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View Full Version : Roy Ridgell Asked OMC Drivers Vs Mercury Drivers



Ron Hill
03-11-2013, 11:31 AM
Roy Ridgell (http://www.facebook.com/roy.ridgell) How does that OMC rooster compare to Mercís impressive line-up of contemporaries Bill Sirois, Billy Seebold, Renato Molinari , Bob Herring, Reggie Fountain, and Cees Velden? To name just a few. I'll add: Don Pruett, Buck Thornton, Lee Sutter, Jim Mertens, Brett May, Dick Sherrer and Dave Packer....come to mind.

Evinrude had:

Jimbo
Mike Wallace
Barry Woods
Ted May
Caesar Scotti
Ron Hill

Johnson had:

Johnny Sanders
Tommy Posey
Art Kennedy
Fred Hauenstein
John Schubert
Mac McCune
Bill Shoemaker

Lars Strom
03-12-2013, 05:30 PM
Well..Renato Molinari was Evinrude Racing, so was Roger Jenkins.
Cees Van Der Velden was Johnson Racing with Tom Percival and Bob Spalding and Bob Hering.

Bill Van Steenwyk
03-12-2013, 09:46 PM
.....Lasse Strom!!


And in addition to being a pretty fair driver (see the Championship list he achieved while competing, on this site) not many have contributed to the History of Boat Racing on BRF as he has.

Ron Hill
03-12-2013, 10:00 PM
I woud compare myself and Don Pruett. Pruett and I were both over six foot, hard charging, but not really "TOP THREATS". WE SELDOM CRASHED, we seldom lead the pack.

Bill Seebold and Barry Woods: Both were about the same size, both thought they should win every time they raced. Billy had more talent and more racing experience, I feel, but Barry had more desire to WIN.

Bobby Herring, Benny Robertson and Renato Molinari all came from the same mold. They'd rather crash while leading, than win.....

peterse90
03-13-2013, 12:45 PM
If we are talking great drivers from the 70's here are some additions IMO to your original list;
Mercury; Lee Sutter, Bob Hollaway, The Berghauers, Michael Werner

Evinrude; The Briggs brothers

Johnson; Ken Stevenson

A few who drove both Merc & OMC; Bob Spalding, Tom Percival, Roger Jenkins, Spencer Dunn

Master Oil Racing Team
03-13-2013, 08:06 PM
I was at Kaukauna, Wisconsin on the Fox River when Bob Hering took off at around 130 mph with a Merc on the transom that was hanging by the steering and throttle cables when the boat was finally brought back to shore. The next time I saw Bob after recovering, he was driving for OMC.

mbd29
05-31-2013, 05:15 AM
Wayne: I was in the pickup boat and was the first one to him. Thought he was not with us anymore. You're right after he got out of the hospital he was let go from Mercury and went to OMC as did Renato. I had been at Mercury for about a year and was still a little wet behind the ears so didn't really know what was going on but thought it was neat that I was driving Renato, his girlfriend, and dad from Oshkosh to Fond du Lac for meetings with our President during the contract negotiations. But after GG filled me in. He didn't want to be anywhere near Renato because of the power struggle going on so I was elected to drive him around. I just wish I had spoken Italian. I think everyone knows what happened after that.

Lake X Kid
07-19-2013, 05:56 PM
I had been at Mercury for about a year and was still a little wet behind the ears so didn't really know what was going on but thought it was neat that I was driving Renato, his girlfriend, and dad from Oshkosh to Fond du Lac for meetings with our President during the contract negotiations. But after GG filled me in. He didn't want to be anywhere near Renato because of the power struggle going on so I was elected to drive him around. I just wish I had spoken Italian. I think everyone knows what happened after that.[/QUOTE]

Two big egos apparently had to go separate ways. I do not know what eventually happen. Enlighten us with the Gary Garbrecth and Renato Molinari conflict.

Both men made a mark in the racing circuit of outboard racing, and sometimes the pond is to little for two big fish.

Ron Hill
07-19-2013, 08:32 PM
The first year that I raced in the Paris Six Hour, with Ted May, I knew nothing of Europe. In the early days of the six hour the rumor was whoever led the first lap never won. In 1967, Renato lowed of the first lap, I was told, so he didn't lead. He still didn't win.

Italians, are like pilots....You can tell them, but you can't tell them much. In 1968, my first Paris Six Hour experience, Renato led all six hours. Our Evinrude team ended up second and third, about 20 laps behind.

Molinari boats were really "VIOLINS", as they were beautiful pieces of wood. (Not to mention their designs).

Renato came to Havasu in 1968-1969 ...

By Paris 1970, Renato was convinced that Gary Garbrecht had motors that had "EXTRA" power for "HIS" drivers.

Backing up some, after the Molinari hull (s) won Paris in 1966-67, Carl (Mr. K) signed Molinari to an exclusive contract to Mercury.

My memory might be fading here, but it seems Bill Sirois won Havau in 1970 and 1971.

Anyway, Paris, 1970.....Renato asked Gary (On Friday) if Bill Sirois's motor is like his. Gary assured Renato the motors were the same.

On Saturday, Renato asked Gary, again, if his motor had the same power a Sirois's. Gary assured him they were the same...

Sunday morning, same questions, same answers.......Only this time Renato tells Gary, they "BRIBED" the security guard and changed motors with Sirois's powerhead.

Renato led the first lap but anders and Posey won with a Johnson...........This was 1970...Seeds were being planted!

Master Oil Racing Team
07-19-2013, 08:55 PM
Who has talked to Bob Hering about this? Bob is a quiet nonconfrontational guy, at least the last time I talked to him. That was at Dayton, Ohio at the OE World Championships. That was when methanol was illegally banned by UIM. Our position was known, OMC's position was known, but Bob and I did not talk about that. We were there to race. I asked him to pose for some shots sitting on his boat. We had a friendly conversation and I have not talked to him since then. Not that I would not like to, but I have not been to a race he's been to since then.

The Dayton Daily News, and several magazines had coverage of the race where Bob had critical comments about our challenge of the UIM's illegal rule change, but his comments were about the least he could criticize our position as you could get without getting into trouble. I would love to be able to spend some time again talking to Bob about the boat racing days.

Steve Pinson
07-24-2013, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE=Ron Hill;132806]The first year that I raced in the Paris Six Hour, with Ted May, I knew nothing of Europe. In the early days of the six hour the rumor was whoever led the first lap never won. In 1967, Renato lowed of the first lap, I was told, so he didn't lead. He still didn't win.

Italians, are like pilots....You can tell them, but you can't tell them much. In 1968, my first Paris Six Hour experience, Renato led all six hours. Our Evinrude team ended up second and third, about 20 laps behind.


Question for Ron Hill how did you find the Schultz boats to drive in the rough water of the Paris 6hr race in 1968 and how did they compare with the Scotti boats you raced at Paris in 1972.We had the Schultz Hydrocats in Europe they were tricky boats to drive in rough water?. I have the 1968 Paris race report 1st Molinari/leonardi 130Laps 2nd MacCune/MacCune Schultz 124Laps 3rd `May/Hill Schultz 123 Laps.

brichter
01-17-2017, 10:06 PM
Don't forget Earl Bentz for Mercury, Jeff Brown for Evinrude, Bill Travis for Johnson...