was just a quick Google search and haven't really looked. Ironically someone recently listed a '91 on Craig's List: http://neworleans.craigslist.org/clt/1310763356.html.

    I also 2 or 3 fence banners that we cut down when the race ended; I think I have one for Pirelli and BMW.

    Ah, the memories...
     
  15. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    74,297
    Houston, Texas
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    Bubba
    Always glad to see the MOMO 333SP.....what a time in racing!

    Thanks!
     
  16. m5_dude

    m5_dude Rookie

    Sep 8, 2009
    3
    Glad to see there's someone who remembers this race! I was young when this series came through town and I lost a lot of memorabilia from it during Katrina. I have become an avid sportscar racing fan since then and nothing pleases me more than to see these pictures! If you have anymore please post them/send them to me and/or put them on this site:
    http://www.racingsportscars.com/
    That site is among the best for vintage and modern sportscar racing photos.

    More importantly that website you found actually does have the 1995 Grand Prix du Mardi Gras poster:

    http://www.neworleansposters.com/cgi-bin/store/shop.cgi?cart_id=5825590.91193&product=seafood&keywords=&next=10

    However I still can't find the 1993 poster.
     
  17. m5_dude

    m5_dude Rookie

    Sep 8, 2009
    3
    Mea culpa, forgot their was no 1993 race.
     
  18. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
    N of NOLA
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Welcome to Fchat! Thanks for the link and for finding the '95 poster. Unfortunately I don't have anymore photos worth posting unless I find another stash, which is possible given the number of moves I've made since '95.

    If I was a mod, I'd ban ya. :D
     
  19. m5_dude

    m5_dude Rookie

    Sep 8, 2009
    3
  20. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
    15,004
    N of NOLA
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Thanks. I watched a couple of parts and will check out the rest later. Somewhat enjoyed seeing those "old" commercials too. :)
     

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