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My Remories of Vasek Polak
By Scott Wiggins

My name is Scott Wiggins, most people know me as Scotti. I had worked for Vasek Polak on and off starting in August of 1973. At that time I drove the truck with the race cars to some of the tracks on the Can-Am circuit starting at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. One night at the team dinner before the race, the poor waitress confessed this was only her second night on the job, the team took full advantage of her, changing orders, switching seats, all the pranks, she put up with us very well, VP paid the bill and left her a $100 tip!

The next day in the paddock, Vasek was entertaining all the Porsche brass in the motor home when the door lock broke, trapping all inside. Crew chief Alwin Springer knew exactly what to do. He opened a window and yelled "HELP". In the race, Jody Schecter ran 2nd to Mark Donahue in the 917/30. At the checker, Jody pulled right to the edge of the track and parked the car saying the gearbox was done. Next day we pulled the gearbox and emptied it into the nearest trash can. There was even shrapnel embedded in the case, all the internals were junk. As were all the suspension heim joints. None broke, but they were all badly worn or bent.

It was at Edmonton that Jody gave me a crash course in fiberglass body repair. Trying for a good last qualifying lap, he cut a corner a little too tight and damaged the nose of 917/10-018 Have you ever tried to cure polyester resin in freezing temperatures? It can be done! Jody was running second when a large oil line broke on the front of the engine at the end of the straight. After Edmonton it was south to refresh the cars and a test at Willow Springs with Jody Schecter sorting out both cars and turning a 1:14.5 in Jody's car, which stood as the Willow lap record for several years until the F1 cars started testing there.

At Laguna Seca, Brian Redman joined us, driving the once again converted 917-028, the original Can-Am Spyder. Saturday afternoon, it was decided to change the gearing in the transmission, about half way through the change, they started to close the track. At the time Laguna Seca was in the middle of the Fort Ord Military Reservation. So the MP's came. Vasek Polak Jr. got to telling them what an outrage it was, how expensive and delicate the parts were etc. etc. They turned on their headlights to illuminate the work area so we could finish! Jody qualified well but was hit from behind during a caution and that messed up the shifting mechanism. Brian finished the sprint segment of the race in second. During the main segment, a crankshaft snapped, ending his day.

At the season closer at Riverside, once again Brian Redman finished the sprint portion second to Donahue. In the second part of the race Jody tried to pass Brian on the inside of turn six and again broke some fiberglass. Brian Redman's car broke the lower wishbone heim joint, and aside from some minor scraping on the underside of the car, there was no other damage to the car. I doubt very many other drivers would have brought the car back in as good a condition after such a failure at 190 MPH. At dinner that night we were in a room with a few other teams away from the main dining room of the restaurant, the waitress asked VP who should get the bill for our table, one crew member from another team spoke up "Give him the bill for the whole room" VP stood up and looked around, seeing they were all race crews in the room and said "Yah, Yah, that be good, we do this".

I later went to work at the BMW store delivering parts and working on the 2 liter Chevron that Hans Adam and Bruce Ponder resurrected. Also crewing on the car were Mark Flores and Kenny Brown.

I was given the task of repairing the somewhat shredded body work, I had no idea what a Chevron was supposed to look like so we incorporated some of our own ideas such as dropping the nose profile and building a larger airbox. I guess some of them worked, Bruce Ponder set new track records at Laguna Seca and Riverside raceways for SCCA B/Sports Racing. It also briefly held the 2 liter Can Am track record at Riverside. I understand Howdy Holmes and Brian Redman had later driven the car. The Chevron is pictured with Bruce Ponder's story.

I shall always treasure the memories of the good times I had working for Vasek Polak, he was one of he last world class sportsman racers in the world.

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