At Watkins Glen, one fine summer’s day in 1970, the Can-Am, North America’s premier sports car championship, battled tooth and nail with the stars of the World Sports Car Championship.
Photo: Hal Crocker
An opportunistic mix of Group 5 endurance racers and Group 7 thundercars enlivened Watkins Glen’s 1970 Can-Am Text and Photos by Hal Crocker
My vision momentarily blurred as every molecule in my body vibrated. Sensory overload was in the red, adrenaline rush on its way. Damn, just damn! With my eye buried in the viewfinder, I was caught off-guard by Dan Gurney lighting up his big block Chevy right next to me. I instantly knew why they were called “Ground Pounders.” It was as though there was an invisible energy field around the car. You could feel it from the ground up, as it took control of every cell of your body. Gurney, like some mad symphony conductor, then directed each movement with a blip of the throttle. I had never experienced anything quite like it.
It was July 1970. We were at Watkins Glen, New York, for the Six Hour Manufacturer’s Championship race and the third round of the 1970 Can-Am. I was working the same arrangement that I had previously at Sebring, photographing Porsche for Jo Hoppen, and doing the wire service deal. The two were a good combination, a true symbiotic relationship, and the same could be said about Group 5 and Group 7 cars being at the same place at the same time. The Six Hour would run on Saturday and the Can-Am on Sunday, and most of the Six Hour guys wanted to also run their prototypes in the Can-Am because of the series’ elevated pay out. All this made for a busy weekend, but a nice paycheck for the teams—as well as for me.
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.