F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

4th March, 1999

Full Monty in Melbourne

or; Fastest Pit Lane Changes in the World

by Inky Black

One team arrived at the 1999 Melbourne GP with the oldest cars in the business. Why show up, when there's not much chance to race a 1967 BRM? And even less chance for their back-up car, a 1958 Maserati. But the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew wasn't there to race... They were there to win. And the BayWatch team, the team that usually had a wet T-shirt contest, had this time promised the "Full Monty."

A 1967 BRM? The best this car had ever done was third at Spa with Jackie Stewart behind the wheel. The Maserati? A forty-year old racer that Marie Theresa de Fillipis brought in tenth at Spa in 1958. Both cars featured some updated shock absorbers. Big Deal.

And both cars had an old Group 7 engine installed. Big Deal! It was a fuel- injected Ford 427 cubic inch V-8 (which may not be entirely legal.) With fuel additives (not entirely legal) the cars got a whole bunch more bhp than the 3.0 litre cars. The crew listed the engine as a Trabant V-4 so inspectors would only find 3.5 of the seven litres (not legal.) Crayola Crayons, melted and dripped into the combustion chambers, hid the extra half litre; and tightened things up around the old rings. The turbocharger, clearly marked "anti-polluting gizmo," was well-hidden under bodywork with the extra four cylinders.

Everyone would agree the Pit Crew from Down South, USA had brought some interesting racing cars. But getting these cars through inspection was going to be tough.

First, a little sweet talk for the inspectors. And sweet talk with a "southern twang." Recall that these girls speak good Down-South American English. Down-South would be pronounced "Day-ow-won Say-outh" by any self- respecting Southerner; although they would take about a minute longer to say it than you just did.

Second for the inspectors would be a nip of moonshine. Yep, and home-made deep in the woods from Grandpa's original recipe. Then, as the cars were being inspected, an impromptu "Wet T-Shirt contest." The distractions might be enough to get the cars on the course.

A wet t-shirt contest? That sounds odd, but not out of place with the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew. Famous had become the impromptu splashes at the Daytona 500. And more famous, a wet t-shirt audition for the Sylvester Stallone F1 movie.

So this "Wet T-Shirt stuff" has become legend with the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew, and it's time to separate the tree from the tissue paper, so to speak. The girls started racing in Florida near their hometown of Bountitudes Beach. And they raced all the dusty and dirty tracks between Daytona and Charlotte.

After a hot race one hometown day, a bucket of cooling water was dumped on BayWatch driver Cha Cha Chitwood. Pretty soon all the girls took the plunge; because it felt good, and because the fans loved it. Mostly practical, the impromptu splash became a great way to attract sponsors.

Now Cha Cha had a lot more personality than she had bust size. So she stuffed some extra "marketing" into the "commercial sector." Sponsor money increased and a legend was born. The rest of the girls were like Cha Cha, just regular american southern racing girls. Fast in cars, slow in school, and with a lot more personality than bust size. Although a couple of the girls needed a heck of a lot of personality to accomplish this. For those fond of details, the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew used souvenir scarves from an Elvis Memorabilia shop to stuff into their oversize brasseries.

It was all for fun. No-one cared that the girls wore racing nomex, not t- shirts. And no-one cared that the fancy-pants BayWatch name was just glitz. The girls biggest sponsor was still Elmer's 24-Hour Diner and Used Car Emporium. It was a good team; the girls had talent and personality; and Elmer didn't.

When Elmer bought the team cars at a Reposession Sale he told the crew, "You'll have to race Formula One because they're the only cars we've got." "The good part..." he continued, "is Europe doesn't know that moonshine is a fuel additive..."

Arriving at Melbourne with the cars, the rookie crew had to make an impact; create as much commotion, and commote as much creation as they could. This meant pulling out all the stops, and putting in all the scarves.

Wheeling the BRM into inspection the girls used every stunt they knew to distract the inspectors. Even some real wet t-shirt contests with some real pit babes. And the ruse seemed to work as the inspectors, after conferring with the FIA, cleared the car to race. This surprised the girls a pretty good bit; "Wowie!" they could race! But the other brake shoe was about to drop.

The FIA had a trick up their sleeve. The grid was already complete with only 22 cars allowed. No technical details here to haggle about. "Sorry girls, there was nothing they could do."

Cha Cha went to the FIA to file an appeal. Sitting in the pits unable to race, the other girls worried about the next step.

"Take all of our clothes off? Yuck, that's not fun." Fun is stuffing Elvis memorabilia into an oversize brasserie. What had they been thinking when Cha Cha said "Next race we will give 'em the Full Monty!" "Gawd," anything would be better than doing the "Monty" in Melbourne. The girls passed the jar of moonshine and thought "What have we done?" and "What are we about to do!"

"Ricky" Ricardo Rosset stopped in to cheer them up. He did his best Fidel Castro wins at Monza impression... "and zee hole in zee helmet iz for zee ceegar!" Yet the girls still worried, "Would they have to do the Full Monty?"

The other crews went about their business. Pit lane went back to work. But with a little less activity than usual. "It was quiet, too quiet." thought Cha Cha as she walked back down pit road.

And after the quiet comes the storm. Trouble brewed in the grandstands, then spilled into the pits. In minutes a crowd of spectators had flooded pit road and sat down in some kind of protest. Crew chiefs looked on in wonderment. And the FIA, just days from the start of the first race of the year, was staring down the double-barrels of a bunch of indignant broads.

The BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew was clueless; a phrase that sounds suspiciously familiar. They didn't know, but the crowd was on their side. The pit babes had gone into the seats and riled fans into a protest. Now the "babes" took their place at the front of pit lane. Arms crossed; lower lips stuck out; "No one moves till the BayWatch Team gets to race!"

The FIA appeared, and appeared shocked. They spoke with some crew chiefs, then stood around with their arms crossed and their lower lips stuck out. It was a standoff; the two sides eyed each other.

It was Eddie Irvine who changed sides first and joined the protest; arms crossed; lower lip stuck out. You know that Jackie Stewart was not far behind. Soon all of the racing crews had filtered across the unmarked line and were standing with their arms crossed and lower lips stuck out. Or they were chatting up a pit babe.

The FIA chief walked over to the BayWatch pit and eyed the '67 BRM and '58 Maserati. Slowly he shook his head and winced. Each of the girls got a pat on the back as he stepped out onto pit road. Here he examined the restless crowd for a minute. Raising his arms, he extended two fingers on his right hand. A peace sign? The crowd restled some more. Then three fingers on his left. "Twenty-three." The girls were in! And the crowd applauded.

Talk about a sigh of relief; the crew didn't care about racing anymore. They just weren't ready to "strip" in front of thousands of fans. "Strip?" said Cha Cha, "What are you talking about?"

The crew shot back, "In Bountitudes you said we'd give 'em the 'Full Monty!'" Cha Cha hung for a moment, then shrieked at that. "I never meant that. I meant we'd give 'em the beef... the works!" She laughed, "I meant bring our cars, and show 'em how fast we can go... Take our clothes off? Whattarya nuts!?!"

So the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew came to Melbourne to win and win they did. Not the race, no, never a chance of that. They came to win some sponsors and some respect. And to show off a couple of famous cars. The crowd went crazy as the BRM rocketed down the straights. And the crowd groaned as it cornered like a greased pig on linoleum. They qualified last, put in three racing laps, and retired to get the heck out of the way. Being 23rd, they were off the charts and didn't make any official standings. But we can tell you the cause for retirement was "brake fade, bigtime."

It was Coulthard who won the race, as Hakkinen returned the favor from last year. (If wrong, it's because we do this write-up before the race. We hate to be late for the post-race cocktail party.) But unlike last year it was a fine race and the teams were all pretty close. It's going to be another great year to watch Formula One.

Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 Jeff Rose, Binghamton, NY.
His other Travel and Humour Articles can be found at Aloha from the Nervous Nineties.

Interested in reading more by this author?

Humourous Articles by Inky Black
Austrian GP: Welcome to Vienna, Minnesota or; "It's a nice place to visit, but Mozart would have moved."
British GP: The Greatest Drivers In The World or; "Move along lady, there'll be no excitement here. This is a golf match!"
French GP: Viva La France or; Cha Cha Chitwood and the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew arrive in France with bad jokes, better apologies, and a mention of the war
Canadian GP: Surfing FIA or; Cowabunga in Canada
Spanish GP: Still in Barcelona or; Ninth in the Adventures of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
Monaco GP: Fast Laps and Fast Girls or; The Eighth Adventure of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
San Marino Jet-Set or; Further Adventures of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
Brazil GP - The girls from Ipanema or; Fastest Pit Lane Changes in the World
Full Monty in Melbourne or; Fastest Pit Lane Changes in the World
Formula One Racing Meets Quantum Relativity or; Welcome to CERN - Fastest High-Speed Oval in the World
BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew meets the Queen of England and confused tea-time with wet T-shirt time, causing havoc in the Palace
BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew at AutoSport99 the crew visit Autosport 99 to take part in the pitcrew contest
Hollywood Grand Prix; Sylvester Stallone Meets Formula One or; Jackie Stewart trained BayWatch Girls for an Indianapolis Pit Crew because Sylvester Stallone had WonderBra for a sponsor and some French guys made Richard Petty drink white wine instead of beer
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